Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

2021-2022 Timetables

Course CodeTitle & DescriptionInstructorSessionDay(s)Start TimeEndLocation(s)Section
CEM1001H
The Challenges of Urban Policy-MakingProf. Shoshanna SaxeFall 2021Tuesday9:0012:00GB 221LEC0101
CEM1002H
Empirical Study of CitiesProf. Mark FoxFall 2021Monday10:0012:00GB 217LEC0101
CEM1003H
Infrastructure & Urban ProsperityProf. Ayad HammadiWinter 2022Wednesday10:0012:00GB 117LEC0101
CEM1004H
Cities as Complex SystemsProf. Eric MillerWinter 2022Tuesday10:0012:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV100HProf. Tamer El-Diraby, Edvard Bruun, Prof. Oya Mercan, Prof. Jeffrey Packer, Prof. Daman Panesar, Prof. Shoshanna Saxe, Michael SeicaFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV100TMichael SeicaWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV102HTBDFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV201HProf. Brent Sleep
Fall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV209HProf. Ibrahim OgunsanyaWinter 2022Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV214HProf. Evan BentzWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV220HTBAFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV235HLuca NagyWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV250HTBAWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV280HProf. Brenda McCabeFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV282HProf. Alan ChongFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV300HTBAFall 2020, Winter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV312HProf. Constantin ChristopoulosFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV313HProf. Paul GauvreauWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV324HProf. Mason GhafghaziWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV331HProf. Matthew RoordaFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV332HToka Mostafa & Islam KamelWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV340HProf. Bryan Karney & Prof. David Meyer (Prof. David Taylor)Winter 2022Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV342HMichael McKieFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV375HProf. Marianne TouchieFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV380HProf. Jeffrey Siegel
Winter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV382YProf. Alan ChongFall 2020, Winter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV416HZahra KharalFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV420HProf. Tamer El-DirabyFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV440HJohn CaspersonWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV477HScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV498HProf. Daman Panesar (Course Supervisor)Winter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV510H
Solid Mechanics IITBAScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV514H
Concrete TechnologyProf. Karl PetersonScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV515H
Introduction To Structure DynamicsProf. Oya MercanScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV516H
Public Transit Operations and PlanningTBAScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV517H
Prestressed ConcreteProf. Michael CollinsScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV518H
Behaviour and Design of Steel StructuresTBAScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV519H
Structural Analysis IITBAScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV521H
Rock MechanicsProf. Kaiwen XiaScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV523H
Geotechnical DesignTBAScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV531H
Transport PlanningProf. Khandker Nurul HabibScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV536H
Urban Activity, Air Pollution and Health--Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV541H
Environmental BiotechnologyProf. Elodie Passeport -Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV549H
Groundwater Flow and ContaminationProf. Brent SleepScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV550H
Water Resources EngineeringTBAScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV575H
Studies In Building ScienceProf. Marianne TouchieScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV576H
Sustainable BuildingsProf. Jeffrey SiegelScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV577H
Infrastructure For Sustainable CitiesTBAScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV578HDesign of Building EnclosuresBomani Ajamu KhemetScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV580H
Engineering and Management of Large ProjectsProf. Daniel PosenScheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CIV1163H
Mechanics of Reinforced ConcreteProf. Frank VecchioNOT OFFERED 2021-2022LEC0101
CIV1164H
Bridge EngineeringProf. Paul GauvreauWinter 2022Tuesday18:0021:00GB 303LEC0101
CIV1167H
Advanced Structural DynamicsProf. Oya MercanWinter 2022Monday14:0017:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV1169H
Advanced Topics In Building DesignProf. Shamim SheikhWinter 2022Wednesday14:0017:00GB 217LEC0101
CIV1171H
Principles In Earthquake Engineering and Seismic DesignProf. Constantin ChristopoulosWinter 2022Thursday & Friday9:00 (R) & 11:00 (F)12:00 (R) & 13:00 (F)GB 304 (R) GB 117 (F)LEC0101
CIV1174H
Finite Element Method In Structural MechanicsProf. Evan BentzWinter 2022Friday15:0018:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV1175H
Design of Tubular Steel StructuresProf. Jeffrey PackerFall 2021Monday15:0018:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV1190H
Structures Under Blast and ImpactAdj. Prof. Michael SeicaFall 2021

