Environmental Management System (EMS)
EPCOR’s E.L. Smith and Rossdale Water Treatment Plants (including the system reservoirs) were registered under ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 in February 2015. These are two international standards for managing facility environmental (EMS) and worker safety (Occupational Health & Safety Management System) requirements. Collectively these are both referred to as the Edmonton Water Treatment Plants integrated Management System (EWTPiMS).
The EMS was formally certified under ISO 14001:2004 by the registrar SAI Global in early 2015. Dual audits and registration allowed for the OHSMS for the Water Treatment Plants (WTPs) to be certified under OHSAS 18001 as well in early 2015. The EWTPiMS conforms to the EPCOR enterprise-wide HSE-MS which provides an overarching set of high-level standards and procedures that support operational activities. At the Edmonton WTPs and reservoirs, site-specific standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been developed to address particular environmental items and related worker hazards in each of the operational areas.
The EWTPiMS requires regular internal audits be conducted to assess the management system as a driver for continual improvement. The 2015 internal audit was conducted July 12-17, 2015 by an external consultant who reviewed both the environmental and OH&S management systems. All audit findings are tracked in a formal Audit Tracker worksheet to facilitate managing the corrective actions taken to address each audit finding. As per the audit schedule for the EWTPiMS, the annual surveillance audit by the registrar SAI Global was conducted November 23-25, 2015. This audit demonstrated that the EWTPiMS is conforming to all the requirements of these two standards for environment and safety. The certified EWTPiMS satisfies the commitment for EPCOR Water Treatment Plants to have an ISO 14001 accredited EMS under the EnviroVista Champion Approval and the related Stewardship Agreement.
The ISO 14001 international standard was updated in 2015 to include some additional requirements – it is now referred to as the ISO 14001:2015 Standard. To transition the EWTPiMS to this new version of the ISO 14001 standard (facilities have up to three years to transition), EPCOR held a full-day Transition Workshop on January 28, 2016. An external consultant whom is a subject matter expert on the :2004 and :2015 versions of ISO 14001 provided insights to allow management to set a clear path for transitioning the EMS in 2016. A gap analysis to identify changes needed to the EWTPiMS will be completed mid-2016.
In addition to the WTPs and reservoirs, the Edmonton Waterworks System also consists of the Water Distribution & Transmission (D&T) system facilities, i.e. the infrastructure to deliver potable water from the WTPs to the reservoirs, and from the reservoirs to each customer. The EMS and OH&S-MS for Water D&T is being further developed to meet all the conformance requirements of ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007. An internal audit of Water D&T was completed in February 2016. It is expected that SAI Global will conduct dual registration audits in late 2016 and Water D&T will have its EMS accredited under ISO 14001:2015 before 2017. With the EMS for both the WTPs and Water D&T accredited, this will fulfill the EnviroVista commitment to have the entire Edmonton Waterworks system certified under ISO 14001 – a major milestone and coming success for EPCOR Water Canada.
The Operations Program for the Edmonton Waterworks is comprised of plans, operational philosophies and procedures used by staff to manage the waterworks system. This ensures consistent production and reliable delivery of high quality drinking water while reducing environmental impacts. The Operations Program overview document is a requirement of the EnviroVista Approval and is an integral component of the Edmonton Waterworks’ Environmental Management System (EMS) accredited under ISO 14001. A team of subject matter experts from across EPCOR Water Canada collaborate throughout the year to keep the Operations Program up to date and changes to the Operations Program are reviewed annually by management. The first Operations Program was released on December 31, 2012. The most recent revisions to the Operations Program were completed on February 28, 2016 and included:
- a new Notification Procedure for communication with Alberta Environment and Parks and Environment Canada regarding planned releases to the North Saskatchewan River, e.g. powder activated carbon in Rossdale water treatment waste stream released to the river during the spring runoff period (this compound has minimal environmental impact when returned to the river);
- a new Communication Protocol for releases from the water treatment plants and the inclusion of a screen capture illustration of the Water Outage Map from EPCOR’s internet site;
- updates to the list of analytical parameters (section 4.2) in the Water Quality Monitoring Plan and related Appendix A;
- updates to field reservoir storage volumes and distribution system pressure zone map for City;
- updates to Emergency Response Plans; and
- updates to key Risk Action Plans in the Drinking Water Safety Plan.
Drinking Water Safety Plan
EPCOR is committed to maintaining a source-to-tap, multi barrier approach to provide safe drinking water to its customers. The Drinking Water Safety Plan (DWSP) addresses environmental considerations related to public health risks associated with the supply of drinking water. Over 40 EPCOR employees were involved in identifying and assessing these risks to the water system and public health. DWSP risk assessment was completed for the Edmonton Waterworks in 2012 and an Action Plan was developed in 2013 to address eight key risks that were determined to require further action.
The DWSP process is based on the concept of continuous improvement and the plan-do-check-act cycle. The DWSP was reviewed and updated in early 2015. In early 2016, EPCOR convened the subject matter experts once again to review the entire DWSP in depth. The team was asked to re-assess all of the risks and identify any new or emerging risks. This in-depth review resulted in the addition of twelve more key risks and interventions to the 16 key risks that were on the Action Plan. The action plan for 2016 will mitigate these 28 risks and are broken down into five “Source-to-Tap” areas; Source Risk, Treatment Risks, Reservoir Risks, Pipeline Risks and Customer Risks. For details on this analysis, contact EPCOR.