Carleton University’s Onita Basu, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in partnership with Humber College, has received more than $95,000 over two years through the NSERC College and Community Innovation Program (CCI). This research will investigate procedures involved in processing drinking water using biofiltration (BF).

Biological filtration is one of few methods of drinking water treatment that can reduce the chemical requirements and energy needs of drinking water facilities. Identification, validation, improved monitoring and control tools are necessary to establish BF as a predictable process that can be controlled. It is challenging to determine how to effectively run biofilter without having tools to better monitor performance.

“Biofiltration is a process used in drinking water treatment that is designed to remove fine solids and also dissolved organic compounds through microbial degradation,” said Basu.  “It can reduce the usage of chemicals in drinking water treatment, making it a green engineering technology. We will examine the monitoring tools for biofiltration in order to better predict, control and improve the performance of these types of systems.”

Photo: Carleton University’s Onita Basu.
Photo: Carleton University’s Onita Basu.

The research will assess analytical methods to contribute to the overall knowledge base of biofiltration performance. Basu, who will be working with Shawn Cleary at Humber College and the Drinking Water Services Group at the City of Ottawa, will lead this project. The project will provide a scientific and technical advance for the water industry in operating biofilters. From a social and environmental perspective, biofiltration can reduce the usage of chemicals in drinking water treatment making it a green, sustainable engineering technology

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan said, “Our government supports investments that are helping to build an innovative economy and create quality jobs to support a vibrant middle class. Fostering strong partnerships between Canada’s colleges and industry partners leads to new, innovative ideas and transforms the results of R&D into new products that will benefit all Canadians.”


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