Start date: Sept. 15, 2021
Wednesday18:0021:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV1199H
Special Studies in Civil Engineering - Design of Timber StructuresProf. Paul GauvreauNOT OFFERED 2021-2022LEC0101
CIV1199H
Special Studies in Civil Engineering - Structural Health MonitoringProf. Fae AzhariFall 2021Tuesday 13:0015:00GB 217LEC0101
CIV1201H
Concrete Technology and Non-Destructive Testing PrinciplesProf. Daman PanesarFall 2021Friday11:0014:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV1240H
Building Performance AssessmentProf. Marianne TouchieWinter 2022Thursday13:0016:00GB 217LEC0101
CIV1250H

Instrumentation Techniques for Cement and Concrete Researchers

Prof. Douglas HootonNOT OFFERED 2021-2022LEC0101
CIV1252H
Infrastructure Renewal

Prof. Hannah SchellFall 2021Thursday19:0021:00MY 320
CIV1260h
Chemistry of Cements and Concrete

Prof. Doug HootonNOT OFFERED 2021-2022
CIV1262H
Microscopy Applied to Building and Geomaterials

Prof. Karl PetersonFall 2021Wednesday17:0019:00GB 217
CIV1275H
Construction Modelling Methods

Prof. Brenda McCabeNOT OFFERED 2021-2022LEC0101
CIV1279H
Construction Contract DocumentsInstructor: Jiwan ThaparWinter 2022Wednesday17:3020:00GB 220LEC0101
CIV1281H
Asset Management: Frameworks and Processes

Prof. Tamer El-DirabySummer 2022
May 9 to May 29
Add deadline: May 11
Drop deadline: May 18
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday15:0017:00in-person room BA B0240101
CIV1289H
The Business of Knowledge In Civil Engineering

Prof. Tamer El-DirabyFall 2021
Tuesday 10:0012:00GB 2170101
CIV1298H
Special Studies in Civil Engineering - Building Information Modelling

Jinyue ZhangSummer 2022
Aug 1 - 21
Add deadline - Aug 3
Drop deadline - Aug 10
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday18:0020:30Delivery Mode: Virtual synchronous and asynchronous mixed0101
CIV1298H
Special Studies in Civil Engineering - The Business of Selling Civil Engineering Knowledge

Prof. Tamer El-DirabyNOT OFFERED 2021-2022LEC0101
CIV1299H
Building Energy Performance Simulation

Prof. Seungjae LeeWinter 2022Tuesday LEC0101
Thursday TUT 0101
15:00 LEC (T),
11:00 TUT (H)
17:00 LEC (T),
12:00 TUT (H)
UC152 - LEC (T),
SS2110 - TUT (H)
LEC0101
CIV1299H
Special Studies in Civil Engineering - Asset Management: Quantitative tools and methods

Hesham OsmanSummer 2022
July 4 to July 25
Add deadline: July 6
Drop deadline: July 13
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday9:0013:00Delivery Mode: Virtual synchronous and asynchronous mixed0101
CIV1299H
Special Studies in Civil Engineering: Virtualization & Analytics in Construction

Prof. Tamer El-DirabySummer 2022
June 6 - June 26
Add deadline: June 8
Drop deadline: June 15
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday15:0017:00In-person - room TBALEC0101
CIV1299H
Special Studies in Civil Engineering - Introduction to Construction Claims

Prof. Jiwan ThaparFall 2021Wednesday17:3020:00ES 4001LEC0101
CIV1302H
Low Impact Development and Stormwater Systems

