The Microplastics Fingerprinting project is a highly integrated research project that relies on our partnerships with the private sector, governments, NGOs, watershed organizations and water utilities to provide an authentic and practical approach to our research. Working hand-in-hand with our collaborators brings new insights, hands on experience and sophisticated understanding of the challenges and potential solutions to the fore. Our partners will play a critical role in transferring research outputs to the types of organizations and agencies that can use the results to improve their understanding and approach to the problem.
The City of Brantford is a municipality of approximately 102,000 people located in southwestern Ontario, on the Grand River. The City gets its water supply from the Grand River and manages their water and wastewater services. City staff are supporting this project with technical expertise as well as assisting with knowledge transfer to municipal and provincial governments.
The City of Kitchener is a municipality of over 470,000 people located in southwestern Ontario, on the Grand River. About 80 per cent of the City’s drinking water is derived from groundwater, while the remaining amount comes from the Grand River. The City shares responsibility for water with the Region of Waterloo.
EPCOR Water Services, Inc. provides clean water and safe, reliable energy to more than two million customers in four provinces and three states. With more than 3,500 employees, they build, own and operate electrical transmission, natural gas and water distribution networks; water and wastewater treatment facilities; drainage systems; and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. EPCOR will offer technical expertise and support to the project as well as assist with knowledge transfer to municipal and provincial governments.
Environment and Climate Change Canada is a federal ministry that informs Canadians about protecting and conserving their natural heritage, and ensuring a clean, safe and sustainable environment for present and future generations. They are responsible for monitoring water quality, water science, cleaning up our lakes and rivers and protecting water. In this capacity, they are assisting the project by providing water samples from across the country, and will support knowledge exchange and collaboration efforts across federal government departments.
Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization is to work with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities. Among other issues, they work to develop and implement campaign plans that aim to reduce plastic pollution through new or strengthened provincial and federal legislation. In this project, Environmental Defence will support message development and knowledge transfer to policy and decision makers.
Hoola One Technologies is a private sector company that provides innovative solutions to help restore ecosystems affected by plastic pollution to their natural state. Their technology uses a buoyancy separation method that allows collection of plastic particles as small as 50 um. Our project is working with Hoola One to accelerate the development of sampling equipment that can be deployed in plastic litter clean-up campaigns.
Ontario Clean Water Agency provides their clients with total solutions in water and wastewater, including operations and maintenance services (e.g., water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, stormwater, etc.). OCWA supplies wastewater services to one of our other partners, the Region of Waterloo. OCWA will offer technical expertise and support to the project as well as assist with knowledge transfer to municipal and provincial governments.
The Region of Waterloo is a mid-sized community on the Grand River in southwestern Ontario of approximately 618,000 people. The Region is responsible for treating, disinfecting and supplying drinking water for the Cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and the Townships of Woolwich and Wilmot. The Cities and Townships are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the water distribution systems. The Region owns 13 wastewater treatment plants, which are operated by the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA). The Region will offer technical expertise and support to the project as well as assist with knowledge transfer to municipal and provincial governments.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of watershed communities through the protection and restoration of the natural environment and the ecological services the environment provides. TRCA’s jurisdiction includes an area that inhabits 5 million people and comprises nine watersheds, plus their collective Lake Ontario waterfront shorelines. TRCA will assist the project by providing water quality data, practical advice to the research team on the use and interpretation of the data, as well as assist in knowledge transfer to a variety of audiences.