Phil Dennis (Ontario) will present “Realizing the Benefits of Bioremediation in Canada” at Virtual Remediation Technologies (RemTech) 2020 at 13:10 on October 15, 2020.

Phil’s co-presenters are Jeff Roberts and Sandra Dworatzek, (SiREM).

Phil is a Principal Molecular Biologist with more than 20 years of experience focused environmental microbiology, molecular genetic testing, enhanced bioremediation and technology commercialization. He currently directs the molecular testing services, next generation sequencing and is the innovation lead for SiREM’s research and development program. He has also played a leading role in developing relationships with many universities and serves on the Board for University of Waterloo Center for Microbial Research.

The Remediation Technologies Symposium 2020 (RemTech™ 2020) is the premier remediation technology transfer event for environmental professionals, encompassing the latest innovations in soil and groundwater remediation. Building on the overwhelming success of last year’s event, RemTech™ 2020 is expected to exceed the standards set by its predecessor. Offering a larger, more diversified program, with additional keynote speeches and networking sessions, this is an event you won’t want to miss! Considerable work is conducted in the field of contamination remediation and industrial pollutant treatments. RemTech™ 2020 provides a forum for industry experts to present these leading-edge technologies. Co-sponsors and participating organizations include government, academic institutions, and private sector organizations active in site remediation, research and application.

Established in 1987, the Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA) is one of Canada’s leading business associations with over 210 member companies. Dedicated to building a strong environmental industry, ESAA is an industry association with a business approach in providing programs that lead to its members’ corporate success.


Bioremediation is a proven and cost-effective remedial approach commonly used in the United States and Europe.  In Canada, enhanced in situ bioremediation (EISB) including biostimulation and bioaugmentation of chlorinated ethenes including perchloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) and increasingly for benzenes in groundwater is less common despite internationally recognized Canadian expertise in these fields. Barriers to implementation have included the regulatory landscape and perceptions that the geological and climatic conditions in Canada may be unsuitable for successful bioremediation.

Geological and geochemical conditions which stand out as challenges in Canada include low groundwater temperatures and the preponderance of low permeability matrices and fractured rock geology especially in the highly industrialized St. Lawrence corridor. A growing body of knowledge is providing insights into the opportunities for successful bioremediation and how to optimize approaches for successful in situ remediation of chlorinated ethenes in Canada.

Groundwater temperatures defined as cold (i.e., below 10 ºC) are commonly found north of 45 degrees latitude.  Understanding the feasibility of bioremediation and the practical limits of bioremediation of chlorinated ethenes and hydrocarbons under cold conditions is important in remedy selection and expectation management for high latitude bioremediation projects.  Examples of bioremediation at sites in Alaska, Denmark and Canada, will be presented with a focus on degradation half-lives, the presence/absence of indigenous biodegaders and remediation outcomes.

Geologies where EISB is being implemented include fractured rock as well as low permeability clay and glacial till. Low permeability strata are common in some of the most highly industrialized areas in Canada.  Originally conceived as an oil and gas extraction technology, hydraulic fracturing can be used to improve distribution of bioremediation amendments, thereby improving bioremediation outcomes. Electrokinetic (EK) bioremediation is a novel approach that uses an electrical current to move bioremediation amendments in the subsurface. Examples of successful implementation of hydraulic fracturing and EK-enhanced bioremediation to improve amendment distribution in clay strata will be discussed.

More Information

About Virtual RemTech 2020:
About Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA):
For consultation regarding Bioremediation in Canada, contact Phil at
Learn more about Phil: