Now reading

Study in Calgary, Canada Hopes to Improve Future Waste W...

Study in Calgary, Canada Hopes to Improve Future Waste Water Treatment

Lee Jackson, a professor in the University of Calgary’s department of biological sciences, is currently doing a project with his students concerning the treatment of waste water. The study aims to eliminate the hormones and chemical products contained in drinking water, which can cause certain health problems, like cancer, to develop. “The water that we

Bow River overlooking city of Calgary, Canada.  Grassy bank of river in foreground, leading to a bridge, beyond which is the skyline of Calgary

Lee Jackson, a professor in the University of Calgary’s department of biological sciences, is currently doing a project with his students concerning the treatment of waste water.

The study aims to eliminate the hormones and chemical products contained in drinking water, which can cause certain health problems, like cancer, to develop. “The water that we drink comes from someone else’s waste water,” explains Professor Jackson.

In order to evaluate the quality of the water coming from the water treatment plant of Calgary, the team of researchers will conduct their tests in canals that recreate the ecosystem of the Bow River, the metropolis’ source of drinking water.

Next spring, fish will be introduced into the canals, as well as different medications. This is in order to see the effect of chemical products on the fish’s genetic code. “Genes that are activated or deactivated, or changes in the population of fish would indicate contaminants,” explains Jackson. The results will then be applied to humans.

Stoney Trail bridge over Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Pump station also visible on right next to the bridge

Jackson explains that certain particles are so tiny that they sneak through the different water treatment tanks and end up in the area’s drinking water. The effects of chemical products have already been observed in humans. “A lower rate of fertility, as well as an increase in cancers, has been observed in people living in industrialized countries,” he says.

The scientist hopes, through the study, to be able to develop technologies for eliminating these carcinogens from waste water.

What is your community doing to sustainably increase the quality of and access to its drinking water? How reliable is the drinking water in your community? Share your city's stories in the comments below.

Original article, originally published in French, here.

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Become a Patron of The Global Grid
Intern photo

Katelyn Hewett recently graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. During her time at St. Olaf, she enjoyed playing the French Horn in the St. Olaf Band, working as a teaching assistant for first-year...

Tuesdays, in your inbox.

Weekly local urbanist news and jobs. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!