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
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