Drinking Water and Wastewater System Classifications and Operator Certification Updates

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Drinking Water and Wastewater System Classifications and Operator Certification Updates. Presented by: Katharine Hall Ministry of the Environment First Nations Water Symposium 2010 March 10, 2010. Agenda. Notional Classification of FN Systems Certification Updates - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Drinking Water and Wastewater System Classifications and Operator Certification UpdatesPresented by: Katharine Hall Ministry of the Environment

    First Nations Water Symposium 2010March 10, 2010

  • Agenda

    Notional Classification of FN SystemsCertification UpdatesNew Program AdministratorQuestions & Resources

  • There is no question that competent water operators are an essential element of a safe drinking water system.

    Mandatory certification is an essential component of a safe drinking water system.

    Band Councils should take full advantage of [certification] opportunities.

    Justice Dennis OConnor Report of the Walkerton Inquiry

  • Operator Certification ObjectivesTo increase the level of training available to operators To ensure consistent level of knowledge and skillTo increase the recognition of the job performed by water and wastewater operators Protect the communitys public and environmental health

  • Certification of First Nation OperatorsMinistry encourages operators of First Nation facilities to be certifiedDedicated exams available through Keewaytinook CentreContinuing Education Units (CEUs) available through OFNTSCOFNTSC is a member of the ministrys operator certification advisory groupWalkerton Clean Water Centre can provide dedicated training in First NationsOn-site trainingMobile training unit available 132 operators in First Nations hold a total of 307 certificates

  • Notional System ClassificationsOperator certification regulations do not apply directly to First Nations or to Federal systems in parks, military bases etc.Notional classification allows ministry to issue full certificates/licences to operators A notional facility assessment is a full review of the system Same process as regulated systems Letter issued Allows for experience to be used for certification

  • Notional Facility ClassificationsTo date the Ministry has issued approx 170 notional classifications to First Nations subsystems and facilities.10 additional notional classifications will be issued in the next month.Several additional systems have been assessed as equivalent to Limited Water Systems (i.e. groundwater serving less than 100 residences)

  • The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) has a mandate which includes taking practical actions to address critical gaps identified by the OConnor Commission. Includes mandate to provide training to First Nation operators on a cost recovery basisTraining Resource Walkerton Clean Water Centre

  • Operator Experience

  • Determining Experience Experience is a key element of certificationEnsures that persons obtaining certification are not just book smart but have had the necessary experience to operate a systemStrive for consistent and fair assessment1 year of operating experience means that an operator has had an opportunity to experience the typical operational requirements and issues within that period

  • What is Operating Experience?Following definition may be used:Operating experience means hands-on and/or on-site charge operating of the system. Hands-on means the applicant has been actually operating a system and that the knowledge possessed was, as least in part, gathered from daily operating experience of a system and not merely from a text book study. On-site charge means the applicant has operational responsibility for a system, and although may not be making physical hands-on operational changes, is making routine operational decisions and providing detailed and specific operational instructions to other operators.

  • Determining Operating ExperiencePart-time generally means a person who operates in a system to less than the full capacity possible for that systemWorks less hours a week than other operators in the systemWorks full time for part of the yearFull time operator means a person who is working to the fullest extent possible in that system Ministry will recognize full time experience in more than one type of facility (e.g. WWT and WWC) provided that the operator is working to the fullest extent possible in those systems

  • Exams& Other Updates

  • ExamsNew exam locations result of change in Certification Program AdministratorRequested exam sites are no longer availableExam Security MeasuresComputerized ExamsProvides greater flexibility for operators and provides instant marksPotential pilot for the end of 2010New Exam Policies:Exams results are valid for 5 yearsCancellations are not refundableExams can be rescheduled twice

  • Agreement on Internal TradeAn Agreement on Internal Trade was signed in the fall 2008 and is to become effective August 1, 2009Will allow for easier mobility of operators across all provinces/territories except Quebec which does not have a certification programProvinces met in 2008 to discuss harmonization of program requirementsCurrently developing a set of Canadian certification guidelinesOntario is reviewing options for using Canadian Standardized Exams

  • MOE/WCWC/College Partnership The MOE and WCWC have entered into an agreement with 13 Ontario community colleges to offer the course as part of their Environmental Technician/Technologist programs.College must deliver the ELC as is Students must pass courseStudents must graduate with diploma from the programPartnership aim is to:Allow graduating students to complete training requirementsDecrease training costs for new operators/operating authoritiesReduce overlap between MOE and college trainingProvide consistent college curriculum Provide a pathway for students to enter operating careerPromote the operating profession

  • AWWA and WEF have both identified future challenges in obtaining operators over next 5-10 yrsShrinking labour pool/retirements/profileMinistry has established a working group to explore ways to increase the profile of the operating careerBuild upon options identified by Confederation College in 2008Ministry is partnering with WCWC, associations, colleges and municipalities to develop tools and outreach materials to target groupsIncreasing the Profile of the Operating Profession

  • Current and Future ActivitiesOMWA and MOE are partnering on the development of a video for high school/college studentsInternet postingYou TubeGuidance councilorsSurvey sent to drinking water system owners and WEAO membersOther tools to be considered in future:Dedicated website to provide information to individuals considering a career in water/wastewater operationsYouthNew Canadians with related overseas experienceWorkers from manufacturing sector

  • Operators and Operating Authorities Ontario Ministry of the Environment Oversight of certification programSets policy/examsInspections and enforcement of certification requirements Administers, marks exams Reviews applications Processes fees Issues certificates Processes renewals Process facility and course applications

  • Ontario Water Wastewater Certification OfficeJose Sanchez, General Manager

  • Questions?

    Program Administrator:Ontario Water Wastewater Certification Operator (OWWCO) 1-877-231-2122 www.owwco.caMinistry of the Environment:Brian Gildner Manager, Certification, Training & Client Services416-212-7457Katharine Hall Certification Officer, Certification, Training & Client Services 416-212-1466Walkerton Clean Water Centre:www.wcwc.ca, or 1-866-515-0550

    ** *****Canadore College North BayCentennial College TorontoConfederation College Thunder BayDurham College OshawaMohawk College HamiltonNorthern College Kirkland LakeSault College Sault Ste MarieSanford College Lindsay Georgian BarrieHumber TorontoSt Lawrence Kingston/CornwallFanshawe LondonRidgetown Ridgetown



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