Prof. Jennifer DrakeWinter 2022Wednesday09:0012:00MY 490LEC0101
CIV1303H
Water Resources Systems Modelling

Prof. Bryan KarneyFall 2021Thursday 15:0018:00MY 490LEC0101
CIV1307H
Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainability of Engineering Activities

Alexandre Milovanoff Summer 2022
May 2 - June 30
Add deadline: May 9
Drop deadline: May 30
Mondays and Thursdays
10:00am12:00pmon-line synchronousLEC0101
CIV1308H
Physical and Chemical Treatment Processes

Prof. Ron HofmannWinter 2022Monday & Thursday13:00 (M & R)15:00 (M) & 16:00 (R)GB 117 (M) & LM6 (R) LEC0101
CIV1309H
Biological Treatment Processes

Prof. Susan AndrewsWinter 2022Tuesday10:0012:00GB 217LEC0101
CIV1311H
Advanced and Sustainable Drinking Water Treatment

Prof. Bob AndrewsSummer 2022
May 9 - May 27
Enrollment Cap: 25 Students.
Add deadline: May 11
Drop deadline: May 18
Monday to Friday10:0012:00BA21650101
CIV1319H

*Note: priority is given to CIV/MIN research-stream students and M.Eng. students who require this course to complete a technical emphasis
Chemistry and Analysis of Water and Wastes

Prof. Susan AndrewsFall 2021Tuesday & Thursday10:00 (T) & 13:00 (R)12:00 (T) & 16:00 (R)GB 117 (M) & LM6 (R) LEC0101
CIV1320H
Indoor Air Quality

Prof. Jeffrey SiegelFall 2021Monday13:0016:00WB 130LEC0101
CIV1321H
Large Scale Infrastructure and Sustainability

Prof. Shoshanna SaxeFall 2021

NO class Thursday Sept. 16

Makeup: Friday Sept. 17 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Thursday9:3012:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV1330H
Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Global Health

Adj. Prof. Ray CantwellWinter 2022Monday18:0020:30GB 117LEC0101
CIV1398H
Special Studies in Civil Engineering - Quantitative Methods for Decision-Making

Prof. Daniel PosenNOT OFFERED 2021-2022
CIV1398H
Special Studies in Civil Engineering - Waterpower Essentials

Sharon Mandair Fall 2021Wednesday 15:0018:00Virtual, synchronousLEC 9201
CIV1398H
Special Studies in Civil Engineering - Changing Human Habits With Sensors and Design

Prof. David Meyer (né Prof. David Taylor)Fall 2021Wednesday14:0016:00MY 420LEC0101
CIV1399H
Climate change and implications for engineering systems

Monirul MirzaWinter 2022Wednesday 17:0020:00TBALEC0101
CIV1399H
Environmental Remediation with Passive Water Treatment Systems

Prof. Elodie PasseportFall 2021Tuesday 13:0015:00Virtual, asynchronousLEC 9101
CIV1399H
Strategies & Applications for Meeting Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Ian SinclairFall 2021Monday, Wednesdays
12:00 LEC (M), 11:00 LEC (W), 14:00 TUT (W)13:00 LEC (M), 13:00 LEC (W), 15:00 TUT (W)UC 244 (M), UC 256 (W, 11:00-13:00) SS 1074 (W, 14:00 - 15:00)LEC0201
CIV1399HS1
Renewal of Waterpower Facilities

Michael MorgenrothWinter 2022Wednesday 15:0018:00ONLINE COURSELEC9201
CIV1420H
Soil Properties and Behaviour

Prof. Murray GrabinskyWinter 2022Monday12:0015:00Virtual, synchronousLEC0101
CIV1422H
Dynamic Response Of Engineering Materials

Prof. Kaiwen XiaSummer 2022
May 2 to May 13
Add deadline: May 3
Drop deadline: May 6
Monday to Friday (every weekday)
9:0012:00BA2195
CIV1429H
Advanced Rock Engineering: Fractured Rock Masses

