John McKinnon, PE
John McKinnon is a seasoned industrial water and wastewater process engineer with more than 45 years of experience in design, operations support, and regulatory affairs. His projects address a range of processes including biological treatment, physical/chemical treatment, sludge and residuals handling, and effluent recycle and reuse.
John has worked on projects in the U.S. and globally across a variety of industries including pulp and paper, plywood and dimensional lumber, petrochemicals, electronic materials, consulting services, and municipal wastewater.
Guiding water and wastewater projects to success
Mr. McKinnon’s water and wastewater work focuses on creating operational improvements, robust and reliable treatment processes, and cost-effective designs. His innovative thinking has guided projects involving large and small biological treatment systems such as aerated lagoons, conventional and enhanced activated sludge, trickling filters, moving bed biological reactors, and membrane biological reactors.
Mr. McKinnon maintains a deep understanding of physical and chemical treatment processes including coagulation/flocculation; clarification, including sedimentation, dissolved air flotation, sand filtration, fine media filtration, and ultrafiltration; reverse osmosis, softening, direct oxidation, color removal, heavy metals removal, odor and hydrogen sulfide control, pH control, wastewater neutralization, mixing, adsorption, surfactants removal, and disinfection.
Lowering disposal costs
In addition to his water and wastewater treatment skills, Mr. McKinnon is proficient in sludge and residuals handling including trash screening, belt presses, screw presses, centrifuges, recessed cavity plate and frame presses, and fabric filter presses. The design, operational, and technical advice he provides to clients consistently results in improvements with solids handling and reductions in disposal costs.
Reducing fresh water use in a water-scarce world
Mr. McKinnon has worked with numerous manufacturing sites to reduce fresh water use through effluent recycle and reuse. The facilities that seek his counsel enjoy increased operational security, reduced environmental impacts, and improved standing with neighbors and regulatory agencies.
John McKinnon began his environmental career as a co-operative student at the GA Water Quality Control Board while attending Georgia Tech. Following graduation in 1977, he performed reverse osmosis pilot trials and designed wastewater treatment processes for International Paper at its Mobile, AL research lab.
In 1979, John began providing wastewater treatment technical services for the Monsanto Chemical Corporation at their Chocolate Bayou and Texas City, TX petrochemical complexes. Later, he served as the environmental manager at the Monsanto Electronic Materials Company silicon wafer plant in Spartanburg, SC.
Following a brief consulting tour with Brown and Caldwell, in 1986, Mr. McKinnon became a regional environmental manager for Stone Container (now known as RockTenn), where he handled all regulatory issues, design, troubleshooting, and operations support for air emissions, water, wastewater, and solid and hazardous wastes at 26 of its facilities across seven states.
In 1990, John arrived at Kimberly-Clark Corporation where he served as a senior technical leader on water and wastewater issues for 23 years prior to beginning his private consultancy in January 2014. During his tenure, he coordinated water and wastewater treatment design and process improvements for more than 55 facilities around the world, including selector technology for control of filamentous bacteria infestations, physical/chemical treatment for difficult wastes, and sludge and residuals handling. He provided troubleshooting and training for the operators and engineers on water and wastewater treatment equipment and processes. He also coordinated the corporate water use reduction program, which has eliminated more than 10 billion gallons of fresh water usage to date.
John is a member of The Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) and The Water Environment Federation (WEF).
He holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree and a Master of Sanitary Engineering degree – both from GA Tech.