The 2020–21 annual report highlights WCWC’s work to coordinate and provide water education, training and information across Ontario
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to release its 2020–21 annual report, available online at wcwc.ca/en/about/governance-documents/.
2020–21 was a challenging year, and although many programs were postponed to help slow the spread of COVID-19, WCWC developed new initiatives to provide education, training and information to drinking water system owners, operators and operating authorities across Ontario.
WCWC focussed its efforts on creating online training platforms and quickly launched virtual delivery of 20 courses. One hundred fifty virtual training sessions were delivered over the course of the year. WCWC also ensured classroom training could be delivered safely and effectively. New protocols were implemented and WCWC continued to deliver in-person training to the water professionals who required it. During the 2020–21 fiscal year, classroom, correspondence and virtual courses were successfully delivered to 4,856 training participants, despite the pandemic.
The Technology Demonstration Facility provided opportunities for education and pilot testing projects. WCWC completed five client-driven pilot testing projects, which provide information on source water quality, treatment performance and alternative treatment technologies. Seven more projects were underway at the end of the fiscal year.
Work towards improving drinking water in First Nations communities was also a priority. Support for operators of First Nations water systems was provided through hands-on and virtual training and four completed pilot testing projects.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
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre has completed 13 pilot testing projects with First Nations clients to empower them to improve their drinking water
Since 2017 the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) has completed 13 pilot testing projects to help First Nations communities improve the quality of their drinking water, and in some cases, help lift the long-term drinking water advisories that have been in place for many years.
First Nations clients have reached out to WCWC for help with pilot testing projects — small-scale and larger practical studies to evaluate the feasibility or performance of water treatment strategies and their effects on water quality. Pilot testing projects can address health-based, operational, or aesthetic water quality parameters. These projects can be completed at a client’s site or at the Technology Demonstration Facility in Walkerton, Ontario.
WCWC’s state-of-the-art Technology Demonstration Facility features the latest conventional and advanced water treatment and control technologies, Some of the pilot treatment units available include: dissolved air flotation; ultrafiltration; nanofiltration; reverse osmosis; fixed bed and magnetic ion exchange; slow sand filtration; ozone; ultraviolet light; and advanced oxidation processes.
WCWC provides clients with preliminary data throughout each project and once the project is complete, a detailed report, which is also available on WCWC’s Drinking Water Resource Library at DrinkingWaterResourceLibrary.ca is published. Clients may use the project results with engineering consultants in the selection and design of appropriate treatment systems.
WCWC has years of pilot testing experience in areas such as disinfection by-products (DBPs), iron and manganese treatment, natural organic matter, arsenic and coagulation. To learn more about how WCWC’s pilot testing services can help you optimize your water system, please visit wcwc.ca/services/pilot-testing/ or contact us at 866-515-0550.
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ann Mulvale and Mitch Twolan to the board of directors.
Ms. Mulvale has served her community in a variety of volunteer, elected and leadership capacities. Previously, she served as Mayor of the Town of Oakville, Councillor of Halton Region and President of the Association Municipalities of Ontario. Ms. Mulvale has also served on the boards of directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and as an Executive Director of Oakville United Way.
Ms. Mulvale has a history of engagement with Inter-Faith Gatherings for Women, fundraising for numerous not-for-profits locally and internationally.
Ms. Mulvale is a part owner of Soleil Salon & Spa, located in Oakville, Ontario, which focuses on assisting those on a journey with cancer.
Mr. Twolan is currently the Mayor of Huron-Kinloss. He began his political career as a Councillor for the Township of Huron-Kinloss before being elected as Deputy Mayor in 2004 and Mayor from 2004 to present. He was elected Warden of Bruce County in 2007, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and
Mr. Twolan serves on a number of boards of directors: Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative; Grey Bruce Health Unit; Saugeen, Grey Sauble, Northern Bruce Peninsula Source Water Protection Committee; Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT); and Westario Power.
Mr. Twolan is the owner of Lake Range Realty Ltd. in Point Clark, Ontario.
WCWC looks forward to the knowledge and experience Ms. Mulvale and Mr. Twolan will contribute to the board of directors.
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC), a best-in-class facility for training, applied research and technology, has a unique opportunity for an inspiring leader committed to the wellness of Ontarians and the provision of clean drinking water to all communities.
