Application of genomics tools to guide the design of passive water treatment for mining-impacted waters

CIM Montreal 2015
Monique Haakensen (Contango Strategies), Vanessa Pittet (Contango Strategies)
When designed in a scientifically guided manner, passive water treatment (such as constructed wetlands) can treat various constituents in water. This presentation will discuss two case studies, a mine in the Yukon, and an exploration site in the Northwest Territories, both with very different water chemistries and constituents targeted for treatment. In each case, we have applied genomics tools to guide the design of passive water treatment for mining operations and long-term closure scenarios, with a focus on removal of several constituents, including selenium. A site-specific, phased approach was used in each case, to allow for improvement, optimization, and flexibility for modifications along each step. Highlights include the application of microbial profiling technologies (genomic and growth-based) to guide the system design in a site-specific context. The application of microbiome technologies to the site assessments allowed for the identification of natural, biogeochemically beneficial microbial communities and associated ecosystems occurring at the sites. These beneficial micro-organisms were then also correlated with native wetland plant species to identify the best candidate(s) for planting the constructed wetland, along with other properties of the plants, such as their root oxygen loss, water depth tolerance, and decomposition rates. Site-specific constructed wetlands were then designed and piloted for these sites, with influent concentrations of approximately 15 μg/L and 30 μg/L selenium, respectively. Outflow concentrations of 1.9 μg/L and
Keywords: Processing, genomics, bioreactor, bioremediation, passive treatment, water treatment
Full Access to Technical Paper
PDF version for $20.00
Other papers from CIM Montreal 2015