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Oct 13 2020

Innovative TC Energy-funded technology goes worldwide

Posted by TC Energy
Groundwater remediation technology adapted to provide potable water at orphanage in Haiti

The orphanage in Haiti may be thousands of miles away from TC Energy’s Beiseker compressor station in Alberta, but there is now a very direct link between these two places.

Thanks to a successful partnership between Darcy Bye, an Environmental Specialist at TC Energy, and Dr. Roger Saint-Fort, an Environmental Chemist at Mount Royal University, sustainable groundwater remediation technology that Roger developed for the compressor station has been adapted to provide potable water for approximately 500 children at a Haitian orphanage.

“I was searching and coming up with ideas to help solve water issues in the world. But nothing really captured my imagination until I conceptualized the technology at Beiseker,” says Roger. “Then I saw the benefit of it, and oh man, it can really change the world.”

Research and development at Beiseker

The Beiseker Compressor Station was built in the 1960s and originally included a centralized area on site – which has since been removed – that captured fluids, discharges and water from the compressor station.

Darcy says, “We’ve continuously improved how we operate our stations and our engineering design. This technology has given us a really great opportunity to further explore groundwater remediation.”

Darcy proposed the development and field trial of the groundwater technology through TC Energy’s Technology, Development and Innovation program, which offers the opportunity for any TC Energy employee to submit an innovative idea, defend their business case and receive funding to execute the project.

After two years of lab tests and three years of field tests, the technology was officially a success, with great results showing remediated groundwater at Beiseker.

“What we developed is a very sustainable, solar-powered, cost-effective and low maintenance solution to groundwater remediation,” says Darcy.


Sharing the knowledge


Roger says the partnership gave him the opportunity to think outside of the box.

In 2017, Roger, who is of Haitian descent, was volunteering in Haiti when he had an epiphany to adapt the technology to provide potable water for the orphanage.

After taking half a day to install the system – spending $2,000 in addition to using key equipment donated by TC Energy – Roger then devoted a few hours to train orphanage personnel on how to operate and maintain the system. In the three years since, the orphanage has reported no problems with the potable water system and has redirected the $25,000 they previously would have spent annually on bottled water to other areas within the orphanage.

“The system produces 5,000 litres of water every day – they now produce enough water to even give some to community members,” says Roger.

Roger is customizing the potable water technology for use in other countries including Cameroon, Nigeria and Vietnam. He is also currently in discussions with the World Health Organization to offer his technology worldwide.

I have really big ideas and plans for the technology from a humanitarian standpoint. Life has been good to me and I like to give back to the world. I can share my knowledge and apply it to improve the quality of people’s lives – that is extremely rewarding to me.”

Roger Saint-Fort, PH.D., P.Ag
Mount Royal University, Environmental Chemist