The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is excited to launch live virtual delivery of four popular courses. Each of the courses will be delivered from 8:00 am to 12:00 p.m. over two days:
- Disinfection: Chlorine – June 23 & 24, 2020
This course will introduce basic concepts related to chlorine disinfection. It will cover chlorine chemistry, its application in various forms, and factors that affect chlorine reaction. Participants will examine breakpoint chlorination, CT concept and dechlorination. Hazards associated with the use of chlorine, safety precautions and safety equipment will also be discussed. This course will be most beneficial to newer drinking water treatment operators with a basic understanding of chlorination.
- Emerging Issues – June 29 & 30, 2020
This course will provide details on some of the most recent issues facing drinking water systems. The detection of toxins associated with cyanobacterial blooms will be discussed, as well as disinfection by-products and emerging pathogens. Participants will also learn about newly discovered routes of exposure to pathogens and recently discovered pathogens that pose a threat to drinking water. Discussions will include current and proposed regulatory information along with proposed treatment techniques. This course is designed for more senior drinking water treatment operators (Class II through IV), but will be of benefit to all water treatment professionals, engineers and inspectors.
- Prevention and Control of Nitrification – July 7 & 8, 2020
This course will examine chloraminated drinking water facilities and utilities with high concentrations of ammonia in their water source that could cause nitrification. Participants will learn the history of chloramination, the formation of chloramine and the basics of nitrification. The conditions that promote and impact nitrification control measures for water quality and treatment, distribution system operations and maintenance and distribution system design. This course is designed for experienced operators, supervisors, managers of water utilities and consultants.
- New Watermain Commissioning – July 9 & 10, 2020
This course will familiarize participants with the minimum disinfection and sampling requirements outlined in the Watermain Disinfection Procedure. Material will address the commissioning process from pre-project planning, construction, disinfection and final connections. This course is directed to new and experienced distribution operators and contractor personnel involved with new watermain commissioning.
WCWC offered a pilot session of its first virtual course and received positive feedback from participants,
“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.”
These live training sessions will provide opportunities for interaction between the instructor and participants. Participants will require access to a computer with internet connection, web camera and microphone, Zoom, YouTube and SurveyPlanet (links will be sent by chat during the Zoom session). A course manual will be couriered to each participant prior to the course. Each course has a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) value of 0.7. The cost to register is $245 + HST.
Disponible en français.Read More
Over the past decade, cyanobacteria blooms have emerged as an important issue in the water and wastewater industry. Tory Colling, Scientist, explains what water professionals ought to know about cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in water:
1. What are cyanotoxins?
Cyanotoxins are produced by some species of cyanobacteria or as commonly known as blue-green algae. These toxins are typically stored inside the cells, but when cyanobacteria cells degrade, the toxins are released.
Cyanobacteria are microscopic bacteria that have some plant-like characteristics. They are commonly called “algae blooms” in the media.
2. Where are they found?
Cyanobacteria naturally occur in freshwater. In fact, they contribute oxygen in our atmosphere. When conditions are favourable, such as warm temperatures and nutrient-rich, shallow and stagnant waters, cyanobacteria can form blooms. Cyanobacteria blooms are made up of densely-populated cells that form discoloured water, which is often described as pea soup or spilt paint with an oily appearance.
Certain cyanobacteria can produce by-products, known as cyanotoxins. When these cyanobacteria cells form a bloom, large amounts of cyanotoxins can be detected.
3. What are the health concerns?
Health concerns can range from liver toxins, neurotoxins, tumor-promoting effects or skin irritation. There are different types of cyanotoxins and each type has different health concerns. The most common cyanotoxin is called microcystin. Microcystin is a liver toxin and can cause tumor-promoting effects.
4. What are some strategies to control cyanotoxins?
Reducing nutrient inputs to source water or effective reservoir/watershed management are long-term strategies to control cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins.
