Call for submissions

The Ontario Municipal Water Association (OMWA) is looking for articles for our next installment of (Water)3, coming this spring.

The topic is Water 101: What Every Municipal Politician Should Know.

Whether they are an incumbent member of municipal council running again, or a candidate seeking election for the first time, we want to be the source for education about municipal drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems that politicians can easily access and refer to. We want to help politicians to be fully and accurately informed about municipal water issues even before they file their papers. And not just about drinking water systems: we want to know how you teach them about your wastewater and stormwater facilities and management, too.
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New OIT manual released for 2017

Revised OIT manualThe third edition of the Operator-In-Training (OIT) manual was released in winter, 2017. This edition brings it up to date with current legislation, policies and practices.

This popular reference text is used in training courses around the province as an introduction to the basics of drinking water, water treatment and wastewater operations, as well as providing lessons on legislation, disinfection, equipment, health and safety, chemistry and mathematics. It includes self-study questions with each chapter.

The new manual was edited and revised by staff of the Ontario Municipal Water Association (OMWA) with oversight by its board of directors and other contributors.

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(Water)3: OMWA’s new online venture

(Water)3 is the new online publication from the Ontario Municipal Water Association. It will focus on water-related issues, events, technologies, news and politics, with an emphasis on Ontario.

(Water)3 encompasses all aspects of drinking water, stormwater and wastewater (also called reusable water and recycled water), groundwater, source protection, including related areas of health, treatment, First Nations, legislation and training.

In 2017, we will have two issues, and expand to four in 2018. In between issues, we will have our Twitter feed active and will publish interim articles, updates and commentaries to keep the content relatively fresh.

(Water)3 will complement our popular newswire service to keep members up to date on issues, events, policies and technologies.

We welcome submissions, advertising, news releases and comments. Please contact us at communications@omwa.org for more information.

The Romance of Wastewater

wastewater treatment plant (Wikipedia)What could be more romantic for Valentine’s Day than to take your date on a tour of the local wastewater plant? That’s how the New York City Department of Environmental Protection promotes its highly successful tours, now in their fifth year (1). In 2015, three Sunday tours of 100 people each were booked. Participants took home a commemorative card and lapel pin.(2)

During the tour, participants got a quick course on how the city treats its wastewater before they are taken around the plant. It all takes about 90 minutes. The event has developed a bit of a cult following and reservations for a spot fill up rapidly. The website tells people what to expect and – importantly – what to wear.(3)

The result of each tour is dozens of media articles, hundreds of tweets and Facebook posts, a couple of YouTube videos (4), all free publicity for the municipal water services. Plus, it creates a growing public appreciation of municipal water treatment and its infrastructure, which can only help recruitment.

Public understanding of utility services is at best sketchy. After all, most of the infrastructure is hidden below ground or behind walls. There’s a disconnect between what comes from the tap and how it gets to it, safely and cleanly. That can be changed.

A tour is an opportunity to open the doors and let people see what their tax dollars are spent on. And they get to put faces to the process, meeting the workers and seeing their environment, which helps them connect to the service better than any charts or numbers will.

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