Prof. Giovanni GrasselliFall 2021 Tuesday18:0021:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV1430H
Special Studies in Engineering Rock Mechanics

John HarrisonFall 2021Monday, Tuesday, Fridays9:00 PRA(M), 16:00 LEC(T), 9:00 LEC(F), 10:00 TUT(F)12:00 PRA(M), 18:00 LEC(T), 10:00 LEC(F), 11:00 TUT(F)BA 2145 (M)
MY 315 (T,F,F)

LEC0101
TUT0101
PRA0101
CIV1498H
Specials Studies in Civil Engineering: Constitutive Modelling in Geomaterials

Prof. Mason GhafghaziFall 2021Friday12:0015:00GB 217LEC0101
CIV1498HS1
Prof. John HadjigeorgiouWinter 2022Monday9:0011:00MB 500LEC0101
CIV1498HS
Prof. Sebastian GoodfellowWinter 2022Wednesday & Thursday
12:00 LEC (W), 13:00 TUT (R)
15:00 LEC (W), 14:00 TUT (R)
UC 179 (W)
AB 107 (R)
LEC0101
CIV1499H
David StaseffWinter 2022Tuesday17:0020:00GB 117LEC0201
CIV1499H
NOT OFFERED 2021-2022
CIV1499H
NOT OFFERED 2021-2022
CIV1499H
Prof. Mason GhafghaziNOT OFFERED 2021-2022LEC0301
CIV1499H
Prof. Mason GhafghaziFall 2021Thursday14:0017:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV1499H
Changed to CME5000707
CIV1499HS1
John HarrisonWinter 2022Thursday10:0012:00MB500LEC0101
CIV1499HS2
Prof. Kamran EsmaeiliWinter 2022Friday13:00
16:00MB 500LEC0101
CIV1504H
Applied Probability and Statistics in Civil Engineering

Prof. Khandker Nurul HabibFall 2021Wednesday10:0012:00GB 304LEC0101
CIV1505H
Transportation Research Seminars

Prof. Marianne HatzopoulouWinter 2022Friday11:0012:00Virtual SynchronousLEC9101
CIV1505H
Prof. Marianne HatzopoulouFall 2021Friday11:0012:00Virtual Synchronous LEC9101
CIV1506H
Freight Transportation and ITS Applications

Dr. Tho Van LeWinter 2022Monday9:0011:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV1508H
Airport Planning and Engineering

TBAFall 2021

Start Date: Sept. 14, 2021

First three weeks of the course is online
Tuesday12:0014:00GB 303LEC0101
CIV1532H
Fundamentals of ITS and Traffic Management

Prof. Baher AbdulhaiFall 2021Tuesday & Wednesdays14:00(T), 14:00(W) & 15:00(W TUT)16:00(T), 15:00(W) & 16:00 (W TUT)Virtual Synchronous

* GB 117 will be available for students to use during class time
LEC0101
TUT0101
CIV1535H
Transportation and Development

Prof. Eric MillerWinter 2022Thursday10:0012:00GB 117LEC0101
CIV1536H
Modelling Transport Emissions

Prof. Marianne HatzopoulouSummer 2023 next offering


CIV1538H
Transportation Demand Analysis

Prof. Khandker Nurul HabibWinter 2022Tuesday12:0014:00GB 217LEC0101
CIV1540H
Transportation: Urban Operations Research

Prof. Amer ShalabyFall 2021Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
9:00 (W) & 9:00 (R) & 9:00 (F TUT)
10:00 (W) & 11:00 (R) & 11:00 (F TUT)
BA 2175 (W), BA 2135 (R), UC 52 (F)
LEC0101
TUT0101
CME185HProf. Karl PetersonWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME210HProf. Shamim SheikhFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME261HProf. Marianne HatzopoulouFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME262HProf. Oh-Sung KwonWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME263HProf. Amer ShalabyWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME270HProf. Ron HofmannFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME321HProf. Murray GrabinskyFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME358HVariousFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME368HProf. Daniel PosenFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME499H/YFall 2020, Winter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME500HFundamentals of Acid Rock Drainage

