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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call WCWC directly at 1-866-515-0550.Read More
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to release its 2019–20 annual report, available online at wcwc.ca/en/about/governance-documents/.
The annual report highlights WCWC’s work to enhance programs to provide education, training and information to water system owners, operators and operating authorities, and the public, across Ontario. WCWC’s CEO, Carl Kuhnke, noted “in the fiscal year the Centre had over 450 course offerings around the province, dealt with over 4,000 online Drinking Water Resource Library queries, and exceeded 6,000 views of its technical YouTube site. Over 100 First Nations drinking water operators have now been certified to Ontario’s rigid standards. It was, once again, a highly successful year, in spite of the pandemic.”Read More
Walkerton Clean Water Centre Hosting Virtual Workshop: Drinking Water Quality Management Standard – Vision 2020
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to be hosting a live, virtual workshop, Drinking Water Quality Management Standard – Vision 2020, on two occasions this fall.
This live, virtual workshop will be geared toward Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS) representatives, utility managers, drinking water operators, regulators and municipal decision makers. Participants will 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. As well, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) will provide an update on the DWQMS program.
This will be WCWC’s ninth year hosting this provincial workshop in support of its clients. Feedback from past participants has been excellent. One 2019 participant noted, “…really look forward to the workshop every year. It’s always a great experience and I take so many best management practices back to use.”
Two workshops are scheduled for 2020:
- November 4 & 5, 2020
- November 25 & 26, 2020
The cost to register is $450.00 + HST.Read More
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to announce that it has resumed in-person classroom training.
WCWC has incorporated a COVID-19 Training Session Protocol to enhance safety for participants and staff. The protocol includes pre-screening for venues, participants and staff, physical distancing and disinfection measures.
A variety of courses across Ontario are now open for registration. WCWC will also continue to offer live virtual training. For further information, or to register for any of WCWC’s upcoming courses, please visit wcwc.ca/registration or contact us at 866-515-0550 or email@example.comRead More
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) recently completed a pilot testing project with the Township of Tay to address seasonal taste and odour events.
The community has been experiencing seasonal taste and odour events, such as geosmin and methyl-isoborneol (MIB) in the raw and treated water. The community’s ultrafilter effluent was used to test an advanced oxidation process (AOP) (high UV dose + hydrogen peroxide) and granular activated carbon (GAC) to reduce taste and odour compounds. WCWC confirmed that both AOP and GAC removed the taste and odour compounds to below the odour threshold; however, additional chlorine was needed after the AOP process. The township and engineering consultant will use the results to select the appropriate treatment for their system upgrades.
WCWC conducts pilot tests for clients to enhance their understanding of source water characteristics and the performance of treatment processes and alternative treatment options. Bench or pilot scale projects can be undertaken at a client’s location or at the Technology Demonstration Facility in Walkerton.
WCWC has years of pilot testing experience in areas such as natural organic matter, disinfection by-products, iron and manganese treatment, arsenic, and coagulation. Pilot testing reports are available on WCWC’s Drinking Water Resource Library at www.DrinkingWaterResourceLibrary.ca, which is a free online portal that assists drinking water professionals find information on various topics.
To learn more about WCWC’s pilot testing services, please visit wcwc.ca/pilot-testing/ or contact us at 866-515-0550.Read More
WCWC recently launched virtual delivery of four popular courses. Venkat Ramani, Senior Operational Instructor, talks about what you can expect at the upcoming virtual course, Prevention and Control of Nitrification:
- What is the course about?
Participants who register for this course will learn the basics of nitrification, the impact of nitrification on distribution systems and storage facilities, different treatment and operational strategies to control/prevent nitrification, key monitoring parameters that provides an insight if there is any onset of nitrification and how to prepare an Action plan to prevent nitrification.
This course is designed for operators, supervisors, managers of water utilities and consultants.
- When is it being offered?
July 7 & 8, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Will I earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?
Our virtual courses provide the same CEUs as their classroom versions. Prevention and Control of Nitrification has a CEU value of 0.7.
- How do I access the course?
To register for the course, visit wcwc.ca/registration and a link for the session will be emailed to you. A course manual will be couriered to each participant a week prior to the course.
- What is the cost?
Virtual courses are being offered at reduced rates. The cost to register for the virtual delivery of Prevention and Control of Nitrification is $245 + HST.