For full job details and to apply online, by September 13, 2021, visit https://wcwc.ca/about/job-opportunities/. Under the Human Rights Code, WCWC will provide accommodation in the recruitment and selection process, if requested.Read More
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) has added a new fact sheet and resources on perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water systems to its Drinking Water Resource Library.
PFAS are a large group of synthetic compounds that are often referred to as “forever chemicals”. They are used in a wide variety of industrial and consumer products, such as adhesives, cleaning products, cosmetics and specialized chemical applications, such as fire-fighting foams. This group of chemicals is resistant to heat, water, oils and grease, making them highly persistent in the environment and able to accumulate in living tissues, taking several years to decades for the body to eliminate. Due to their persistent nature, the chemicals can enter drinking water wells by leaching into groundwater.
The full fact sheet and related resources can be accessed free of charge through the Drinking Water Resource Library, at:
WCWC creates fact sheets to share information with water professionals. For more information, or to request topics for future fact sheets, please visit wcwc.ca or contact us at 866-515-0550 or email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alan Boucher and Kimberly Mitchell to the board of directors.
Mr. Boucher was employed for 20 years in the facilities services industry managing in the areas of health and safety, risk management and human resources. He was the Director of Human Resources in a multinational company before resigning to become an entrepreneur.
Mr. Boucher has developed or co-developed many corporate and industry specific policies, procedures and training programs, including in the areas of infection control, health and safety and management training.
Previously, Mr. Boucher was Chair of the IAPA Offices and Related Services Industry Group. He is a Qualified Arbitrator and a Human Resources consultant.
Mr. Boucher now owns and operates a private healthcare services company in the GTA. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from McGill University and a Masters in Business Administration from McMaster University DeGroot School of Business.
Ms. Mitchell works in the nuclear utility sector and is an advocate for energy availability and sustainability. She brings a breadth of experience in mechanical design, risk analysis, and industrial cybersecurity.
As an advocate for First Nations, Ms. Mitchell brings her experience in Indigenous engagement and passion for environmental sustainability to the board of directors.
Born and raised in Newfoundland, Ms. Mitchell is a member of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering. Ms. Mitchell resides in Bruce County.
WCWC looks forward to welcoming Mr. Boucher and Ms. Mitchell as the newest members of the board of directors.
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to announce the launch of its first course available on-demand, Ethics for Drinking Water Operators.
Ontario’s drinking water operators hold a position of trust in safeguarding public health and should recognize the importance of highly ethical behaviour as part of their role. This course will introduce participants to the concept of ethics and core ethical values. Participants will review incidents where unethical operator behaviour has jeopardized public health. The relationship between ethics and the law will be discussed, as well as the personal and legal consequences resulting from unethical behaviour. The session will include strategies for creating an ethical environment in the workplace.
This course has been developed for drinking water operators of all levels, but will be of interest to drinking water supervisors, managers and other drinking water stakeholders. Successful participants will receive 0.3 Continuing Education Units.
Ethics for Drinking Water Operators is WCWC’s first course to feature a user interface with integrated registration and curriculum. Participants are able to register and complete the course at their convenience. Work is underway to expand the number of courses available in this new format.
It has been nearly one year since the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) focused its efforts on developing e-learning and the response from clients has been positively overwhelming.
To improve access to training and help slow the spread of COVID-19, WCWC accelerated its goal to launch e-learning and since June 2020, has added 20 courses to its virtual training catalogue.
These live virtual sessions provide opportunities for interaction between instructors and participants and are delivered from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. over two days. This structure has been well received by clients:
“The instructor did an excellent job of setting the pace early in the course. Breaking it up into two half days is exactly the right amount of time to be glued to a computer” noted one participant.
WCWC’s virtual courses are offered at reduced rates but provide the same Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and are held to the same quality standards as their classroom counterparts. Clients have been appreciative of the new training options and their feedback has been encouraging, with one participant reporting, “I have done a number of virtual training courses during the pandemic. This was by far the best one to date.”
In addition to the virtual training sessions, WCWC recently launched its first fully online course, Ethics for Drinking Water Operators, which features a user interface with integrated registration and curriculum. Participants are able to register and complete the course at their convenience. Work is underway to expand the number of courses available in this new format.Read More