Micropollutants as an emerging treatment issue for Canadian drinking water treatment

Invited speaker: Benoit Barbeau

Water treatment plants have been historically designed for the removal of suspended solids, solar and pathogens. Over the last two decades, the presence of traces of organic numerous contaminants such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals have been reported worldwide in potable waters. Although micropollutants are detected at concentrations well below current regulations, their presence is perceived negatively by consumers. In addition, most of the contaminants detected are not regulated and the exposure to a mixture of chemicals lead to uncertainties regarding the health impacts. The presentation will discuss the challenges posed to the water industry regarding the risk related to micropollutants(and its communication to the public). We will also review the treatment options to improve the performance of existing drinking water as well as wastewater treatment facilities.

Benoit Barbeau is a professor in the department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering of Polytechnique Montreal where he holds since 2005 an Industrial Chair in Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution as well the role of director of CREDEAU, the Center of Research, Development & Validation of Water Treatment Technologies. Since 2005, Prof. Barbeau serves on the Quebec Public Health Institute Committee on Water which recommends water-related guidelines to the Quebec Ministry of Environment. He wrote chapters of the Quebec Drinking Water Treatment Design Guidance Manual. As part of his Chair, the main focus of Dr. Barbeau research revolves around the development of novel treatment strategies for drinking water. Dr. Barbeau also participated to RES’EAU-WATERNET, an NSERC Strategic Research Network dedicated to the provision of Safe Drinking Water to Small Rural Communities. Prof. Barbeau has published over 125 peer-reviewed papers on water treatment during his career. He completed over 60 consulting projects with municipalities, including 24 out the 25 largest ones in Quebec.

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