Environmental Technician – Water and Wastewater Systems Operations

Tuition and FeesSecond Career

Program Title: Environmental Technician – Water and Wastewater Systems Operations
Credential Earned: Ontario College Diploma
Delivery: Full Time
Program Length: 6 Semesters
Program Status: See individual Program Codes for program status.

Program Codes
Program codes are for September intakes except those that are indicated differently.

NORT-T089 (KL) Kirkland Lake Campus – Not Available for September 2016
NORT-T089W (KL) Kirkland Lake Campus – Open January 2017

This program operates in a continuous 6-semester cycle of academic and placement cycles, requiring 2 years of continuous study or placements until graduation. Students starting the program in January 2017 will be entering into Semester 5  or students enter the program in September  2017 will enter into Semester 1.

Northern College will make every effort to assist students in finding co-op employment, but cannot guarantee co-op employment.


Program Description
The fastest path to qualification for employment in this field in Ontario. This compressed (three years into two-years), co-op diploma program prepares students with a strong combination of theory and practical systems operator experience needed to work as water and wastewater treatment operators under Ontario’s stringent standards.

Students write the Ontario Operator-In-Training examinations and the Drinking Water Operators Entry-Level Course, and through 3 co-op placement semesters obtain the experience required for Class I operator licensing. Additional courses further enhance graduate employ ability. This program is now recognized by OACETT as meeting the requirements for the Certified Technician designation for graduates.

Information for Prospective Students
Many employers provide work wear (pants, shirts, hard hats) to students free of charge while they are on co-op. However, steel toed work boots are not supplied. Therefore, the following is a suggested personal equipment list to prepare you for this program:

  • Steel toed work boots (required)
  • Work pants (optional)
  • Work shirts – orange reflective type (optional)
  • Safety goggles (optional)
  • Hard hat (optional)
  • Lab coat (optional)

Important Information: Domestic Students
In order to be eligible to write the OIT examination noted above, the Ministry of the Environment requires that all students writing their Drinking Water & Wastewater Operator/Water Quality Analyst Certification need to have their high school diploma or their grade 12 equivalency in order to qualify to write the examination. This is especially important for those mature (19 years of age or older) students who may not have completed their high school and have gained entry to the program as a mature student (see description). The grade 12 equivalency can be obtained in a number of different ways (e.g. OSSD, GED or equivalent) and you are encouraged to contact Admissions for further detailed information.

Important Information: International Students
In order to be eligible to write the OIT examination noted above, the Ministry of the Environment requires that all students, including international students writing their Drinking Water & Wastewater Operator/Water Quality Analyst Certification will need to have their high school equivalency in order to qualify to write the examination. If you have a diploma or degree we encourage you to have this documentation assessed/evaluated by sending your documentation to a recognized assessment centre and two examples are noted below:

  • WES (World Education Services) http://www.wes.org
  • ICAS (International Credential Assessment Service) http://www.icascanada.ca
  • Once your credentials have been assessed, please forward the decision/verification documentation to Northern College at admissions@northern.on.ca

You will be required to present the original documentation at the time of registration at the college.

Career Opportunities
Graduates may find employment in municipal water and waste water facilities, environmental departments in mines and other industries, solid waste management facilities, and in government.

Contact Information
Richard Kallio
Tel: 705-567-9291 ext. 3705
kallior@northern.on.ca

Admission Requirements
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Grade 12 English (C, U)
Grade 12 Math (C, U) (MCT4C preferred; MAP4C is accepted with a minimum GPA of 60%)

Or equivalent

Or mature student status (an applicant who does not have a high school diploma or equivalent, and will have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program). Mature students must undergo academic testing prior to admission into a program. Call the Admissions Office at 705-235-7222 for details. Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through Academic Upgrading.

Additional Admissions Requirements
A valid Class “G” driver’s license is required by many co-op employers. Employment as a water or wastewater operator entails a physical component including some lifting. Students who are concerned about their ability to meet the physical requirements of their intended career are strongly urged to discuss the matter with the College’s Admissions Office before registering in the program.

