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INDUSTRY FOCUS – BluMetric Environmenta

INDUSTRY FOCUS – BluMetric Environmenta

 BY JAMES CARELESS

Mission-Ready WATER

Clean drinking water is the most important commodity that the Canadian Armed Force (CAF) needs access to. Without clean drinking water, all military operations eventually grind to a halt. 

Ensuring that the CAF has access to clean drinking water wherever they are posted is the mission of BluMetric Environmental. Headquartered in Ottawa, BluMetric Environmental is a publicly traded environmental consulting and engineering company that designs, fabricates, delivers and services clean water processing systems for defence, commercial, and industrial clients across Canada and the United States. 

“We pride ourselves on providing our clients with mission-ready water on land or sea,” said Corey Switzer, Director of CleanTech and Military Market Leader at BluMetric. “But that’s not all: Our clean water systems are built to require minimal consumables and power, which decreases our environmental impact wherever we may be with the Canadian Armed Forces.” 

PARTNERING WITH RHEINMETALL 

For the past decade, BluMetric’s Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (ROWPU), has been helping the CAF access the clean drinking water it needs while in theatre. Such is the usefulness of the ROWPU, that the CAF wants to acquire a smaller, more portable version for units of 125-250 people. 

To this end, Rheinmetall Canada has been selected by the Canadian government to provide these smaller self-contained units, under the name ‘Advanced Sub-Unit Water Purification System’ (ASUWPS). In turn, Rheinmetall Canada has signed a 3-year $11.7 million contract with BluMetric to help build this product, which is due for final delivery in 2025. 

 “Winning this contract definitely positions us to be the preferred water partner to the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Switzer. “Functionally, the ASUWPS is a quarter of the size of the ROWPU, which fits inside a 20′ shipping container. Yet the ASUWPS can process the same range of water types, such as brackish, turbid, salt, and water with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear contaminants.”

The ASUWPS is a quarter of the size of the ROWPU and fits inside a 20

SUPPORTING AOPS WITH THALES 

In 2017, the Canadian government awarded a 35-year, $5.2 billion contract to Thales Canada (Thales) to provide In-Service Support (ISS), refit, repair, maintenance and training to the country’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) and Joint Support Ships (JSS). 

Part of Thales’ ISS contract includes maintaining the water purification plants on the AOPS, which is where BluMetric Environmental comes in. “We have signed a standing offer agreement with Thales Canada to support everything associated with clean drinking water on the AOPS,” Switzer said. 

Winning this standing offer is a big achievement for BluMetric. “As our first-ever contract with Thales Canada, it’s a milestone marker for us,” said Switzer. “As many people may know, there have been some potable water issues onboard the AOPS. Even though the ones that have been built to date do not have BluMetric equipment, we have the expertise to service and support them. We know how to ensure reliable drinking water purification on these ships, and we’re always happy to support the CAF in any way we can.”

SCOTT HEALEY JOINS BLUMETRIC 

In order to serve clients well, a company needs executives who understand their requirements inside and out. This is why BluMetric has recently hired retired Royal Canadian Navy Commander, Scott Healey, to serve as the company’s Strategic Partnership Manager- Military. 

“I’m transitioning to the private sector after a 42 year career in the Canadian Armed Forces, primarily both in Ottawa and Halifax, the latter being where the majority of my career was,” Healey told CDR. A surface warfare officer by occupation, he commanded four Kingston-class warships over five years, and served as Special Requirements Director for Innovation at Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. 

“We’re very, very excited and glad that Scott chose the BluMetric team to join,” said Switzer. “He’s going to help us make some huge changes here in the military landscape at BluMetric.” 

Asked why he joined BluMetric, Healey replied, “there is no mission without water and we’re an organization that understands that. Besides, BluMetric met three very important criteria. First, they are conscientious in their commitment to the environment. Second, water is a people issue, and therefore those in the Canadian Armed Forces deserve to have the most advanced water systems available so that they can carry out their missions. And third, the people who work at BluMetric very much impressed me in their commitment to consistently providing clients with world-class products.”

: According to Switzer, BluMetric prides itself on providing mission-ready water on land or at sea

SPREADING THE WORD  

Given all that BluMetric Environmental does for the CAF — how its members benefit from the company’s water purification systems every day — one would think that the company would be well-known in Canadian military and defence circles. But it isn’t: “We’re like a very well-kept secret,” said Switzer. “Even though we’ve been doing business in Atlantic Canada for decades, a lot of people have no idea who we are and what we do.” 

This anonymity doesn’t change the fact that BluMetric has been a trusted CAF partner for decades and will remain as such for many years to come. It helps that this company has everything it needs in-house to keep its clients’ drinking water safe, at a time when global supply chains are still recovering from COVID-19. “We have full capabilities from start to finish in our company, from environmental services design and engineering all the way to the actual water systems that are required to help complete environmental solutions,” Switzer told CDR. “With more than 160 employees across 10 offices, we’re large enough to have all these in-house capabilities. But we’re still small enough to be agile, reliable, and responsive to our customers.” 

As for the future? “Our goal is to continue the momentum that Corey and our team have built over the last couple of years in the defence realm,” said Healey. “Clean drinking water may not be as sexy as weapons systems and fighter jets, but it is just as vital to military success: There is no mission without water. BluMetric wants to become that company of first choice on the speed dial when people want to have their potable water issues dealt with in a professional and quick manner.”

James Careless is CDR’s Ottawa Bureau Chief

 

 

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