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Transforming Landscapes and Improving Lives

Transforming Landscapes and Improving Lives

Almaquin Enterprises

Transforming Landscapes and Improving Lives

Headquartered in Fort McMurray, Almaquin Enterprises Limited specializes in providing comprehensive water and wastewater management solutions that ensure regulatory compliance for various municipal and industrial applications. The company is supported by a team of dedicated professionals passionately committed to advancing water and wastewater solutions. As a trustworthy partner, Almaquin has built its reputation on innovation, sustainability, and a steadfast dedication to the communities and clients it serves. Today, Almaquin is paving the way for a future where everyone has access to clean, safe water through its commitment to excellence, profound respect for the environment, and an unyielding resolve to make a difference.

The Almaquin Journey

Under the leadership of owner Mike Hewitt, Almaquin began its operations on February 3, 2017, evolving from a sole proprietorship established in 2006. Mike leveraged his extensive two-decade experience in camp operations, proposal development, and technical background in water and wastewater treatment to establish Almaquin. His decision was influenced by a diverse career spanning various roles and industries, each contributing a unique set of skills and insights into the complexities of water and wastewater management.

Mike’s prior leadership roles at ATCO Structures and Logistics, including Proposal Manager and Deputy Project Manager, provided opportunities to apply technical expertise in water and wastewater solutions to develop bid responses to large federal requests for proposals (RFPs) and manage projects. He also gained hands-on operational experience at Metro Vancouver’s Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant while controlling the treatment processes at Canada’s largest direct filtration facility. For Mike, this comprehensive experience laid a foundation for understanding the operational challenges of meeting system demands and optimizing performance and efficiency.

Similarly, his work as a Shift Supervisor in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, overseeing front-line operations at a Class IV water treatment plant (WTP) and coordinating with operators in the distribution system, strengthened Mike’s understanding of the intricacies of managing large-scale WTPs and the importance of continuous improvement and adherence to safety and regulatory standards. His previous experiences with Canadian Natural Resources and Tervita further cemented the importance of compliance, safety, and effective water and wastewater operations management.

On-site Sodium Hypochlorite Generation.

What Sets Almaquin Apart from its Competitors?

Almaquin’s distinction in the water and wastewater industry stems from its comprehensive approach, deeply rooted in a blend of technical prowess, diverse global experience, and a broad professional network.

The foundation of Almaquin’s services is its technical expertise, accumulated through years of hands-on experience in various aspects of water and wastewater treatment, from operational management in large urban centers to critical roles in remote and challenging environments.

In addition, Almaquin’s solutions are enriched by international exposure, with significant projects undertaken in Afghanistan, Haiti, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), among others. This global experience has not only broadened its understanding of different technical and environmental challenges but also fostered adaptability and innovative problem-solving skills. Almaquin has a robust network of professionals across a range of disciplines beyond water and wastewater operators, including tradespeople, engineers, logistical experts, and other specialists, enabling Almaquin to assemble multidisciplinary teams tailored to the specific needs of each project. This team approach facilitates the creation of customized solutions that integrate seamlessly into clients’ existing operations, in consideration of both technical requirements and the broader operational context.

Most importantly, Almaquin’s commitment to delivering high-quality, efficient, and sustainable solutions sets it apart. This commitment is reflected in every aspect of its operations, from choosing the most appropriate technologies and practices to ensuring that solutions contribute positively to the environment and the communities served.

Maintaining the Highest Standards of Regulatory Compliance

Almaquin delivers water compliance solutions across municipal and industrial sectors by providing certified water and wastewater operators. These professionals stay current with the latest treatment technologies and regulatory requirements, crucial for executing the treatment processes that meet required health, safety, and environmental standards. Almaquin prioritizes professional development, offering operators certified up to level 4, addressing complex water quality challenges and safeguarding public health and protecting the environment.

Jar testing to optimize coagulant and polymer dosing.

The company employs a comprehensive approach to maintain regulatory compliance and industry excellence. This includes continuous education, rigorous monitoring of regulatory updates across all government levels, and integration of compliance into project planning. Almaquin’s initiatives extend to quality assurance, proactive regulatory engagement, environmental stewardship, client collaboration on compliance significance, and efficient incident management. Through these strategies, Almaquin assures that its operations not only meet legal and industry standards but also contribute to sustainable environmental practices.

Almaquin Enterprises contributes to ensuring compliant water for both municipal and industrial applications through its dedication to providing certified water and wastewater operators

Navigating Complex Challenges with Expertise

Almaquin adeptly addresses the complexities of water treatment operations and project management, distilling intricate engineering principles into practical, operator-friendly formats. This transformation is crucial for revising operations manuals and crafting competency tests that mirror the real-world demands of water and wastewater treatment systems. By simplifying engineering documents and aligning test content with practical operational scenarios, Almaquin ensures that operators are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary for safe and efficient system operation.

Almaquin Enterprises ensures its services meet regulatory requirements and guarantees compliance through a structured and comprehensive approach, emphasizing adherence to legal standards, continuous education, and proactive project management

The company excels in creating comprehensive operations manuals and standard operating procedures (SOPs) that cater to the nuanced needs of WTPs and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). This includes a thorough documentation of operational processes, maintenance routines, troubleshooting steps, and emergency protocols. Almaquin values operator input, incorporating their feedback to refine these documents further, enhancing both relevance and applicability.

Project management, particularly in commissioning new WTPs or revising operations manuals, is executed with meticulous attention to coordination, communication, and review processes. This structured approach extends to Almaquin’s proposal development, where a blend of technical insight, strategic planning, and collaborative review underpins their ability to secure complex contracts.

