Canadian Teachers are Waiting to Educate Over 61,000 Canadian Students About Drinking Water Quality Issues and Solutions

Canadian teachers are currently waiting for the opportunity to educate over 61,000 Canadian students about drinking water quality issues and solutions. In order to be able to do this they will need over 1,700 sponsored Operation Water Drop, Operation Water Pollution and Operation Water Biology kits to be sent to their schools. Individuals and companies can sponsor kits for schools. If you/your company sponsors kits, you/your company will be acknowledged in the letter that accompanies the kit. You can even decide in which geographic area your kits will be dispersed or to which specific school(s). Please e-mail if you would like to sponsor Operation Water Drop, Operation Water Pollution and/or Operation Water Biology kits or if you would like more information.

Educational Kits for Schools

Many school divisions and districts from coast to coast are recommending the Safe Drinking Water Foundation's education programs to their teachers!  Thank you to all of the administrators who are promoting our programs!  To find out whether a sponsored kit is available for your school,  send an e-mail to or phone 306-934-0389.


Learn More About Our Two New Education Programs

Operation Water Biology
Operation Community Water Footprint


IBROM – Integrated Biological and Reverse Osmosis Membrane

SDWF scientists from around the world contributed to the development of the Integrated Biological Reverse Osmosis Membrane (IBROM) drinking water treatment process which is redefining the future of water treatment, not only in Canada but around the world. The IBROM treatment system was developed on some of the most challenging source waters anywhere in the world and produces a drinking water quality which surpasses the most stringent of all international water quality standards while leaving the smallest possible environmental footprint.  First developed on ground water at Yellow Quill First Nation it has now been perfected and implemented full scale on surface water at Saddle Lake Cree Nation. The IBROM system can be implemented anywhere in the world and is more cost effective and environmentally friendly than conventional treatment systems (i.e., manganese greensand, etc.). When a ten year operating budget is taken into consideration the IBROM is undoubtedly the system of choice, with low operating costs and the only truly sustainable water treatment system available to our knowledge.

Water quality that is second to none - How does it work??

The IBROM treatment system, as the name suggests, uses microorganisms to remove contaminants such as iron, arsenic, sodium, and sulfate to name a few, instead of using oxidants or chemicals that are commonly used in conventional treatment systems. Conventional treatment systems rely on various chemicals to oxidize the contaminants that are found in source waters; these chemicals are often fruitless when dealing with very poor source waters. Therefore, instead of using chemicals/oxidants, the IBROM system utilizes naturally occurring bacteria, in a controlled environment, to remove the contaminants from the treated water. Following this step, the treated water then goes through a Reverse Osmosis membrane and then slight amounts of chlorine are added to prevent contamination in the distribution system. What’s interesting is that the IBROM treatment system renders water so pure, that the treated water must pass through a mineral bed of calcium and magnesium to increase pH and add nutrients that are beneficial to human health. The IBROM treatment system is currently operational in five First Nation (i.e., George Gordon, Paskwa, Dakota Dunes, Yellow Quill, and Saddle Lake Cree Nation) communities and is in the process of becoming operational in many other First Nation communities.

Cost effective and environmentally friendly!!

In addition to the health benefits of procuring safe drinking water, the IBROM system is significantly more cost effective and environmentally friendly than the conventional manganese greensand treatment system. A quick comparison between the IBROM system and the manganese greensand system at George Gordon First Nation shows the following: biological filters (IBROM) need to be backwashed 36 times less than the manganese greensand filters; backwash water has decreased to .4 million litres (IBROM) from 23 million litres (i.e., 98% decrease in water usage); backwash labour has decreased to 40 hours from 1,440 hours per year (i.e., 97% decrease); and it is estimated that over $100,000.00 is saved each year when considering the reduction in chemical costs, the infrequent membrane cleanings, and the reduction in human labour. Clearly, the IBROM treatment technology is highly innovative and tantamount to this, very practical and sustainable.

Proven success!!!

In 2001, the SDWF was contacted by Yellow Quill First Nation (located approximately 300 km from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) concerning the deplorable state of the community's drinking water. Prior to 2001, Yellow Quill First Nation had been on a boil water advisory since 1995 because of poor source water and inefficient treatment equipment. Dr. Peterson (SDWF Principle Scientist) agreed to intervene and undertook a nearly two year long research endeavour where he lived on the reserve and tested, developed, and piloted various treatment processes. At the end of the two years, Dr. Peterson and other SDWF scientists had devised a treatment process that was not only unconventional, but one that actually worked. Thus marked the inception of the IBROM system (2005) and the removal of the nearly decade long boil water advisory at Yellow Quill First Nation. The tangible success of the IBROM can be seen quantitatively, but also in real terms, as it removed a nearly decade long boil advisory that could not be lifted with conventional treatment methods and, therefore, greatly improved the lives of those living at Yellow Quill.

Sapphire Integrated Biological Reverse Osmosis Membrane (SIBROM) Treatment Systems in First Nation Communities

There are 15 full scale SIBROM water treatment plants in operation. Two more are scheduled for construction in 2016.

George Gordon First Nation Commissioned December 2005
Pasqua First Nation Commissioned December 2005
Dakota Dunes Casino Commissioned 2007
Saddle Lake Cree Nation Commissioned May 2011
Yellow Quill First Nation Commissioned September 2011
Whitecap Dakota First Nation Commissioned September 2011
Kawacatoose Commissioned November 2012
Poundmaker     Commissioned September 2013
Muskeg Lake Cree Nation Commissioned September 2013
Witchikan Lake Commissioned April 2014
Saulteaux   Commissioned June 2014
Moosomin   Commissioned June 2014
James Smith Commissioned December 2014
Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation Commissioned September 2015
Shoal Lake Cree Nation Commissioned October 2015
Mistawasis First Nation Scheduled for construction in 2016
Sturgeon Lake First Nation Scheduled for construction in 2016

For more information about Sapphire Water please visit

 Learn more

Integrated Biological Filtration and Reverse Osmosis treatment of cold poor quality groundwater on the North American prairies

Development of Effective Drinking Water Treatment Processes for Small Communities with Extremely Poor Quality Water on the Canadian Prairie