5. How can cyanotoxins be removed from drinking water?
For larger municipal systems, combining effectively operated drinking water treatment processes can provide a multiple barrier to remove intact cells or released cyanotoxins. Some drinking water treatment processes, such as coagulation, flocculation and sedimentation or flotation, are capable of removing intact cyanobacteria cells. While other drinking water treatment processes, such as chlorination or ozonation, are capable of degrading released cyanotoxins, provided there is enough disinfectant concentration and contact time with the disinfectant.
Some very small or private drinking water systems may only rely on point-of-entry (POE) drinking water treatment units. If these private drinking water systems suspect a bloom in the water supply, it is recommended to contact the local health unit and use an alternative water source. Very limited POE treatment units are certified to specifically remove cyanotoxins. However, in 2019, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)/American National Standards Institute (ANSI) updated NSF/ANSI Standard 53 to include a protocol to test activated carbons filters to reduce microcystins.Read More
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is proud to partner with the Municipality of Brockton in the launch of a scholarship fund to support local students pursuing careers in environmental science or clean water management.
The Walkerton Clean Water Legacy Scholarship will honour those who suffered because of the Walkerton water crisis, and support the next generation of students embracing environmental stewardship and the protection of clean water.
WCWC looks forward to supporting this initiative. “Providing a scholarship to a postsecondary student pursuing a career in environmental science or the water industry is great and we are excited to collaborate with the Municipality of Brockton,” said Carl Kuhnke, Chief Executive Officer. WCWC will be contributing $5,000 to the fund, which will be administered through Community Foundation Grey Bruce, a charitable organization with more than $1.8 million invested in education funds.Read More
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is pleased to announce that Brad Hoover has joined the team as Manager of Training and Development.
Brad has worked in the water and wastewater industry for 14 years. In his former position with the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA), he was a Senior Operations Manager and Process Specialist in the Process Optimization & Technical Services Division. He started as an Operator/Mechanic and worked his way up through management into his previous position with OCWA. Brad has extensive experience in adult education, a passion for innovation and has won numerous awards during his career.
Brad holds diplomas as a Civil Engineering Technologist and Construction Engineering Technician. He is also a certified water treatment and wastewater treatment operator.
WCWC looks forward to the contributions Brad will make to the education and support of clients as they safeguard water resources.Read More
WCWC offers a popular course, Operation of Small Drinking Water Systems, online and through correspondence. Alicia McIntyre, Training Support Representative, tells us more about this course, which is perfectly suited to the current COVID-19 pandemic, but is available year-round.
1. What topics are covered in this course?
There are four main areas covered under this course.
• Relevant legislation
• Water quality
• Water sources and methods of treatment
• Water sampling: observation, results, reporting and corrective action
2. Who is the target audience?
The target audience is participants seeking “trained person” designation under O.Reg. 170/03.
3. When is the course available? Is there a deadline to finish it?
The course is available anytime by correspondence or online. A participant has one year from date of registration to successfully complete it.
4. Are there Continuing Education Units (CEUs) available for this course?
Yes, a participant receives 1.8 CEUs upon successfully completing the course.
5. How do I register?
A participant can register anytime by following this link: https://wcwc.ca/small-systems-zone/operation-of-small-drinking-water-systems-course/. If they have any problems registering they can call WCWC directly.
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) recently completed a pilot testing project with Wauzhushk Onigum Nation, helping the community address a long-term boil water advisory that has been in place since 2012.
Wauzhushk Onigum Nation is located on Lake of the Woods in Northwestern Ontario. The lake water has high organics and colour making it a challenging water source for satisfying the requirements of UV disinfection. Before implementing decentralized point-of-entry (POE) systems for a portion of the community, Wauzhushk Onigum Nation worked with WCWC on a pilot testing project. WCWC tested POE technologies for effectiveness in removing turbidity and organics in order to improve UV disinfection. The test results were shared with consultants in the design of the decentralized water systems.
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. Completed pilot testing reports are available on WCWC’s Drinking Water Resource Library, which is a free online portal that assists drinking water professionals in finding information on various topics.
