The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to announce that a redesign of the user interface for the Drinking Water Resource Library is now complete. Owners, operators and operating authorities of Ontario’s drinking water systems, and the public, can now browse through the more than 5,000 resources more easily and search for information or bookmark pages for future reference.
The Drinking Water Resource Library is an online database of trusted information on drinking water. A variety of resources that relate to drinking water quality or common issues found in Ontario are available. WCWC has curated groups for the most popular searches, making it easier to browse for information. These topics include regulatory guidance, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), arsenic, lead, legionella and microplastics.
The library is can be accessed free of charge at www.DrinkingWaterResourceLibrary.ca or through www.wcwc.ca/services/drinkingwaterresourcelibrary/.
Do you need help mastering math? WCWC has launched a new course, Fundamental Math. Helen Liu, Scientist, developed the course and tells us more about what you can expect to learn.
What does the course cover?
This workshop-style course provides water system operators with the opportunity to improve their math skills related to daily operations. Basic concepts will be reviewed, and participants will practice solving calculations related to flow rates, detention times and dosages using the ABC’s formula/conversion tables. The content incorporates essential math skills required for Operators-In-Training, Class I and II operators and Limited System operators.
Will I earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?
Successful participants will receive 0.7 CEUs.
When is the course being offered?
A live, virtual session is scheduled on April 8 and 9, 2021 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and an in-class session is scheduled on May 5, 2021 in Kitchener, Ontario.
Does WCWC provide any other math courses?
WCWC is busy developing an intermediate-level workshop-style math course. The new course will provide participants with the opportunity to solve calculations related to water distribution systems. It will be most beneficial to Class II and III, Water Distribution and Supply and Water Distribution operators. It also allows operators from other categories and/or levels to practice on questions regarding flow rate, detention time, feed rate, chemical dose, pump efficiency and more.
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Noel Kerin to the board of directors.
Dr. Kerin grew up in a farming family in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland. He is a graduate in medicine and biochemistry from the National University of Ireland and McGill University (Occupational Health Sciences). He holds a fellowship designation from the Canadian Board of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Noel is also a member of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Canadian Occupational and Environment Medical Association of Canada.
Dr. Kerin practices medicine in the fields of occupational and environmental medicine. In this field he has worked with many of the toxic agents that affect water systems. He is the lead physician studying occupational diseases at General Electric (GE) and Ventra Plastics, Peterborough, Ontario since 2004. The GE investigation is the largest worker toxicology study conducted in Canada.
His work in organizing national conferences in occupational and environmental medicine has allowed him to work with international experts in the fields of occupational and environmental health. Dr. Kerin has firsthand knowledge of the results of industrial pollution of water in such places as Peterborough, where there was major pollution of the water basin of the Little Lake/Otonabee River system. These experiences have encouraged him to want to work further for our clean water.
Dr. Kerin and his family’s work in the community has involved being a spokesperson for the Lung Association in the “second-hand tobacco exposure in children” debate and an organizer of the Breath of Hope Relay fundraising. He has been a member of and Chair of the Board of the Asthma Society of Canada.
WCWC looks forward to welcoming Dr. Kerin as the newest member of the board of directors.
For more information about WCWC, please visit wcwc.ca or contact us at 866-515-0550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to announce that it will be delivering two virtual courses at the upcoming Assembly of First Nations 4th Annual Water Symposium.
On behalf of the Aboriginal Water and Wastewater Association of Ontario (AWWAO), WCWC will be delivering Managing Drinking Water Systems in First Nations Communities and New Watermain Commissioning. WCWC is proud to work with AWWAO to make this training available to First Nations Chiefs, Councillors, managers and supervisors who have operational responsibility for water systems, and drinking water operators.
The 4th Annual Water Symposium will be held virtually on February 17 and 18, 2021. The theme of the event is “Protecting Water During Uncertain Times”. Access to safe, clean water is more important than ever as the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the uncertainty facing First Nations with respect to water. For more information about the 4th Annual Water Symposium, please visit afn.ca/2021-water-symposium/ or learn more from AWWAO at awwao.org.
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new course, Distribution Fundamentals: Water Storage Facilities. This course has been designed to provide drinking water operators working in water storage facilities with fundamental skills related to equipment, routine maintenance, and legal requirements for secondary disinfection. Through case studies and videos, participants will learn how to safely operate and maintain storage facility equipment. The course will also include an overview of regulatory requirements and an introduction to supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
This course is ideal for distribution operators with minimal experience working in water storage facilities. The content may also be of interest to distribution operators looking to improve their skills performing various operational and maintenance activities on equipment used in the distribution system.
Successful participants will receive 0.7 Continuing Education Units.
The first virtual session is scheduled on March 2 and 3, 2021, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The live session will provide opportunities for interaction between the instructor and participants. Participants will require access to a computer with internet connection, a camera and microphone. A course manual will be couriered to each participant prior to the session. The cost to register is $245.00 + HST.Read More
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.
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC), in partnership with Keewaytinook Okimakanak/Northern Chiefs Council, is focusing on projects that support drinking water operator training, certification and mentorship for First Nations communities.
For the first time, WCWC will be offering the course, Managing Drinking Water Systems in First Nations Communities, in a live virtual format. This course is designed as an introduction to management practices related to the drinking water systems in First Nations communities. It provides a high-level overview of drinking water systems, explores components of effective drinking water system management and provides resources and practical tools for consideration in developing or making improvements to current practices. This course is designed for First Nations Chiefs, Council and management who have operational responsibility for drinking water systems.
Each live training session will provide opportunities for interaction between the instructor and participants and will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. over two days. Two sessions are currently scheduled on February 3 and 4 and March 3 and 4, 2021. Participants will require access to a computer with internet connection, a camera and microphone. A course manual will be couriered to each participant prior to the session.Read More
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) successfully hosted the provincewide live, virtual workshop, Drinking Water Quality Management Standard — Vision 2020, on November 4, 5, 25 and 26.
This workshop was planned for spring 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to host two virtual events in support of Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS) representatives, utility managers, drinking water operators, regulators and municipal decision makers. One hundred twenty-three participants rotated through interactive breakout sessions to learn about applying QMS principles, change management strategies, records management, best management practices, the Ontario Watermain Disinfection Procedure, asset management, transitions to DWQMS 2.0, and continual improvement to wastewater and linear infrastructure.
This was WCWC’s ninth year hosting this popular workshop, and the virtual format was well received. “Extraordinary job on hosting virtually…I commend all for the great job” noted one participant.
To ensure information sharing, workshop presentations will be available on WCWC’s Drinking Water Resource Library at www.DrinkingWaterResourceLibrary.ca.Read More
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 email@example.com or call WCWC directly at 1-866-515-0550.Read More