_______ Drinking water technologies performance validation ______
According to the Bureau de normalization du Québec (Office of Normalization of Quebec, BNQ), any building or modification of a drinking water treatment plant that’s capacity exceeds 3240 L/d must be authorized by the Quebec Ministry of Environment (MDDELCC).
For water treatment technology that is considered as new (by the MDDELCC), a joint committee of MDDELCC and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MAMROT) (named Comité sur les technologies de traitement en eau potable, CTTEP) has been established to elaborate and manage a process of the technology validation.
So if you want to build a drinking water treatment system and the treatment process is based on a technology that is considered to be new technology (by the MDDELCC). Your system (that is considered as your technology) should have been validated by the CTTEP first. If not, you won’t have the authorization to build your water treatment plant.
The BNQ has been appointed as administrator of the process of validation.
Membrane filtration (reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration and microfiltration) for drinking water production is considered as a new technology. Thus any membrane treatment system that is design to produce drinking water for 20 people or more, must undergo to the process of validation before getting the authorization to be installed.
What membrane systems manufacturers or developer do is first to design and build a membrane pilot system with the required pretreatment, then pass through the process of validation by making a pilot test for 3 months, write the different reports that are required, and submit their application to the CTTEP. If they succeed, then their system is validated and they have the authorization to install five (5) full-scale systems based on their pilot system design, but just systems for treatment of a raw water that’s quality is identical or less (in term of lower concentrations of main contaminants) then the one that was used for the pilot test.
Technology validation objective
Check the performance of a pilot or a full-scale plant based on technology considered as new by the MDDELCC in order to get the authorization to install it for the treatment of drinking water in Quebec
Procedure of technology validation
The procedure can be summarized in two (2) steps:
• Submit an experiment protocol for the tests to be performed (it’s not mandatory, but it is recommended) and sign an agreement with the BNQ;
• Submit a request of technology validation and sign an agreement with the BNQ.
The documents to provide for application (to validate a technology) are specified in the following sections. However, it is necessary to clarify that you need to make a pilot test supervised by a third party during three (3) months with analysis of a set of parameters defined at a certain frequency, provide an engineering report and the tests follow-up report.
Request for checking the experiment protocol (not essential, but recommended)
Parts to submit to the BNQ:
• A completed form for service request;
• Experiments protocol;
• A statement that the applicant owns the technology commercialization rights;
• A consent form;
• Non-refundable deposit (1,500 $).
An approval with comments and a letter of acceptance will be obtained after verification of the experiments protocol.
After experiment protocol check or not, the applicant can start its pilot testing (in accordance with some procedures) for at least three months under the supervision of a third party. At the end of his experiments, he prepares the required documents and files necessary for its technology validation request and sends them to the BNQ.
Technology validation request
The validation application must include the following documents (see BNQ 9922-200 procedure).
• Completed form of service request;
• Engineering report in conformity with annex 2 (including the elaboration of technical datasheet) prepared by the applicant but signed buy an engineer;
• Report concerning the follow-up of the pilot experiments prepared buy a third party in accordance with the annex 2-A;
• Statement of non connection with the applicant;
• Form of consent to the disclosure of information received;
• Non-refundable deposit (2,000 $).
At the date of application, results must be dated of less than 5 years.
The total cost of that step is 9,500 $ (9,000 $ if the applicant paid 1,500 $ for protocol).
If the application is accepted, the BNQ signs an agreement with the applicant and the validation process begins.
The third party involvement
The third party can be an individual or a company, but he has to be an engineer or in the case of a company, it should have at least 1 engineer that has the essential competency to make the follow-up of the technology test. He must be involved in the tests and write the pilot experiments follow-up report.
Overseeing the monitoring of pilot testing
• Overseeing of sampling;
• Journaling sampling activities;
• Overseeing the monitoring of all operating parameters;
• Noting conditions at the facility during sampling for laboratory analyzes.
Writing a follow-up report
• Certification that sampling were done by a qualified person and that standards and retention periods were respected;
• Presentation of all compiled analytic results, calculation of max predictable limits for product water;
• Operating conditions that prevailed during the sampling and before;
• Nature, quantity and frequency of added products;
• Description of all the notable events occurred (breakage, repairs, adjustments, minor modifications);
• Interpretation of the impact of the interventions and events noticed on the experiments results.
The engineering report is written by the applicant, but must be signed by an engineer and must include:
• Technology description;
• Application limit and necessary pretreatment;
• Technical specifications and design criteria;
• Expected performance;
• By-products and wastewater generated by the treatment;
• The installation description;
• Results interpretation;
• Guideline and recommendation related to the operation;
• Proposal of a technical datasheet;
• The engineer signature on one page describing explicitly his mandate.
Experiments having taken place outside Quebec province
The process and the documents to introduce are identical to those for experiment tests made in Quebec, but there some little specificity:
• Supervision of testing, monitoring report and the signature of engineering report done by an engineer member of the order of the state or province where the experimental tests took place.
• Analysis of samples from the pilot tests must be carried out by a laboratory accredited according to international standard ISO / IEC 17025 by an accredited organization, signatory of the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
• The experimental results for validation should not later than 5 years ago at the time of filling the application.
Implications of the technology validation
• Find an engineering firm that will act as third party;
• Build, buy or rent a pilot unit for 3 months;
• Find a place and an appropriate raw water for the experiments;
• Make pilot studies in stable conditions for 3 months (no major change in operating parameters allowed);
• Make sampling and analysis during 13 weeks;
• Analyze experiments data and make an engineering report;
• Pay validation process fees (1 500 $ + 9 000$).
Benefits of technology validation
• A better knowledge of the performance of the technology;
• A recognition by Quebec municipalities and industries through the displayed of validation data sheet on the MDDELCC Website – A window on municipal and industry market;
• A need for selling membrane systems for water treatment in Québec;
• Obtaining of a technical datasheet « Under validation on full scale », allowing to sell five (5) systems in Quebec province.
Constraints related to the technology validation
• The associated cost (fees for: third party, administration (BNQ), pilot and experiment, sample analysis, datasheet renewal).
• The technical datasheet « Under full-scale validation » gives the possibility to sell just 5 systems. If you want to sell more, you have to undergo again to the validation process for one (1) year.
• The authorization allows only to sell equipment that have the same design and operating parameters as the pilot plant (Full scale systems can be of larger size, but membranes arrangement, pretreatment, etc. must be the same type and operated under the same conditions.
• Permission will not be granted to apply the equipment for the treatment of more contaminated raw water (highest critical parameters) than the one used for the pilot experiments.
• Undergo to the validation process and full-scale system follow-up for 1 year under third party supervision is necessary to be granted of a technical datasheet « Validated ». The technical datasheet « Validated» allow the applicant to sell unlimited systems with design and operation parameters similar to the system validated.