Walkerton, ON — The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) was recently invited to participate in a Water Operator Maintenance Workshop hosted by Mamaweswen, the North Shore Tribal Council (NSTC).
Twenty water operators from across NSTC attended the workshop from October 31 to November 3 in Sault Ste. Marie to learn about water system maintenance and enhance their practical skills through hands-on training.
WCWC delivered four courses focused on the needs of small water system operators: Advanced for Small Drinking Water Systems; Disinfection: Sodium Hypochlorite; Performing Inspection and Maintenance on Fire Hydrants; and Watermain Repair Logistics. Feedback from participants was positive, with 100 per cent indicating that they thought the courses were good or excellent. Attendees appreciated the combination of theoretical and applied activities, with many commenting that the course provided a “really good mix of hands on and ‘book’ training”.
WCWC spoke to Ken MacLeod from NSTC about organizing such a successful event and his suggestions for others who would like to do the same,
“Having been a First Nation Water Operator, when I saw the Call for Proposals for Water and Wastewater Operators through ISC’s Capacity Building I knew hands-on training was needed, and I knew WCWC could help. Several of our 7 serviced communities had a labour shift with retirements, new operators, new treatment plant, and operators moving up to management. Training gaps were identified.
NSTC Technical Services worked with WCWC to identify the 4 courses that best fit the need of the operators. The WCWC team even developed the new course Disinfection: Sodium Hypochlorite around our request.
We invited neighbouring Tribal Council Community Operators and Partners to join our training. This made networking opportunities for our operators. The Operators gained confidence in their maintenance activities and learned some very valuable health and safety lessons.
The Workshop was such a success that our member operators would like us to arrange annual Hands-on events.”
WCWC would like to congratulate NSTC and all of the operators who took the time to participate in the training and contribute to safe drinking water in their communities.