Ontario Construction Report special feature
With an increased environmental focus, infrastructure project dewatering has become more complicated, but technological advances are creating new opportunities for specialists including Aquatech Dewatering Company.
Aquatech president Andy Ingriselli says, while his company may have begun in 2006 as a dewatering specialist, the business has expanded its scope. “Our early work focused on allowing infrastructure work to continue below ground where high water tables were a factor but we quickly recognized the need for a lot of different pumping requirements and now work as more of a fluid management company.”
Ingriselli says Aquatech now delivers potable water to sites, works with feed water systems and slurries, and establishes temporary bypasses of sewers or fire pumps. “Dredging of storm water bodies is another big area of our business,” he says. “Especially in southern Ontario it seems a lot of these are in need of maintenance and dredging in an environmentally safe way is the best method to do what needs to be done while keeping them online.”
Applying the technologies at hand and adapting global technologies to Ontario’s environment, Ingriselli says his business has been able to fill a void no one else has served effectively. “The demand for our expanded services is high,” he said. “We accepted both the challenge and the responsibility in taking on this larger function.”
Aquatech’s experts can contribute most effectively when they are consulted before projects commence. “What we like to see, and what is happening more, is our involvement from pre-construction through wrap-up,” Ingriselli says.
He says the it is vital to anticipate the needs and requirements of everyone in the industry. “We work closely with both regulators and engineers to ensure we are meeting compliance and contracting requirements, but also the intent of those needs. We work with hydrobiologists, ecologists and other specialists to ensure we are following best practices and that in all cases, potential impact is minimized.”
Ingriselli says increasingly work is year-round, with “a lack of winter shutdowns” in the past five years. “Planning is more proactive to get over weather hurdles in many cases and creativity ensures we keep up.”
He speaks of working in Ontario’s true north where winter protection and heating systems keep water moving in -40 degree weather. “The key is monitoring so we can be alerted at early stages to prevent freeze-ups and sites supported by automatic back ups to take over if something happens.”
As with all sectors recruiting qualified people is a challenge but Ingriselli says as the company, and its reputation grows, more people with infrastructure and environmental experience are discovering Aquatech. “We recruit a lot of young people, provide training and in that way the company grows organically but attracting people with experience helps us grow in other ways.”
Ingriselli says part of that growth is adding people to specific positions like quality control and safety to ensure they not only comply but exceed standards. “It can be a challenge though finding people with experience say in consulting who can work at the pace of construction and keep up with the needs of an active project.”
“The industry is growing,” he says. “Companies who may have before aren’t handling their own fluid management any more. Instead they want a one-stop shop with professionals who can handle the work, and the permits and paperwork that go along with the job.”
For more information, see www.aquatechdewatering.com.