Environmental Technician – Water and Wastewater Systems Operations

Program Title – Environmental Technician – Water and Wastewater Systems Operations


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

NORT-T089 (KL) Kirkland Lake Campus
NORT-T089W (KL) Kirkland Lake Campus

Environmental Technician – Water and Wastewater Systems Operations is a blended program combining on-site and distance learning. The 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 2018 will enter into Semester 2 or students who enter the program in September 2018 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. Students are encouraged to speak with local employers in water and/or wastewater treatment plants about co-op placements prior to starting the program.

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)
  • Overview Video
  • Extended Version (4 Minutes)

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
EV1003 Environmental Math I
EV1013 Chemistry and Physics
EV2013 Soil and Air Monitoring & Sampling
GN1033 Health and Safety
GN2133 Law and Ethics
IN1093 Computer Applications
IN4163 Introduction to GIS
WM1003 Water Monitoring and Sampling
WM1023 Wastewater I

Semester 2
CM2903 Communications II
EL1103 Gen Ed Elective I
EV1000 Entry Level Course Self Study
EV1001 Plant Design
EV1011 Plant Operations I
EV3005 Certification Exams Preparation
EV2003 Environmental Mathematics II
EV2023 Millwright
EV4011 Laboratory Analysis
EV4022 Laboratory Procedures
GN2013 Co-Op Study
WM3003 Hydrogeology
WM3010 Wastewater II
WM4003 Environmental Regulations and Legislation

Semester 3
EN2010 Co-Op Work Term 1

Semester 4
EN4010 Co-Op Work Term 2

Semester 5
BU1103 Intro to Human Resources
EL2103 Gen Ed Elective II
EV2004 Plant Operations II
EV4003 Environmental Math III
EV4013 Pumps and Motors
EV4032 Chlorine Maintenance
EV4016 Instrumentation and Process Control – Theory
EV4016 Instrumentation and Process Control – Labs
WM4002 Waste Characteristics

Semester 6
EN6010 Co-Op Work Term 3

Semester 1

CM1903 Communications I
Communications course designed to help strengthen both oral and written skills.

EV1003 Environmental Math I
Fundamental mathematical skills of an operator/technician, including basic arithmetic, the metric system, unit conversions, mensuration, and basic algebra.

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
Basic soil and air sampling, and analytical techniques for waste facility workers. Soil characteristics, soil classification, monitoring and sampling, the composition of our atmosphere, air pollution, and air quality monitoring and sampling.

GN1033 Health and Safety
An introduction to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations; the Act and related regulations plus WHMIS certification.

GN2133 Law and Ethics
Understand legal and ethical issues of importance to graduates, preparing you for professional designations and/or examinations.

IN1093 Computer Applications
MS Word , MS PowerPoint, in-depth MS Excel, and introduction to MS Project as a project planning and management tool.

IN4163 Introduction to GIS
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems which involve manipulation of databases to produce a variety of reports and maps.

WM1003 Water Monitoring and Sampling
Basic sampling, lab skills and analytical techniques for water and wastewater plant operators.

WM1023 Wastewater I
Introduction to the design and operation of facilities for wastewater treatment and collection.

Semester 2

CM2903 Communications II
Communications II strengthens practical written and oral presentation skills.

EL1103 Gen Ed Elective I
Exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline.

EV1000 Entry Level Course Self Study
40 hours self study in preparation for the classroom component of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s (MOECC) Entry Level Course for Drinking Water Operators, taught as part of EV3005 Certification Preparation.

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.

EV2003 Environmental Math II
Applied mathematics for water and wastewater treatment operators.

EV3005 Certification Exams Preparation
Design and operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities in preparation for the Operator In Training (OIT) Examinations (40 hours), plus a 35 hour course in preparation for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s (MOECC) Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators exam, delivered in partnership with the MOECC and the Walkerton Clean Water Centre.

EV2023 Millwright
Basic millwright’s theory and work; maintenance of water and wastewater plant equipment including basic pumps, valves, motors and alignment, seals and bearings, and bolts and fasteners – related plant safety.

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 forma

EV4022 Laboratory Procedures
Plant operator’s laboratory responsibilities including lab techniques, safety and hygiene, regulations, sampling, quality control, record keeping, and the interpretation of laboratory results.

GN2013 Co-Op Study
Preparation for experiential learning at co-operative education placements, self-assessment, career planning, and job search tools.

WM3003 Hydrogeology
Study of the distribution and movement of groundwater reserves through geological formations.

WM3010 Wastewater II
More detailed examination of the design and operation of facilities for wastewater treatment and collection.

WM4003 Environmental Regulations and Legislation
An introduction to Acts and Regulations that Environmental Technicians and Water Treatment Technicians will encounter.

Semester 3 (Co-op term)

Semester 4 (Co-op term)

Semester 5

BU1103 Intro to Human Resources
Fundamentals of the employee-supervisor environment, including theory and examples of real-life work situations.

EL2103 Gen Ed Elective II
Exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline.

EV2004 Plant Operations II
Operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities preparing for successful completion of the Class I Operator Examination.

EV4003 Environmental Mathematics III
Additional applied mathematics: basic statistics, reliability, data analysis and graphing techniques.

EV4013 Pumps and Motors
The use of pumps and motors in water and wastewater plants; their choice for a given application, installation, use and maintenance.

EV4016 Instrumentation and Process Control – Theory
An introduction to industry instrumentation; basic electricity and motor control relays, starters, switches, breakers, overloads, float controls, instrument recorders, process loops, and the fundamentals of PLCs. Process control including measurement and control systems, process parameters, safety, and the operation and maintenance of this equipment.

EV4016 Instrumentation and Process Control – Labs
Directed lab exercises to reinforce theory concepts in EV4016.

EV4032 Chlorine Maintenance
The use of chlorine as a disinfectant including handling, operation of chlorinators, confined space rules and procedures, and SCBA.

WM4002 Waste Characteristics
The activated sludge treatment process in depth; types and roles of microorganisms in wastewater treatment.

Semester 6
(Co-op term)

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