Webinar cancelled

The OMWA and The Water & Wastewater Regulatory Compliance Group regret to inform you that late yesterday afternoon we were advised by a representative of the Ministry of Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP) that they were unable to present today at the scheduled 11:00 a.m. webinar.

We will continue collaborating with MECP and we remain hopeful that we will be able to reschedule and provide all Ontario’s water & wastewater professionals a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory processes during the COVID-19 emergency.

COVID-19 Webinar files uploaded

The OMWA has uploaded the video and slide show from Friday’s webinar on COVID-19 and Its Impact on Water/Wastewater utilities. You can download the video here (your browser may also allow you to view it online):

COVID-19 webinar (mp4)

And download or view the slide presentation from Stantec here:

Stantec slide show (pdf)

UPDATE: A PDF of the questions and answers from the webinar has also been uploaded. Click here to get a copy.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this event. The OMWA plans to host other educational webinars and events to address this and related issues in the future.

Emergencies declared by Ontario municipalities

Municipalities with states of emergency

The Province of Ontario enacted a state of emergency March 17 and updated it on March 28 with new restrictions, and on March 30 the period was extended for at least another 14 days. As of Apr. 3, the following Ontario communities or municipalities have also declared states of emergency due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic:

Amherstburg
Arran-Elderslie
Atikokan
Barrie
Bayham
Bonfield
Bradford West Gwillimbury
Brampton
Brant Cty
Brantford
Brock Twp
Brockton
Bruce Cty
Burlington
Cambridge
Carlow/Mayo Twp
Central Elgin
Central Frontenac
Centre Wellington
Chatham-Kent
Clarington
Cobourg
Cornwall
Continue reading “Emergencies declared by Ontario municipalities”

Attend our free webinar on COVID-19

Invitarion

Please join OMWA President Mike Mortimer and Stantec’s Nicole McLellan, M.A.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate at 11 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 27 for this free webinar intended for  water and wastewater utilities to help answer your questions related to the fate of coronaviruses in sewage and water, the efficacy of water treatment for coronaviruses, risks to your staff, and how to address public inquiries. Click the registration link below.
The Ontario Municipal Water Association plans to provide ongoing education on the coronavirus as information develops. Please continue to look for updates in your email and in our weekly e-News broadcast.

Sponsored by Stantec and the OMWA.

To register for this free webinar click here: Stantec & OMWA Free webinar on Zoom After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Stantec’s Nicole McLellan, M.A.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate is an environmental scientist with more than 13 years of experience related to water quality and treatment. She is the lead author of Stantec’s whitepaper “Considerations for Water and Wastewater Treatment Related to the Recent Outbreak: COVID-19.” Her areas of expertise comprise water treatment optimization; regulatory compliance; process performance demonstrations; energy optimization; management of disinfection by-products; control of algae blooms; distribution system management; scientific study designs; and wastewater disinfection.

OMWA president Mike Mortimer is the Manager of Environmental Services for the City of Stratford, with a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and Biology, and almost 20 years’ experience in the water industry.

 

Coronavirus white paper from Stantec

The international professional services company, Stantec, has given the OMWA permission to post their recent whitepaper on the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) and its relevance to water and wastewater professionals and utilities. We are honoured to be able to share it with our readers. As the paper notes,

As water treatment professionals, we want to inform stakeholders of the current state of knowledge on coronaviruses as it relates to our practice.

Please click here to download the PDF version.  The original blog post from Stantec can be read here.

(Please note, this PDF has been updated since this post was first published. If you downloaded the paper before Mar. 20, please do so again to get the latest version.)

President’s message, spring 2019

New councils, new challenges

Ontario’s new councils face new challenges in 2019. Under the proposed Bill 66, changes to the Planning Act and other legislation will have wide-ranging effects on municipal planning, development and growth. Several of those proposed changes could present significant challenges and even threats to maintaining our drinking water safety. The Ontario government has also announced a review of regional governments across the province, suggesting changes in governance and even amalgamation. These could affect how municipalities manage and deliver services.

On top of that, new technologies are being developed to handle emerging problems like microplastics and pharmaceuticals in our water.

Everyone involved in the oversight and maintenance of our water and wastewater systems – both elected officials and staff – needs to stay up-to-date and informed to be ready to adapt and change to accommodate both legislative and technological developments. Peer support and cooperation are more important than ever.

The OMWA’s upcoming 2019 Educations Days in Barrie, Sudbury, and Niagara Falls offer effective opportunities for staff and elected officials to network, to learn, and to share their ideas with peers from around the province. Please visit our events page to find out how you can participate, register, and stay current on changes that affect your own water systems.

Developing and writing effective standard operating procedures

Developing and writing effective standard operating procedures

 Part two: When Should SOPs Be Written?

Ken MacDonnellBy Ken MacDonnell, P. Eng.
Professor, Fleming College

Assuming you already have an SOP development program in place (see part 1), then it is a question of setting a priority for the SOPs to be developed.

A hierarchy of procedures will determine the order of development starting with procedures that represent an activity with a substantial risk of impacting either the health and safety of employees or the public. Even after all SOPs have been developed and implemented, there is still work to be done with respect to procedures:

  • New employees should be properly trained on Standard Operating Procedures (do not inundate them with all SOPs and expect full understanding).
  • Review of existing SOPs every three years (at a minimum) to ensure they are still relevant and reflect how the task is being done. Just like you need to update your MSDS sheets every three years, your procedures should not be any different. If changes are made to a procedure, don’t forget to document the change and make sure that all copies are also changed.
  • New equipment / chemicals / etc. may require a change in SOPs. If you make a change from Alum to PACl as your coagulant, it will likely mean that the operational set points will also change. This must be reflected in all SOPs affected by this change and this must be done immediately.

If you do not currently have a comprehensive SOP program, then it is imperative that you begin to develop a program.
Continue reading “Developing and writing effective standard operating procedures”