Humber and Carleton receive NSERC grant for collaborative drinking water research project

Humber has received its first Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grant for a collaborative project with Carleton University and industry partner MS Filter Inc.


Shawn Cleary, a professor in Humber’s Civil Engineering Technology and Sustainable Energy and Building Technology advanced diploma programs, will be the faculty lead on the project, which will develop and test a new system to provide safe drinking water in small and remote Canadian communities.


“Unsafe drinking water is an ongoing concern, even in a developed country like Canada,” explains Cleary. “Currently, approximately 1500 Canadian communities, most of them small or rural, are under a boil water advisory due to inadequate or unmaintained treatment facilities. The grant will allow us to work on increasing access to simple and effective water treatment technology for thousands of Canadians.”


Cleary and his colleagues from Humber and Carleton will be working with MS Filter Inc., which has a proven low maintenance water treatment system for use in small communities.


The grant will allow the team to work on integrating MS Filter’s existing pre-treatment process, which uses ozone (generated onsite using air) and biological filtration, with the latest ultrafiltration membrane technology to decrease the system’s size (area requirements) and its operation and maintenance requirements.


The goal is to have a low footprint, chemical-free treatment system that is simple to operate and maintain.


“We’re helping to provide many communities with more sustainable options to access clean, safe drinking water,” Cleary says. “As well, we will be helping to advance the field of treatment processes within the water industry overall.”


Along with the obvious benefit to small or remote communities, many of them Aboriginal, the project will also provide benefits to Humber, its students and its partners.


“This funding will allow both Humber and Carleton to strengthen their applied research in the field of water treatment, while also promoting the benefits of collaborative research between colleges, universities and industry,” says Cleary. “It will enable faculty researchers to remain innovative and current in their field, while also exposing our students to valuable hands-on research. We will also be helping MS Filter Inc. expands their client base, which should help to create new jobs in Ontario over the next 10 years.”


Funding for this project has been provided by: