Participating communities receive focused training that enables their members to become certified local water operators. While they pursue certification, the Project provides local water operators with support by way of licensed operational personnel who are available to assist local operators on a 24/7 basis. Communities also receive industry-leading technology that allows them to continuously and remotely monitor the quality of their water and immediately address any issues that arise.
Additional details on each component are found below.
The ultimate goal of the Safe Water Project is to build lasting capacity so communities can effectively and sustainably manage their own water facilities. To achieve this goal, the Project trains people to become certified water operators through the Keewaytinook Centre of Excellence, a provincially accredited training facility in Dryden, Ontario. The training can either take place at the Centre, or arrangements can be made to deliver the training at other locations.
The Keewaytinook Centre of Excellence offers training to Indigenous and non-Indigenous water operators. This training meets the certification requirements of Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and graduates of the core program are ready to manage water treatment facilities without operational support or oversight. The Centre also offers continuing education classes for certified operators at various levels.
With many of its students coming from remote communities, and some leaving home for the first time, the Centre’s programming is sensitive to the challenges faced by its students, and it is tailored to their needs. Because most provinces require a high school diploma for certified water operators, the Centre also offers a GED high school equivalency program.
Building the kind of lasting capacity and knowledge base that is needed to effectively and safely manage community water systems takes time. For communities that do not yet have fully certified water operators, the Safe Water Project provides operational support to ensure that local water operators can carry out their work effectively and that communities can be confident in the quality of their drinking water.
At present, two fully certified water operators are on call 24/7 to offer support to local water treatment workers. Stationed in Dryden, Ontario, these operators are available via phone and Internet, as well as in-person, to provide guidance and operational support to local water operators.
As the Project expands, additional operators will be hired to provide the required operational support to local water operators who have yet to achieve their level of certification.
Current practice for drinking water quality control relies mainly on manual, mostly random sampling, which is especially time consuming for remote communities where certified labs are quite distant.
The Safe Water Project utilizes TRITON Intelligent Water Surveillance® to enable communities to continuously monitor water in real-time. Operational support personnel receive real-time notifications of adverse water conditions from the TRITON systems, enabling them to guide and assist local water operators to address problems as they arise. In the event of a water quality issue, this strategy can help to avoid a boil water advisory.
Using the most advanced online water quality sensors and superior signal processing, TRITON empowers communities, private organizations and governments to preventively manage any water contamination event or threats to drinking water.