Prof. Lesley Warren-Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
CME525H1Tunneling and Urban Excavation

Fall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN225HProf. John HadjigeorgiouFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN250HTBAWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN301HTBAWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN320HProf. John HarrisonWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN329HProf. John HarrisonFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN330HIan Horne and Michel JulienWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN351HTBAWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN400HRoger MossFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN450HIndi GopinathanFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN466HDave EdenFall 2020Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN467HDave EdenWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN470HTBCWinter 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.
MIN511HIntegrated Mine Waste Engineering
Prof. Murray GrabinskyFall 2021Scheduled by the Office of the Faculty Registrar.


https://civmin.utoronto.ca/?post_type=ai1ec_event&p=28968&preview=true

https://civmin.utoronto.ca/?post_type=ai1ec_event&p=28968&preview=true


Intermittent Water Supply

In a city like Toronto, the water never stops running. There’s always pressure conveniently pushing clean water into our homes for on-demand consumption. 

But that’s not how the whole world works. 

More than a billion people get their daily water needs from water networks called Intermittent Water Supplies (IWS). That means, rather than constantly flowing like we are accustomed to here on campus, 21 percent of the world’s water pipes turn on and off every day.

Homes in Delhi, India.

Some residents living in Delhi, India only get water at prescribed times of day.

In Delhi, India, the water utility typically supplies water to residents for two hours in the morning and one hour in the evening, forcing people to store all the water they’ll need to get through the day or night. 

In other cities, the process is a little more chaotic. You might never know when the water is coming on until you hear the water rushing through the pipes—and that could be at 3:00 am while you’re fast asleep, or in the middle of the afternoon when everybody’s at work or school. 

At University of Toronto, Prof. David Meyer’s research group works on building new models and tools to help improve the fairness and quality of the service provided in the cities using IWS. 

“In most intermittent supplies, the pipes are unpressurized or even negatively pressurized for hours or sometimes days at a time, which means contaminants like rainwater or even sewage can sneak into the pipes and contaminate the drinking water.” 

It’s not just a question about quality, but also a matter of how fairly the water quantity is divided (equality). 

“If you live close to the reservoir, you might get more water than the person who lives at the top of hill, far away from the reservoir,” explains Meyer. 

We’ve considered quality, quantity and equality—but what about equity? That’s the topic of Meyer’s latest research project. 

Prof. David Meyer conducting field research in India.

Prof. David Meyer’s research looks at issues of equity and quality posed by India’s intermittent water supply system.

“For five different cities in India, we’re looking at whether or not there’s a correlation between the type of water supply schedule (long, reliable, and/or convenient) you have and the degree of your social marginalization. The first step to improving equity is knowing there is a problem; we hope we’re wrong, but believe that the socially marginalized are more likely to have short, inconvenient water supply schedules.” 

Meyer hopes his research will push city planners and local governments to invest more money in this essential infrastructure that often gets ignored because we can’t necessarily see it. 

“As countries and economies grow, there’s more money for infrastructure and there’s more aspirations for high quality infrastructure. Many growing cities pay a lot of money to try and take their water pipe networks from ‘dysfunctional’ to ‘excellent’, and sometimes they succeed. But more often, aspirations of ‘excellent’ result in unrealistic projects that fail. I wish we could design projects that would make meaningful, incremental progress, but It’s hard to convince people to spend money knowing the end result will be less than ‘excellent’.” 

Learn more about Prof. Meyer’s research on IWS

BACK TO WORLD WATER DAY STORIES

By David Goldberg


Natural Purification

The aquarium on the fourth floor of the Galbraith Building is a pleasant reminder to Prof. Susan Andrews of her many trips to the Caribbean through the years, but it also makes her lament the deteriorating condition of our world’s lakes, rivers, and oceans—these majestic bodies of water she’s dedicated her life to researching as sources of the water we drink.

