Chris McCue

McCue Engineering Contractors manufactures PANAQUA™ water and wastewater treatment products at our facility in Delta, BC. PANAQUA™ is the result of many years of research and development, and some pretty tough projects in some pretty rough environments. PANAQUA™ equipment is built to handle rugged Canadian industrial site conditions.

Our innovative, compact and efficient water and wastewater treatment solutions can be containerized for ease of installation and fast start-up in remote areas. With dependable equipment and practical designs that are easy to operate and maintain, PANAQUA™ is the water and wastewater treatment solution for mining, oil & gas, pulp & paper, manufacturing, work camps, small communities and more.

Tell us about yourself?

I have been working in wastewater treatment and contaminated site remediation technologies for almost 30 years.

I graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)’s Environmental Protection Technology program in the 90s. My first job was in environmental consulting, focusing on contaminated site management and remediation. After two years of general field experience, I joined a specialized Remediation Group responsible for managing site remediation projects. I worked in consulting for five years before founding McCue Engineering Contractors in July of 2000. McCue Engineering started as a remediation contracting company and grew into the water and wastewater treatment manufacturer that it is now.

I have stayed in contact with my Environmental Protection Technology alumni by sitting on the EPT Advisory Committee, and I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from KPU in 2013.

I also serve on the Board of Directors for the British Columbia Environment Industry Association (BCEIA), Mining Suppliers Association of British Columbia (MSABC) and the Mine Suppliers Trade Association (MSTA Canada).

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Trust your instincts. Your mind will doubt you, but your instincts know what is right for you.

What problem does your business solve?

Panaqua Solutions

We manufacture water and wastewater treatment systems that are durable, practical and flexible for rugged and remote locations. Remote sites need equipment that lasts, is easy to maintain and is easy to operate. PANAQUA™ was developed to reduce downtime and ensure operators are able to keep treating water.

What is your magic sauce?

McCue’s TIPs program trains Indigenous people how to operate water and wastewater treatment systems, providing opportunities for technical work close to their home communities.

TIPs create meaningful, sustainable, and rewarding technical careers for people living in Indigenous communities. The program is a driver to promote interest in science and technology. Successful applicants will have the opportunity for a career in water treatment. With support from our technical team, our TIPs operators may eventually wish to become potable water or sewage system operators in their communities.

Industry understands the importance of developing trusting, respectful relationships with Indigenous communities based on shared values. Through this program, companies will create full-time, permanent, technical positions, providing an opportunity for Indigenous people to work in or near their home communities, while taking an active role in the protection of the environment.

The government needs a solution for Indigenous communities with drinking water advisories, and one hurdle is finding qualified personnel who can operate water treatment systems. An objective of TIPs is to produce certified operators for drinking water and sewage systems in the Indigenous communities that need them. Through the program, successful applicants can leverage the experience they have gained to pursue further training and take this expertise back to their communities.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Continue expanding the PANAQUA™ product line and send PANAQUA™ water and wastewater s=treatment systems to every remote corner of the world

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The bidding process can be a challenge, especially when the cost is factored heavily in the decision-making process.

It is expensive to manufacture in BC, but buying from a British Columbia-based company has benefits. B.C. is a jurisdiction with strong environmental regulations and strong ties with indigenous people. B.C. has strict H&S rules and rights for workers. When you buy from a B.C. company, you buy that too.

How can people get involved?

Please visit our website at www.panaqua.ca.