Semester 1
CM1903 Communications I – Model A
EV1013 Chemistry and Physics
EV2013 Soil and Air Monitoring and Sampling
GN1033 Health and Safety
GN2133 Law and Ethics
IN1093 Computer Applications for Business and Technology
IN4163 Introduction to GIS
MA1100 Mathematics I
WM1003 Water Monitoring and Sampling
WM1013 Waste Facility Design I

Semester 2
CM2903 Communications II – Model A
EL1103 Gen Ed Elective I
EV1001 Plant Design
EV1011 Plant Operations I
EV2002 Drinking Water Operations – Independent Study
EV2002 Drinking Water Operations
EV2003 Environmental Mathematics II
EV2023 Millwright
EV4001 Water Quality Analyst
EV4011 Laboratory Analysis
GN2013 Co-Op Study
WM3003 Hydrogeology
WM3033 Waste Facility Operations I
WM4003 Environmental Regulations and Legislation

Semester 3
EN2010 Co-Op Work Term 1

Semester 4
EN4010 Co-Op Work Term 2

Semester 5
BU1074 Principles of Human Resources Management
EL2103 Gen Ed Elective II
EV1023 Instrumentation
EV2004 Plant Operations II
EV4002 Chlorine Maintenance
EV4003 Environmental Mathematics III
EV4004 Pumps and Motors
EV4014 Process Control
WM4002 Waste Characteristics

Semester 6
EN6010 Co-Op Work Term 3

Semester 1

CM1903 Communications I – Model A
Communications I is a practical course designed to help strengthen both oral and written skills. Students will be exposed to a variety of learning methods and communication formats. Emphasis will be placed on the use of appropriate structure, writing conventions and style. Students will also develop discipline-specific documents as well as learn the basics of portfolio assembly and presentation.

EV1013 Chemistry and Physics
This is a course in basic chemistry and physics for water and wastewater plant operations. Topics include chemical processes involved in water and wastewater treatment, the physics of water distribution systems and wastewater collection systems, and basic electricity.

EV2013 Soil and Air Monitoring and Sampling
This is a course in basic soil and air sampling and analytical techniques for waste facility workers. Preliminary topics to be covered include soil characteristics, soil classification, soil monitoring and sampling, the composition of our atmosphere, air pollution, and air quality monitoring and sampling. Field and laboratory sessions will involve the application of these concepts as they are introduced in lecture.

GN1033 Health and Safety
This course is an introduction to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations. Topics include the Act and several related regulations. The student will also complete a valid WHMIS certification course during the semester.

GN2133 Law and Ethics
This course provides a basis for legal and ethical issues of importance to graduates and specifically covers torts, professional liability and contract law. Its goal is to begin preparing the student for professional designations and/or examinations.

IN1093 Computer Applications for Business and Technology
This course provides a brief review of MS Word and MS PowerPoint. More features of both these applications will be explored further. MS Excel is examined thoroughly along with an introduction to the use of MS Project as a project planning and management tool.

IN4163 Introduction to GIS
Introduction to GIS (IN4163) is an introduction to Geographic Information Systems. Geographic Information Systems involves the manipulation of databases to produce a variety of reports and/or maps.

MA1100 Mathematics I
This course covers basic algebra properties, graphing the straight line, basic geometry and trigonometry, factoring and solving a system of equations algebraically and by determinants.

WM1003 Water Monitoring and Sampling
This is a course in basic sampling and analytical techniques for water and wastewater plant operators. The course concentrates on sampling techniques and lab skills. Students will learn how to take representative water samples that are free of contamination due to handling. They will also learn the proper techniques for performing standard laboratory analyses on water and wastewater.

WM1013 Waste Facility Design I
This course is a detailed treatment of the techniques and principles involved in the design of facilities for waste, wastewater, and sludge treatment, including recycling plants, solid waste incinerators, sanitary landfills, and sewage treatment plants. Hazardous waste facilities, including treatment facilities for stable organics and secure landfills for nuclear wastes, will also be briefly introduced. Topics discussed include an overview of treatment systems, feasibility studies, site selection criteria, basic process responses and interactions, and a general survey of different types of waste management systems. Practical/field sessions will consist of visits to local facilities in order to view how the concepts discussed in lectures and tutorials are being implemented by industry and by municipalities.

Semester 2

CM2903 Communications II – Model A
Communications II is a continuation of Communications I and is designed to strengthen practical written and oral presentation skills. Students will apply the appropriate principles and formats to job-related documents and will continue to review grammatical structures and apply editing strategies.

EL1103 Gen Ed Elective I

EV1001 Plant Design
This course offers a thorough introduction to the design of water and wastewater facilities. The necessary information for each of the four categories in the OIT Examination (Water Treatment, Water Distribution, Wastewater Collection, and Wastewater Treatment) will be covered.

EV1011 Plant Operations I
This course offers a thorough introduction to the operation of water and wastewater facilities. The necessary information for each of the four categories in the OIT Examination (Water Treatment, Water Distribution, Wastewater Collection, and Wastewater Treatment) will be covered.

EV2002 Drinking Water Operations – Independent Study

EV2002 Drinking Water Operations
Students who successfully complete this course will have met the requirements of the Ministry of the Environment’s Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators. This course is delivered by Northern College in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment and the Walkerton Clean Water Centre.

EV2003 Environmental Mathematics II
This is a course in applied mathematics for water and wastewater treatment operators. Major topics covered include conversions, basic water treatment mathematics, and basic wastewater treatment mathematics. A methodology of problem solving will be developed which will enable students to successfully deal with a wide variety of practical scenarios.

EV2023 Millwright
This is a basic course in millwright’s theory for operators of water and wastewater treatment plants. The intention is not to provide a comprehensive view of the duties of a millwright, but rather to acquaint the student with the knowledge of a millwright’s work that is most applicable to the maintenance of water and wastewater plant equipment. The course covers basic pumps, valves, motors and alignment, seals and bearings, bolts and fasteners, and concepts in plant safety with regards to cutting and welding, and basic material handling and rigging.

EV4001 Water Quality Analyst
This course prepares students to write the MOE Water Quality Analyst Examination. Topics include applicable regulations, principles of water treatment and analyses, disinfection and microbiology, the laboratory, quality control, record keeping, lab safety, sampling, laboratory tests, and mathematics.

EV4011 Laboratory Analysis
This course prepares students for the laboratory aspect of a plant operator’s responsibilities. Topics covered include laboratory technique, safety, hygiene, and the interpretation of laboratory results in a variety of formats.

GN2013 Co-Op Study

WM3003 Hydrogeology
This course deals with geological formations and their effects on the distribution and containment of groundwater. Topics include a study of the Precambrian shield and other geological structures, aquifers, groundwater depth, groundwater conditions, artesian wells, and permeability.

WM3033 Waste Facility Operations I
This course is a detailed examination of the operation of facilities for waste, wastewater, and sludge treatment, including recycling plants, solid waste incinerators, sanitary landfills, and sewage treatment plants. Hazardous waste facilities, including treatment facilities for stable organics and secure landfills for nuclear wastes, will also be briefly discussed. Practical/field sessions will consist of visits to local facilities in order to view how the concepts discussed in lectures and tutorials are being implemented by industry and by municipalities.
WM4003 Environmental Regulations and Legislation

WM4003 Environmental Regulations and Legislation
This course offers an introduction to, and understanding of, several Acts and Regulations that Environmental Technicians and Water Treatment Technicians will encounter. Students will be introduced to these Acts and shown how to interpret them. They will additionally learn how to plan strategies for, comply with, report, and act on environmental incidents.

Semester 3 (Co-op term)

Semester 4 (Co-op term)

Semester 5

BU1074 Principles of Human Resources Management
People are one of the major elements in the success or failure of any organization. Those seeking or aspiring to a career in management must develop the skills required to recruit, interview, select, hire, train, promote (demote), transfer, sever, lay-off, recall and retire the employees in the enterprise in which they work.