Picture of Prof. Susan Andrews

Prof. Susan Andrews is in the early stages of research on TiO2 Photooxidation.

“It’s concerning to me to go back to places that we used to visit and find that some of these environments are no longer as healthy as they used to be.”  

While the focus of Prof. Andrews’ research has generally been to find ways of minimizing the formation of chemical byproducts during the treatment of water for large municipalities, more recently, Prof. Andrews has also been studying how natural minerals and sunlight can be used to treat our water supply.   

“We focus on minerals containing iron or titanium dioxide. TiO2 is one of those substances that’s been used a lot recently in the photocatalytic treatment process because it’s very effective at destroying contaminants when activated by UV light or the UV component of sunlight” 

“When I first started working in TiO2 Photooxidation, I came to realize that TiO2 is in the natural environment in larger quantities than I would have ever even thought. And so, just together with the idea that it is photoactive, made me kind of think maybe we can make use of that.”  

Picture of a campsite

Perhaps Andrews’ research could one day be used to treat water in remote locations, such as campgrounds.

Andrews also points to some anecdotal evidence from a colleague in Africa, who noticed that water stored in certain types of pottery seemed to stay cleaner for longer, meaning that perhaps pottery containing TiO2 or other active minerals could have the same purifying properties.  

The research is in its infancy, with grad students recording findings they observe using glass or pottery containers and small UV or solar lamps. This technology would never be used on a large scale, says Andrews, but could be very useful in remote settings such as small facilities with limited road access, such as an isolated campground.  

BACK TO WORLD WATER DAY STORIES

By David Goldberg


Groundwater Remediation

This year’s theme for World Water Day 2022 is ‘Groundwater: ‘Making the Invisible Visible’ and groundwater just so happens to be the research specialty of Department Chair Prof. Brent Sleep.   

Among many active projects concerning groundwater, Sleep and graduate students in his research group are focusing on the remediation of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS)  compounds.  These compounds are used in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant coatings, and firefighting foams. 

PhD student Ezinneifechukwunyelu Ndubueze works on an experiment with colloidal activated carbon.

“These PFAS substances are quite resistant to the remediation processes, and they’re not easily broken down by bacteria,” says Sleep. “There’s a big focus now on treating these compounds that are so resistant to degradation.” 

Sleep and his research team are testing one method which uses colloidal activated carbon injected into the ground.   

“The goal is to create a permeable barrier that adsorbs contaminants as the groundwater passes through, in theory leaving harmful compounds behind to be safely treated later,” explains Sleep. 

Sleep appreciates how World Water Day brings attention to important water issues, such as groundwater contamination, because for most people this water is out of sight and out of mind.   

“Groundwater is a hidden resource to many people who don’t think about it, yet it’s everywhere below the ground surface.” 

BACK TO WORLD WATER DAY STORIES

By David Goldberg


Water Reuse

Would you wake up one morning and drink a glass of water that your neighbour down the street used a few days ago to take a shower? 

That’s the reality for some water-stressed communities around the world, including parts of California.  

The state may be one of the world’s most affluent and robust economies, but people living in SoCal just don’t have the water supply to keep up with a population larger than all of Canada’s. 

Professor Ron Hofmann

Prof. Ron Hofmann’s research will help other communities adopt water reuse technology.

Prof. Ron Hofmann is part of University of Toronto’s Drinking Water Research Group, and he believes water reuse will be a key lifeline as cities around the world continue to experience water shortages.  

“We mostly just treat water and dump it back into the environment, but now we’re thinking of treating the water really well and sending it right back in to the community as drinking water. And that’s the way of the future.” 

So how do you treat wastewater so it’s safe enough to consume directly from a tap? Hofmann explains that it’s about having multiple barriers. 

Water that’s treated the traditional way by a municipal wastewater treatment plant is then pushed through reverse osmosis membranes and hit with ultraviolet light and strong chemicals in a process called advanced oxidation, to kill any remaining harmful microorganisms and to destroy potentially toxic chemicals.  