The company’s methodology emphasizes a deep understanding of client requirements, accountability, interdisciplinary cooperation, and a commitment to long-term partnerships, fostering its reputation as a reliable and expert industry partner.

Almaquin has developed a series of tools that contribute to its operational efficiency, illustrated through the successful initiatives at the Lake Cowichan WTP. These tools not only standardize processes and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements but also enhance the overall performance of the plant by improving staff competency, equipment reliability, and emergency preparedness. The protocol involves the creation of SOPs and process control narratives, training and competency matrices, streamlined reporting, equipment maintenance and troubleshooting, emergency response planning, inventory management for critical spares, quality monitoring and compliance, facility classification, and advancement of operator certification.

Social Outreach

Almaquin supports volunteer organizations that seek to strengthen capacity in under-resourced communities and provide disaster preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.

Operators Without Borders (OWB) is collaborating with the Nakuru Water and Sewerage Company (NAWASCO) in Kenya on a certification initiative. This partnership began in November 2022, motivated by NAWASCO’s efforts to expand and improve their water and sanitation facilities. These upgrades were recognized by UN Habitat and the Global Wastewater Initiative (GWI), highlighting NAWASCO as a candidate for this project. The program’s aim is to bolster internal capacity through train-the-trainer approaches, essential for enduring water and wastewater management practices.

The 2022 phase of the project concentrated on wastewater treatment certification and training. Plans for 2024 include extending the program to encompass water treatment processes. In support of this expansion, Almaquin is contributing to the initiative’s success by dispatching a volunteer certified operator to Nakuru in May 2024. This operator will provide level 1 water distribution training to NAWASCO’s local operators, ensuring they are well prepared for their certification exam.

Arid conditions of the Ethiopian landscape.

Needs4Water, led by Asmahan Rabo, operating near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, extends its services to the rural regions of East Africa, including Kenya and Somalia. The organization focuses on enhancing water quality for communities caught in humanitarian crises and delivers critical services that improve access to clean and reliable water. Asmahan brings to her work her deep understanding of water quality analysis and a strong desire to support underprivileged areas. Needs4Water utilizes Asmahan’s fluency in English, Swahili, and Somali, her water quality assessment skills, knowledge of standards like ISO/ IEC 17025, and advanced testing techniques to tackle water quality issues effectively. Almaquin supports Needs4Water’s efforts, furthering Asmahan’s vision of positively impacting public health and environmental sustainability.

Success Stories

Almaquin’s contribution to winning bids for securing complex O&M contracts, including North Warning System O&M, CFS Alert, 5-Wing Goose Bay and Kandahar Airfield Utilities, combines technical knowledge, strategic planning, and effective communication in proposal development and project management. This approach, emphasizing a comprehensive understanding of requirements, multi-disciplinary collaboration, and long-term relationship focus, positions Almaquin as a strategic and reliable partner in the industry.

Almaquin leverages its experience in developing marketing materials and winning quotes to stand out in the competitive water and wastewater management industry by focusing on several key strategies. These key strategies include tailoring proposals to client evaluation criteria, highlighting technical expertise and innovative solutions, demonstrating a commitment to compliance and quality, strategically using testimonials and case studies, clearly communicating value and return on investment, utilizing visual elements and professional formatting, employing active engagement and thought leadership, and leveraging digital marketing and social media platforms.

A recent highlight for Almaquin was the awarding of the contract to manage the Class 3 WWTP at the Correctional Service Canada (CSC) minimum security facility at William Head. This project not only involves operational responsibilities but also includes a mentoring program for inmates interested in wastewater treatment careers as part of their rehabilitation.

William Head Minimum Security Institution located 25 km southwest of Victoria

Over the years, Almaquin has successfully managed and optimized WTPs and enhanced remote camp facilities through a series of key projects, showcasing their proficiency in delivering comprehensive, efficient, and reliable water management solutions. For a project in South America, Almaquin played a pivotal role in finalizing commissioning of a WTP for a mining site camp that was behind schedule. The on-site Almaquin field representative took decisive action to familiarize himself with the site’s water process, coordinated with subcontractors, and oversaw the critical commissioning of the SCADA system, ensuring the project’s success.

Underground water supply in Andes. Well head protection with buried lines to pumping station, reservoir, and generator.

Another example is the Haiti earthquake response in 2010. In the aftermath of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake, Almaquin deployed a Facilities Manager to the heavily affected areas of Port-au-Prince, assisting a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) project to construct three temporary facilities for displaced government workers, integrating self-sufficient power and essential services. Despite facing numerous challenges, including supply shortages and public health concerns, the deployed team successfully initiated the project, managed operations working with local staff, and successfully transferred the facilities to the Haitian government. This project demonstrated Almaquin’s ability to operate in crisis situations and led to further projects aimed at enhancing Haitian government organizations, including the Haitian National Police and the Port-au-Prince Department of Public Works.

Disaster response for provision of potable water. At a Global Medic site in Haiti to Investigate effectiveness of the Nomad Water Purification System

A Bright Future Ahead

Over the coming years, Almaquin is poised for significant growth and expansion, particularly in areas that align with its core competencies in water and wastewater management while embracing opportunities for innovation and community engagement.

Almaquin is also looking to broaden its reach into the Arctic and remote communities, providing water and wastewater operational support on large construction projects that necessitate the establishment and oversight of multiple camps.

Additionally, the company is developing training courses that will count towards Continuing Education Units (CEUs), essential for operators to keep their certifications current. This step further underlines Almaquin’s commitment to professional development within the water and wastewater sector.

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