EL2103 Gen Ed Elective II

EV1023 Instrumentation
This is an introductory course in instrumentation for water and wastewater plant operators. It covers basic electricity, basic motor control relays, starters, switches, breakers, overloads, and float controls, instrument recorders, process loops, and the fundamentals of PLC.

EV2004 Plant Operations II
This course studies the operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities. Material is presented at a level necessary for successful completion of the Class I Operator Examination.

EV4002 Chlorine Maintenance
This course is a thorough introduction to the use of chlorine in the water and wastewater industry. Students will learn the theory of water disinfection using chlorine and chlorine handling. They will then learn the theory of operation of chlorinators, along with confined space rules and procedures, and SCBA training.

EV4003 Environmental Mathematics III
This course offers further practice with the mathematics of water and wastewater operations, and additionally addresses mathematical skills of interest to environmental technicians. Topics include a review of problem solving, basic descriptive statistics, reliability of components and systems, and advanced data analysis and graphing techniques using Microsoft Excel.

EV4004 Pumps and Motors
This course deals with the use of pumps and motors in water and wastewater plants, including the choice of pumps and motors for a given application, their installation, use, troubleshooting, and maintenance.

EV4014 Process Control
This course teaches the importance of process control in water and wastewater operations. Students will learn the basics of measurement and control systems, process parameters, safety, the types of instrumentation found in plants, and the operation and maintenance of this equipment.

WM4002 Waste Characteristics
A thorough knowledge of waste characteristics is essential to dealing with all types of waste, and by direct extension, effectively managing all types of waste facilities. This course deals with the classification and management of non-hazardous and hazardous waste. Topics covered include the classification of waste; non-hazardous versus hazardous waste; physical and chemical characteristics of waste; treatment, storage, and disposal of waste according to its characteristics; and safety including the transportation of dangerous goods.

Semester 6
(Co-op term)

Download the complete Articulation Agreement list for Universities and Colleges (PDF, 113KB).
You can also visit OnTransfer. This site provides information and resources to help students and potential students find their way through Ontario’s postsecondary system.

Articulation Agreements – Universities

Program Degree at Receiving University
Civil Engineering Technology Athabasca (Alberta)
Electrical Engineering Technician Bachelor of Science
Electrical Engineering Technology
Mining Engineering Technician
Cape Breton (Nova Scotia)
Civil Engineering Technology Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Petroleum) or (Emergency Management) or (Environmental Studies) or (Electronics & Controls)
Electrical Engineering Technology
Welding Engineering Technology
Griffith (Australia)
Bachelor of Engineering
Laurentian (Ontario)
Bachelor of Science
Civil Engineering Technology Lakehead (Ontario)
Electrical Engineering Technology Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical)
McMaster (Ontario)
Bachelor of Engineering Technology
Computer Engineering Technician University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario)
Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours)
Electrical Engineering Technology Cape Breton (Nova Scotia)
Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Petroleum)
Electronic Engineering Technician IOTI (Ireland)
Electrical Engineering Technology Bachelor of Engineering
Environmental Technician – Water and Wastewater Operations Guelph (Ontario)
Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management, Environmental Management
Western (Ontario)
Bachelor of Environmental Science
Mining Engineering Technician Queens (Ontario)
Bachelor of Engineering Technology
Note 1: The information above is subject to change without notice at the institution’s discretion.
Note 2: Ryerson University may ask applicants to complete two or three university level liberal studies courses prior to admission.

Articulation Agreements – Colleges

Program Credential from Receiving College
Computer Engineering Technician Algonquin (Ontario)
Bachelor of Building Science
Sheridan (Ontario)
Bachelor of Applied Information Sciences (Information Systems Security)
Construction Engineering Technician Algonquin (Ontario)
Bachelor of Building Science
Co-op Apprenticeships: Heavy Equipment Techniques, Mechanical Techniques-Industrial Millwright Cambrian (Ontario)
Technician Co-op Diploma
Mining Engineering Technician Cambrian (Ontario)
Mining Engineering Technology
Confederation (Ontario)
Mining Techniques
Note 1: The information above is subject to change without notice at the institution’s discretion.