And while we have the methods to clean the water, there are still more barriers to overcome, says Hofmann. 

“Ten years ago, we didn’t have the technology to turn toilet water into drinking water and now that we do, it’s about overcoming the political and psychological obstacles.”  

Hofmann says it’s important for people to realize that people have been unwittingly participating in water reuse for a long time.  

A picture of reverse osmosis membrane arrays at the Groundwater Replenishment System building in California.

A picture of reverse osmosis membrane arrays at the Groundwater Replenishment System building in California.

“Take the Colorado River for example. Somebody’s sewage upstream becomes somebody’s drinking water source downstream. Do the math and you can prove that at some point about 90% of the river flow has gone through people’s homes. People all over the world have been drinking treated sewage or sewage water forever. This is not new.” 

The cost of water reuse is currently about five times more expensive than traditional water treatment methods, but there’s other benefits for municipalities to embrace this technology, even if they currently have the luxury of a virtually unlimited fresh water supply.  

“Toronto takes water out of Lake Ontario and pumps it up hill, dozens of kilometres, only to let it flow back down the lake via gravity. That’s wasting a lot of energy, whereas with water reuse, we could pump it uphill once and recirculate it within that community and we might save a tonne of energy and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.” 

There’s no plan for Canadian cities to adopt this technology anytime soon, but according to Hofmann, the future is bright and already we’re seeing attitudes about water reuse in California shifting from negative to positive.  

“Apparently at a community meeting not too long ago, there was discussions about how the recycled wastewater was going to a more affluent part of town and the people living in the more impoverished part of town were asking why the rich people were getting all the recycled water. That’s how far things have come.”  

BACK TO WORLD WATER DAY STORIES

By David Goldberg


Monitoring MIcroplastics

Every year millions of tonnes of plastic make their way into our waterways. Over time, larger plastics break down into tiny pieces that can infiltrate lakes and rivers which serve as sources of drinking water. Prof. Robert Andrews is trying to figure out the potential impact to water consumers. 

Photo of Professor Robert Andrews

Prof. Robert Andrews studies microplastics in our drinking water.

“We’re doing toxicology research along with other people around the globe, but we don’t have all the answers. Microplastics are quite different than any other compound that we monitor in water because there are so many different types of plastics with each containing a wide range of chemical additives to make them more flexible, UV resistant, etc.” 

The goal of Andrews’ research is to help provide data to policymakers about microplastics in our water so they can determine what thresholds and regulations should be in place, meaning essentially: How much plastic is too much in our drinking water? 

California recently became the first jurisdiction in North America requiring water treatment facilities to monitor for microplastics. Currently, Canada does not have a similar requirement, however recent funding provided by the federal government is allowing Andrews to carry out what he believes is Canada’s largest drinking water-related microplastic monitoring study. He cautions that we need to be careful about how this information is ultimately conveyed to the public. 

A person holding microplastics collected from a nearby water supply

Do we need to be concerned amount the amount of microplastics in our drinking water?

“20 years ago, we were learning about pharmaceuticals in our water supply, but determined that they did not pose a risk to human health because concentrations were so low. Years before that, we were talking about pesticides in water. As such, microplastics represent one of the newest emerging contaminants that we need to look closely at right now.” 

So, do we need to be afraid of what’s lurking in the water? Not right now, says Andrews. 

“Forget water for a second, there are microplastics in the air we breathe as well. For example, we are likely ingesting tire particles kicked up into the air over major highways. There are millions of tonnes of plastic in the environment, but we don’t exactly know what this means with respect to long-term impacts. That’s why we must keep moving forward with research and do what we can to help support regulations that are designed to keep people safe. 

BACK TO WORLD WATER DAY STORIES

By David Goldberg


Prof. Jeffrey Siegel | Research on HEPA filters and COVID is slim, but some experts are optimistic

January 16, 2022 | CBC


© 2022 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering