WCWC’s Technology Demonstration Facility serves as a platform to provide information and advice to water professionals and the public through pilot tests, tours and the Helpline. Co-op placements are available for Ontario college students who can help WCWC provide this support to our clients.
This summer, WCWC is fortunate to have Sophia Madden join us as a Student Technician. Sophia tells us more about the projects she will be working on during her co-op placement.
WCWC has been busy with pilot tests for clients across Ontario. What kind of projects will you be helping with this summer?
SM: I will have the opportunity to work on a variety of different pilot projects for municipalities and First Nations communities. Some of the projects I am most looking forward to are those that experience high levels of organics and turbidity in the raw water, resulting in a treated water effluent that needs to be improved. These plants also face challenges with the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in their distribution systems due to the higher levels of organics and DBP precursors. I will be working alongside Scientists and Technicians, performing bench-scale tests to experiment with different treatment methods, which will remove the turbidity and organics before they enter the distribution system. The most rewarding part of being on these projects will be providing the communities with information on how to improve their treatment plants to better suit their raw water sources. With modifications and improvements to their current processes, a higher quality of treated drinking water will be produced that community members can rely on.
What other activities have you been working on?
SM: I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a few activities going on around WCWC. I took the Operation of Conventional Treatment Processes course, which was a great experience to kick off my placement. Taking this course was a great way for me to brush up on my lab skills and reinforce some of the basic conventional treatment concepts I had previously learned. In addition to this, I recently had the amazing opportunity to help deliver a tour of WCWC to Grade eight and nine students from a local school to talk to them about careers in the water industry. The tour was a great introduction for the students which allowed them to learn, ask great questions, and get their hands dirty with a few hands-on activities!
You’re enrolled in the Water Quality Technician program at Durham College. How do you think your experience as a Student Technician at WCWC will contribute to your coursework?
SM: My position allows me to apply many of the concepts I learned in my first year at Durham College in a practical, lab-based setting. The pilot testing projects that I am a part of are giving me a great opportunity to further develop my water quality analysis skills, while also learning a great deal more about the different treatment methods used in the water industry to combat specific water quality challenges. This valuable hands-on experience will help me make connections between the concepts I will learn in the classroom to real-world scenarios and will give me a great deal of knowledge for when I choose to write my Class 1 Water Treatment and Water Quality Analyst exams. It will also provide me with valuable information to share with the College as the student member of the Water Quality Technician Program Advisory Committee.
What advice would you give to other students interested in pursuing a career in the water industry?
SM: My advice to students interested in the water industry is to get involved and show your passion for it! Working in the water industry is something to be proud of. Being able to provide safe, clean drinking water to the public and ensure that it is of the highest quality is something that operators work very hard to do. A great place to start would be at your own college or in your community! There may be opportunities within your college, such as clubs or committees, that will allow you to get involved with your program and make connections with professors and industry professionals. In your community, there may be volunteer opportunities that you can get involved with, such as activities for World Water Day. When it comes down to it, take advantage of the resources you are given, be enthusiastic about the opportunities that come your way, and never turn down the chance to learn something new!
WCWC provides education, training, information and advice to water professionals and the public to help safeguard Ontario’s drinking water. When available, co-op placement opportunities are advertised through Ontario colleges. For more information about WCWC, please visit www.wcwc.ca.
Are you interested in contributing to course development and delivery for drinking water professionals? The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) has opened a procurement for instructors, course content developers and reviewers. Tammy Flett, Accounting & Procurement Associate, answers some of your frequently asked questions about the procurement process.
1. I’m interested in becoming a WCWC instructor. What qualifications are required?
WCWC has two different instructor levels; Technical Trainer and Small Systems Trainer. The qualifications for each are noted below.
For a Technical Trainer, bidders/applicants must meet one of the following;
- Drinking water industry related post secondary diploma/degree,
- Certified Engineering Technologist,
- Certified drinking water operator (Class 1-4 in treatment and/or distribution).
For a Small Systems, Trainer bidders/applicants must meet one of the following;
- Public Health Inspector within the drinking water division,
- Limited Subsystem Operator,
- Trained Person,
- Well Technician,
- Licenced Plumber.
For each of these levels the combination of number of years of drinking water experience and adult learning and instructor experience will also be taken into consideration.
2. I’m interested in becoming a WCWC Course Content Developer and/or Reviewer. What qualifications are required?
To be considered for a Course Content Developer and/or Reviewer a bidder/applicant must meet one of the qualifications listed below.
- Drinking water industry related post secondary diploma/degree,
- Certified Engineering Technologist,
- Certified drinking water operator (Class 1-4 in treatment and/or distribution),
- Public Health Inspector within drinking water division,
- Limited Subsystem Operator,
- Trained Person,
- Well Technician,
- Licenced Plumber.
For the Course Content Developer and/or Reviewer the combination of number of years of drinking water experience and course development experience will also be taken into consideration.
3. I’m only interested in becoming a Course Content Developer and/or Reviewer. Is it possible to only apply for this role?
Yes, should bidders/applicants only wish to be part of the Course Content Developer and/or Reviewer and not instruct any courses this is acceptable. Self identify on your bid/application only the category of Course Content Developer and/or Reviewer.
4. What is a Vendor of Record and how do I apply to become one?
A Vendor of Record means a contractual relationship between WCWC and multiple vendors for the potential delivery of training services which includes development, review delivery and improvement of various training courses throughout the Province of Ontario, on an as and when required basis.
To become a Training Service Vendor of Record for WCWC, you will need to apply through the Ontario Tender Portal, Jaggaer Supplier Network. You may access this by following www.ontario.ca/tenders. The tender details are:
Project Tender # 16843
Project Title: Potential Provision of Training Services
Publication Date: 26/04/2022 12:10
You must register with Jaggaer Supplier Network to download the documents. Note, there is no cost to register. It is important to remember that you must express interest in the procurement to download the documents.
Important steps to remember
If you click on the button ‘Opportunities open to all Supplier’ you must express interest at the bottom of the screen. This will take you to a new screen with express interest at the top of the screen. If you go directly to RFX Open to All Suppliers you express interest one time.
To be fair to all bidders, it is mandatory for all interested parties to acquire the “RFB document”, and all “subsequent documents” related to that RFB only through www.ontario.ca/tenders (see Section 1.4 – Bid Process Requirements of the RFB).
Please note that bid submissions must be made electronically through the Ontario Tender Portal. Bid documents must not be mailed.
Important information about Jaggaer Supplier Network
WCWC recommends that bidders/applicants not upload any submission prior to the May 16, 2022 date of posting the addendum. If any submission is uploaded prior to an addendum being posted, the submission will be invalid and the bidder/applicant will be required to resubmit prior to the deadline.
For Technical Support contact Etenderhelp_CA@jaggaer.com, toll free 866-722-7390, or direct 484-335-4586.
5. What is the application deadline?
Bidders/applications must be received through the Ontario Tender Portal, Jaggaer Supplier Network before 11:00 a.m. Toronto time on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, but not prior to May 16, 2022.
6. Who do I contact if I have questions about the bid/application process?
Should you have Jaggaer Supplier Network system questions please contact Technical Support at Etenderhelp_CA@jaggaer.com or toll free at 866-722-7390.
Should you have any questions related to this procurement please contact Vijay Kandiah, Procurement Advisor, Category & Sourcing Execution Branch, Supply Chain Ontario. Vijay can be reached via email at email@example.com.Read More
Since 2007, the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) has offered hands-on training to support Ontario’s postsecondary students. Operation of Conventional Treatment Processes (OCTP) is a three-day course that gives participants the opportunity to operate, monitor and troubleshoot a pilot conventional drinking water treatment plant. It also provides hands-on experience in the laboratory where participants monitor basic water quality parameters and work with on-line, bench-top, and handheld analyzers. Training has been provided to nearly 1,000 students to date.
WCWC followed up with Lindsay Taylor, a recent participant from Niagara College and Environmental Technician candidate, to talk about her experience with the course:
What can students expect to learn from the OCTP course?
LT: “Through in-class and hands-on experience, students can expect to enhance their existing knowledge of the conventional processes for treating drinking water. The OCTP course was focused primarily on daily sampling and analysis processes that one might encounter as an entry-level drinking water operator. Day one, we went on a tour of the Technology Demonstration Facility and began laboratory techniques for general water quality analysis which included jar tests, calculating coagulant dosage, and turbidity. Experiencing these techniques firsthand was extremely valuable to my coursework.”
How did you find the course material related to your studies?
LT: “The OCTP course is an exceptional compliment to Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators. Personally, the OCTP course brought to life the concepts we learnt about disinfection and maintaining water quality. For example, we explored the concept of breakpoint chlorination and other critical chlorine disinfection information through in-class training and a group-based lab activity. This combination allowed students the time and space to engage thoughtfully with the material and safely make mistakes.”
Have you had the opportunity to use any of the information you learned?
LT: “The material that comes out of this course comes up time and time again in the classroom. While I am still training to take my Operator-In-Training exam and complete Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators, I look forward to using the technical skills I gained out of the OCTP course as a future drinking water operator and Environmental Technician/Scientist.”
Would you recommend the OCTP course to others?
LT: “If you envision yourself as a future drinking water operator and are in a recognized Ontario college program, I highly recommend you take this course. The instructors and course outcomes are designed in a way to set everyone up for success. Everyone that participated in the program was able to take away something that suited their individual interests. The memories made throughout the program, both in the classroom and between colleagues, are priceless.”Read More
WCWC’s pilot tests continue to help clients optimize their drinking water treatment processes. Holly Sun, who recently joined the WCWC team as a Scientist, tells us more about pilot testing with WCWC.
1. Why conduct a pilot test?
A pilot test is a small-scale practical study to evaluate the feasibility or performance of water treatment strategies and their effects on drinking water quality. These projects can help you address concerns related to health-based, operational, or aesthetic drinking water quality parameters.
2. Where are pilot tests conducted?
Pilot tests can be completed at a client’s site or at the WCWC Technology Demonstration Facility, which features conventional and advanced drinking water treatment and control technologies, such as dissolved air flotation, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, fixed bed and magnetic ion exchange, slow sand filtration, ozonation, ultraviolet light and advanced oxidation processes.
3. How much experience do you have?
WCWC has years of pilot testing experience in areas such as optimizing coagulant doses, reducing disinfection by-products, iron and manganese, natural organic matter, arsenic, taste and odour, aluminum, and organics.
4. What pilot tests are you currently working on?
One project that I am currently working on is to reduce arsenic from a groundwater source. Arsenic is a type of inorganic found in water. It is a proven carcinogenic that can cause skin, lung, and bladder cancer. Arsenic in water mostly comes from natural deposits in the earth. Therefore, arsenic is sometimes found at higher levels in groundwater in hard rock areas through the natural dissolution of arsenic containing minerals. For arsenic contamination, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has set the maximum allowable concentration (MAC) at 10 µg/L for arsenic on January 1, 2018, reduced from the previous MAC of 25 µg/L. Our client uses groundwater as source water for their drinking water system. Arsenic levels in their raw water have historically been 5-12 µg/L. The high arsenic level is a big concern; therefore, our client contacted WCWC for potential pilot testing to reduce arsenic in their raw water. A series of jar testing and pilot testing will be conducted on-site using two to three selected technologies/processes to reduce the arsenic.
5. How do I start a pilot test for my drinking water system?
To learn more about pilot testing with WCWC, or to request pilot testing for your drinking water system, please visit wcwc.ca/services/pilot-testing/ or contact us at 866-515-0550.Read More
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, WCWC launched e-learning in 2020. Although uptake has been tremendous, nothing beats the information exchange possible through in-person training. Carol Siegfried, Training Coordinator, explains the ins and outs of on-site training and how to book your own private session.
What is an on-site course?
This is a private session, held at your location. If you are interested in including participants from outside of your organization, you would be responsible for billing, etc. for those participants.
Can all WCWC courses be provided on-site?
The majority of our courses can be provided as on-site training. Our courses that have a hands-on component will have special requirements. As an example the host may have to supply lengths of pipe or have a larger room to accommodate the training and equipment that is shipped, area needs to be in a bay, or other requirements.
