Since 2007, the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) has offered hands-on training to support Ontario’s postsecondary students. Operation of Conventional Treatment Processes (OCTP) is a three-day course that gives participants the opportunity to operate, monitor and troubleshoot a pilot conventional drinking water treatment plant. It also provides hands-on experience in the laboratory where participants monitor basic water quality parameters and work with on-line, bench-top, and handheld analyzers. Training has been provided to nearly 1,000 students to date.
WCWC followed up with Lindsay Taylor, a recent participant from Niagara College and Environmental Technician candidate, to talk about her experience with the course:
What can students expect to learn from the OCTP course?
LT: “Through in-class and hands-on experience, students can expect to enhance their existing knowledge of the conventional processes for treating drinking water. The OCTP course was focused primarily on daily sampling and analysis processes that one might encounter as an entry-level drinking water operator. Day one, we went on a tour of the Technology Demonstration Facility and began laboratory techniques for general water quality analysis which included jar tests, calculating coagulant dosage, and turbidity. Experiencing these techniques firsthand was extremely valuable to my coursework.”
How did you find the course material related to your studies?
LT: “The OCTP course is an exceptional compliment to Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators. Personally, the OCTP course brought to life the concepts we learnt about disinfection and maintaining water quality. For example, we explored the concept of breakpoint chlorination and other critical chlorine disinfection information through in-class training and a group-based lab activity. This combination allowed students the time and space to engage thoughtfully with the material and safely make mistakes.”
Have you had the opportunity to use any of the information you learned?
LT: “The material that comes out of this course comes up time and time again in the classroom. While I am still training to take my Operator-In-Training exam and complete Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators, I look forward to using the technical skills I gained out of the OCTP course as a future drinking water operator and Environmental Technician/Scientist.”
Would you recommend the OCTP course to others?
LT: “If you envision yourself as a future drinking water operator and are in a recognized Ontario college program, I highly recommend you take this course. The instructors and course outcomes are designed in a way to set everyone up for success. Everyone that participated in the program was able to take away something that suited their individual interests. The memories made throughout the program, both in the classroom and between colleagues, are priceless.”