KIRKLAND LAKE, ON: Northern College marked the operational launch of its Pilot Water Treatment Plant with a donor recognition ceremony on Friday, December 6, 2013. Representatives from several organizations that assisted in the design and construction of the plant attended the event.
The plant, which is located at the Kirkland Lake Campus, will be an essential resource for the college’s Environmental Technician – Water and Wastewater Systems Operations program. The plant is a fully-functional, miniature version of a municipal water treatment plant, where students can learn the ins-and-outs of plant operations. Since the plant is not attached to a municipal water system, students can experiment without impacting the public water supply.
The ceremony was held in recognition of the many organizations that contributed to the plant’s design and construction, as well as to those that contributed parts and construction supplies. The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) spearheaded the plant’s design and construction. Other partners in the project included the Walkerton Clean Water Centre, Endress+Hauser, Bray Controls Canada Corporation, Metcon Sales and Engineering, Xylem, ProPipe Construction, IPEX, and J.J. Downs Industrial Plastics. A prominent donor recognition plaque in honour of project partners was unveiled at the ceremony.
Plans are in place for further development of the plant, including potential future applied research projects. The plant will be an ideal place for industry to test new techniques and technologies due to the fact that the plant is fully self-contained. There are also plans for the plant to be fitted with equipment that will allow it to be controlled and monitored by Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technician students at the college’s Haileybury Campus, over 100 kilometres away.
“The Pilot Water Treatment Plant project would not have been possible without the significant contributions of our community and industry partners,” said Fred Gibbons, President of Northern College. “We now have a one-of-a-kind educational tool that will give our students exceptional hands-on experience, and attract some unique applied research projects to the Kirkland Lake Campus.”
Northern College’s Environmental Technician – Water and Waste Water Systems Operations program offers the fastest path in Ontario for students to become licenced Class I water and waste water plant operators. This co-op diploma program prepares students to write the Operator in Training (OIT) examinations and the Drinking Water Operators Entry-Level Course, then obtain enough co-op experience for their Class I operator licensing, all within a two-year period. Additional courses in the program further enhance graduates’ employability. This program is recognized by OACETT as meeting the requirements for the Certified Technician designation for graduates.
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