To learn more about WCWC’s pilot testing services, please visit https://wcwc.ca/services/pilot-testing/ or contact us at 866-515-0550.
Are you looking for reliable information on drinking water? Laura Zettler, Drinking Water Resource Coordinator, describes what you can find on the Drinking Water Resource Library.
1. What is the Drinking Water Resource Library?
The library is an online database of resources and website links providing information relating to drinking water. We provide this service to the operators, owners, inspectors and decision makers of water treatment systems and to the public. It is available online free of charge to anyone at any time.
2. What topics are covered?
Any resources that relate to drinking water quality or common issues found in Ontario are collected. We have curated groups for the most popular searches, making it easier to browse. These topics include regulatory guidance, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), arsenic, lead, legionella and microplastics, to name a few. We also have a new folder, being updated daily, featuring resources relating to the current coronavirus pandemic.
3. How many resources are there?
Currently there are over 5,000 resources available for browsing but we continue to add new or relevant information every day.
4. Is there a cost to use it?
There is no cost to use this service. The goal is to have information readily available to anyone who seeks it. WCWC also hosts a free helpline where we will help locate information or direct callers to the right contacts. You can contact the helpline at 1-855-306-1155 or email@example.com.
5. Who do I contact if I have a suggestion for new information?
If you have suggestions for content or would like to submit your own resources contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. WCWC also collects anonymous feedback using a survey that can be found on our library webpage.
You can visit www.wcwc.ca and find the library under the services tab or visit this link:
The spread of COVID-19 is an evolving situation that the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is acting upon. WCWC will continue to serve its clients and is making new resources available to the water sector daily through the Drinking Water Resource Library and the Helpline.
WCWC has added a dedicated section to the Drinking Water Resources Library containing links to guidance documents, fact sheets and free webinars related to COVID-19 for water professionals. This online system provides access to a variety of trusted resources and features multiple search functions to assist our clients in their search for information.
As well, WCWC staff will continue to respond to technical calls and provide information related to drinking water treatment processes, equipment, operational requirements and environmental factors through the Helpline. Staff will respond to inquiries during business hours, Monday to Friday, as we always have.
Visit www.wcwc.ca/drinking-water-resource-library/ and scroll down to view the folder of resources on the COVID-19 pandemic and the water sector or contact the Helpline at 1-855-306-1155 or email@example.com.Read More
The spread of COVID-19 is an evolving situation that the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is taking very seriously. We will continue to monitor authorities’ recommendations but in the meantime, WCWC is in the process of rescheduling all courses and events up to April 30, 2020. Registrants will be notified of date changes and can choose to reschedule or have their registration fee refunded.
For further information please contact us at 866-515-0550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you curious about pilot testing? Devendra Borikar, Technology Demonstration Lead, and Jeff Avedesian, Acting Scientist, answer common questions about WCWC’s pilot testing program:
What is pilot testing?
A WCWC pilot project is a small-scale practical study conducted in order to evaluate feasibility, duration, or performance of a water treatment strategy and its effect on water quality. This can include bench or pilot-scale projects that may address health based, operational, or aesthetic water quality parameters.
What kind of projects have you done in the past?
WCWC has completed pilots that addressed cyanotoxins and cyanobacteria, arsenic, manganese, trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, aluminum, dissolved organic carbon, chlorine, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, iron, and sulfates using various specific strategies. WCWC can also provide information to owners, operators and other decision-makers in the form of a literature review for the purpose of making educated and informed decisions.
Is the work done in Walkerton or at my site?
The work can be completed either on-site or at the WCWC Technology Demonstration Facility depending on site-specific conditions.
What do you do with the results?
WCWC provides the owner and operating authority with preliminary data throughout the pilot, a detailed report and treatment recommendations. With the permission of the client, WCWC may choose to present the study at conferences and tradeshows, and may include results from the project in future training materials.