How many people can participate?
The minimum number of participants is 10 for billing, the class maximum is based on the course itself.
What do I have to provide?
As the host of onsite training, we would ask that you provide a suitable room, an overhead projector and screen, a flipchart and markers, and lunch for your participants and the trainer if this is something you customarily provide.
Who do I contact to book an on-site course?
You can contact me or you can email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll then forward you the required forms and requirements.
Are you curious about the Operation of Conventional Treatment Processes course for postsecondary students? Elliot Jones, Acting Scientist, answers your most common questions:
1.What can I expect from the course?
The course is an excellent opportunity to gain a glimpse at the roles and responsibilities associated with operating a drinking water system in Ontario. It gives attendees a chance to operate, monitor and troubleshoot our pilot-size conventional treatment plant. It also provides hands-on experience in the laboratory monitoring basic water quality parameters, and the chance to work with various on-line, bench-top, and handheld analyzers found throughout the water industry.
2.What will I learn about?
Through this hands-on course, participants gain a better understanding of operating and optimizing the conventional water treatment process. The course also provides an excellent opportunity to become familiar with jar testing at the bench-scale, collecting water quality data, and scaling the learned results to the pilot-scale treatment plant, including the necessary skills required for setting up chemical feed systems.
3.What do I have to bring?
Because this is a hands-on course, operating in both the lab and the Technology Demonstration Facility, closed toed shoes (preferably steel toe) and pants (no shorts) are required. Bring a great attitude and willingness to learn alongside industry professionals while using specialized treatment equipment to ensure you have an excellent time!
4.Is lunch provided?
Lunch is provided, and the desserts and coffee add to the great three-day experience!
Since 2007, WCWC has offered hands-on training to support students who are enrolled in Ontario colleges that include the Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators as part of their curriculum. For more information on WCWC training, please visit wcwc.ca, or contact us at 866-515-0550 or email@example.com.
WCWC supports water systems owners, operators and operating authorities as they manage their water systems to safeguard water resources. Paula VanVeen, Curriculum Development Coordinator, tells us about WCWC’s Training and Development initiatives and what’s new for 2021.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted initiatives in Training and Development?
Historically our focus has been on the development of classroom training with the incorporation of hands-on activities to enhance the learning experience. Ontario’s public health initiatives in response to COVID-19 have encouraged us to move to more online and virtual courses. While providing quality training in the classroom will always be a priority, we will continue to enhance our online and virtual development initiatives post-pandemic. These initiatives support our mandate of delivering drinking water operator training throughout the province; small systems, First Nations, remote communities and municipalities benefit from the flexibility offered by these alternative learning platforms.
How have Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) priorities driven curriculum development?
Ontario’s operators are required to take a mandatory course every 36 months as part of their certificate renewal requirements. MECP tasks WCWC with the development and delivery of the renewal course. In January 2021 a new course was rolled out, aptly named Mandatory Certificate Renewal Course 2021-2023 (MCR2123). This new renewal course has been largely developed by WCWC in consultation with the MECP and an advisory group of drinking water stakeholders provincewide. MCR2123 will be available in classrooms throughout Ontario, virtually, and by correspondence in the Spring of 2021.
The MECP has also directed WCWC to develop an Ethics course in support of its new Code of Ethics. While the vast majority of Ontario’s operators conduct themselves with honesty and integrity, the MECP has noticed an increase in noncompliance related to unethical behaviour. Ethics for Drinking Water Operators is a three-hour online course available early in 2021. The MECP’s Code of Ethics will become part of the operator certification and renewal application process.
What’s new for 2021?
Response has been very positive for our virtual course deliveries, and there continues to be interest in eLearning from our client base. We will be adding to our list of virtual offerings using theory content from existing courses supplemented by videos and interactive online group activity.
WCWC launched a new remote monitoring system. Geordie Gauld, Technician, tells us more about how the new system will assist with pilot testing projects to support water system owners, operators and operating authorities.
What exactly is the new remote monitoring system? How does it work?
