OCWA Employees Help Build Pilot Water Treatment Plant at Northern College
Northern College’s Kirkland Lake Campus houses a successful Environmental Technician program that has been running for over 10 years. The North Eastern Ontario (NEO) Hub of the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) has worked closely with the college in the development of this program and OCWA has a steady stream of co-op students from the college.
It was recently decided that the Environmental Technician program could be enhanced by encouraging students to actually operate a water treatment plant, allowing them to experience some of the daily challenges they may run in to within the field. For obvious reasons, using a municipal water treatment plant for training was out of the question (municipal plants must follow very strict guidelines pertaining to treated water criteria and certification requirements for operators) therefore the college decided to build their very own plant within the campus building for training purposes.
OCWA staff members contributed time to building hands-on training facility for students at Northern College.
During the infancy of the partnership, the college consulted closely with Tony Janssen (former OCWA NEO Operations Manager) to put together the basic plan for a water treatment plant. The design of the plant was left to Kirkland Lake operator and team lead, Anthony Danis, who worked closely with Frank McGonigal (NEO instrumentation specialist) to ensure there were not complications or surprises during the project.
With the design phase of the project complete, and the build of the plant on the horizon, it was realized that finding enough manpower for the build itself would be a challenge. OERT (OCWA Emergency Response Team) stepped up to lend a hand.
During the week of April 15, OERT members John Seguire, Rob Treverton, Jeff. St. Pierre, Dennis Dolbec, Anthony Danis, and non-OERT member Brian Montageu went to work building and assembling the plant. During the first phase of the plant assembly, the construction of mixers and the plumbing in of all components (including auto-valves, pumps, tanks and filter) was to be completed. The above tasks were completed with relative ease thanks to the high level of skill brought by the OERT members.
Currently, the second phase of the project is in the planning stage with Frank McGonigal designing the instrumentation layout. When the design is complete, the OCWA team will be able to formulate a plan to include needs for the second phase and the approach to instrumentation manufactures for component donations.
A third phase of the project is still needed to work out some of the kinks in the current process. This will include calling upon OERT members with backgrounds in process tweaking, jar testing and trouble shooting in general. The last phase will occur in approximately three months.
To date, OCWA has been very successful in obtaining donations from our suppliers for this project. Thank you to those who have helped us get this initiative off the ground and for sharing a commitment to bettering our communities:
Ontario Clean Water Agency Expertise and manpower Bray Valve Valves Metcon Sales and Engineering Chemical pumps Xylem (Flygt pumps) Raw water pump Pro Pipe Stainless flanges and pipe Endress+Hauser Instrumentation components J.J. Downs Industrial Plastics poly tubing IPEX All PVC piping and fittings Town of Kirkland Lake Filter Media Goldbelt Tire and Supply Hardware including nuts, bolts and gaskets. Chess Controls / Seimens Water Technology Ultrasonic Level Measurement Dixon Electric / Panduit Panduit electrical raceways Eaton Cutler Hammer Electrical switches and indicator lights Ralston Metal Products Electrical enclosure