One of the biggest clean water challenges faced by many communities is land – or rather, the lack of it. As urbanization increases and urban development intensifies, the need for clean water grows and housing crowds into areas traditionally used for large-scale wastewater treatment settling ponds. System operators have no room to expand.
When New York City needed to upgrade its water supply, one of the innovations it incorporated into the new system was state-of-the-art ultraviolet purification technology from TrojanUV, based in London, Ontario. Trojan’s UV technology is equally attractive for retrofitting into existing water treatment systems, a benefit that has helped TrojanUV’s sales grow to more than 8500 installations on six continents.
The TrojanUVSignaTM system is specifically designed for large-scale wastewater disinfection applications, makes conversion to UV disinfection easier, reduces total cost of ownership compared to chemical disinfection, and simplifies maintenance for the wastewater treatment plant operations staff.
The compact design of TrojanUV’s ultra violet light products enables municipalities with existing infrastructure to simply remove a small section of pipe and fit the technology in place. It’s proven to be a real game changer because it makes it very easy for municipalities to say, “We will add this into our treatment train.”
TrojanUV is one of the largest firms in Ontario’s diverse clean water technology industry. There are approximately 300 companies in total in Ontario’s water sector, most of which are active in global markets and offer technologies ranging from remote leak detection for water mains to process management software for wastewater treatment plants.
One Ontario company that is creating an international stir in the water treatment industry is Xogen® Technologies Inc., based in Orangeville, Ontario. Xogen has developed a wastewater treatmentprocess that is odourless, compact, scalable and reduces the treatment time compared to conventional systems. It combines the benefits of electro-oxidation, electro-flotation, electro-coagulation, electro-flocculation, and disinfection into one unit process.
The proprietary electrochemical processes effectively eliminate many types of hazardous contaminants found in industrial wastewater discharges, wastewaters from mining and mineral processing, electricity generation, pharmaceutical, petrochemical manufacturing, and others. This technology is proven effective for the treatment of organics, ammonia, cyanides, nitrates, metals, oil and grease and suspended solids reduction.
The Xogen Wastewater Treatment System is modular, which allows it to be very flexible and capable of handling virtually any volume of wastewater. Xogen’s electrochemical process has rapid treatment times that enable the systems to have a smaller footprint than traditional biological treatment systems where retention times are typically long.
In addition to the company’s internal product development team, Xogen is in a collaborative research and development partnership with the University of Toronto Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, and Mathematics. These departments are assisting with product development in the following areas: power electronics, electrode materials, and treatment reaction identification and modeling. This relationship has been funded by Xogen, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, MITACS, and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
The combination of research expertise and support for innovation is part of the reason why Ontario has become a center for clean water technology companies. The success of these firms is also one of the reasons why Canada has become one of the world’s leading exporters of water technologies. That focus on innovation, backed by market-proven expertise, holds the promise that Ontario companies will continue to develop more solutions to help communities solve their increasing needs for clean water. ■
Michael Stewart is the senior economic officer in New York City for the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade, and Employment. He can be reached at For more information about the companies mentioned in this article, visit or
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