Essentially, this is a small-scale Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system with cellular connectivity. It operates on many of the same principles as the monitoring and control system at a full-scale water treatment facility. A simple programmable logic controller (PLC) will take in process signals from the pilot plant, including parameters like water pressure, flow, turbidity, pH, etc. Using these inputs, we can observe system statuses, compile datasets, and generate historical trends from right here at WCWC.
How will this benefit pilot testing projects?
It can be challenging to gather complete data from our pilot testing communities. Many are in remote regions and we cannot stay onsite for weeks to manually gather data. Operators are also very busy running their own facilities and don’t have the time to manually sample and collect the data we need and get it into our hands. This system will allow us to collect complete datasets with little to no input from operators. Complete data will lead to a more effective pilot testing process and allow WCWC and the facility owner to make more informed decisions regarding the direction of the pilot testing project, no matter where the owner’s plant is located.
Being able to view the status of the system in real-time will also allow us to confirm things are running as they should be. An undetected failure in the pilot plant can render large sets of data incomplete or inaccurate and delay the overall progress of the pilot testing project.
How is one monitoring system going to be effective for multiple pilot testing projects that may have many different requirements?
By reviewing the configurations of previous pilot testing projects, we were able to compile a list of modular hardware requirements we felt would be most useful. This allowed us to wire and pre-program the unit for common configurations with the ability to use or omit certain features as desired. This approach will allow us a great deal of flexibility working with different treatment strategies and arrangements. In our hardware selection we also allowed for several “spare” inputs which will allow us to expand our capabilities in the future.
For more information about WCWC’s pilot testing services, please visit www.wcwc.ca/services/pilot-testing/ or contact us at 866-515-0550.Read More
The WCWC Training Operations department supports our clients by coordinating mandatory and specialized training for water system owners, operators and operating authorities across Ontario. Kelly Weber, Training Support Representative, answers some common questions about WCWC training.
With all the COVID-19 restrictions, are you offering in-class training?
Yes we are continuing to offer in-class training and WCWC has incorporated a COVID-19 Training Session Protocol to enhance safety for our participants and staff. This protocol includes a pre-screening for our venues, participants and staff, social distancing and disinfection measures, and follows all guidelines for “Training in COVID-19” of the Ministry of Labour.
I am not comfortable attending a class right now, what are my options?
WCWC has been offering several of our popular courses virtually, and more are under development! These are live virtual training sessions with interaction between the instructor and participants and there is a class maximum of 15. View our upcoming schedule by visiting wcwc.ca/registration.
How do I register for upcoming courses?
You can register right on our website! Visit wcwc.ca/registration and click on the course, then “register now”.
Can I have a copy of my training certificate?
For certificates for courses delivered by WCWC, you can log in to “my profile” anytime and view your course history and reprint a copy of your certificate. Or please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call WCWC directly at 1-866-515-0550.Read More
WCWC has resumed in-person classroom training with a new COVID-19 Training Session Protocol to enhance safety for participants and instructors. Stephanie Meades, Small Systems Specialist, talks more about the new self-screening, physical distancing and disinfection measures.
What does self-screening involve?
Participants will be required to complete a self-screening questionnaire prior to the training session. Self-screening will include questions regarding COVID-19 signs and symptoms, travel history and contact with individuals with respiratory illness or a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. If a participant does not pass the self-screening, they cannot attend the training session.
What can I expect at the training session?
Each training session will begin with a presentation regarding health and safety related to COVID-19. The instructor will attempt to maintain physical distancing at all times, but if it cannot be met for hands-on activities, Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required.
Is PPE provided?
WCWC will provide masks, protective eyewear and hand sanitizer for participants. If a participant refuses to wear PPE when required, they will be asked to leave the training session.
Will there be any extra disinfection measures in place?
Facilities will be cleaned and sanitized before and after the training session. Signs will be posted to ensure policies and procedures related to COVID-19 are communicated to all participants.
How many participants will be in each training session?
The number of participants will be restricted according to the size of the room to respect physical distancing requirements. If unregistered participants arrive, they will not be allowed to enter the training session.
A variety of training sessions across Ontario are now open for registration. For further information, or to register for any of WCWC’s upcoming training sessions, please visit wcwc.ca/registration or contact us at 866-515-0550 or email@example.com.Read More