Training Services

Our wide range of training courses provides customized training where, when and how you need it

If you’re ready for best-in-class water and wastewater training, OCWA is your training partner. Attend one of our in-class training sessions, one of our e-learning courses, or arrange for a customized training solution tailored to your organization’s needs.

OCWA offers a wide range of hands-on water and wastewater training courses. Our instructors are highly trained water and wastewater professionals and know the latest tools, techniques, and regulations. Our staff provides targeted, effective training for operators of small well systems and lagoons right up to water and wastewater systems serving millions of customers. Our courses cover the following three main topic areas:

  1. Water
  2. Wastewater
  3. Health & Safety

We’ve delivered thousands of courses to many happy customers.

Course Descriptions

For more information on how OCWA's Training Courses can support the integrity of your water and wastewater systems, please contact:

Neneeka Taylor, Training Coordinator
Telephone: 905-274-6710, ext. 5251

Distance Education

A combination of self-study with support by an instructor through e-mail, video or classroom teaching

1. All About Solids

Learn about solids test commonly conducted at wastewater treatment facilities, through online videos, quizzes and practical activities.

2. Math Workshop

Distance learning program that reviews basic mathematic principles.

3. OIT Exam Prep

One-on one program that assist participants prepare for OIT exams.

4. Expanded Fundamentals of Water Treatment

Learn about water treatment methods and technologies, and obtain a better understanding of the inactivation and removal of pathogens.

5. Water Distribution Prep Class 1-2

This is a take home course, complete with sample questions and a general review of distribution system operations.

6. Introduction to Wastewater Treatment Operations

This course will help you prepare for your level 1 certification exam in the comfort of your own home.

7. Wastewater Treatment Prep. Level 1-2

Review treatment process, watch operational videos and complete sample questions.

8. Digester Gas Safety

Digester gas systems are operated under the Gas Code, learn all about the Code.

9. Introduction to Wastewater Collection

This course will help you prepare for your level 1 certification exam.


OCWA’s on-line courses can be accessed via Articulate online or CD rom.  Courses available on-line include:

  • Bird’s Eye View of Operations (0.4 DA CEUs)
  • Essential Facts: Blue-Green Algae (0.2 DA CEUs)
  • Facility Log Books (0.1 DA CEUs)
  • Filamentous Indicators & Controls
  • Introduction to Safe Drinking Water Act (0.2 DA CEUs)
  • Manganese in Drinking Water (0.1 DA CEUs)
  • Notice of Adverse Test Results and Other Problems and Notice of Issue of Resolution at Drinking Water Systems (0.2 DA CEUs)
  • Notice of Adverse Test Results and Issue Resolution for Small Drinking Water Systems (0.2 DA CEUs)

Webinars include:

  • Disinfection By-Products Concerns, Controls & Acronyms (0.2 DA CEUs)
  • Electrical Safety
  • Safe Drinking Water Act Regulations Review (0.2 DA CEUs)

Hands-On Training

Chlorine Cylinder Repair (0.2 DA CEUs)

  • Review the properties of chlorine gas and list the personal protective equipment requirements needed when working with chlorine gas.  Participants will be able to use leak detection and gas detection equipment.

 Submersible Pump Maintenance (0.2 DA CEUs)

  • Discuss the difference in maintenance practices in wet pit pumps versus dry pit pumps.  Assemble a submersible pump and identify pump components.

Tightening your Belts (0.2 DA CEUs)

  • Review the causes of bearing failure and conduct belt alignment and tensioning assessments.

 UV Troubleshooting (0.2 DA CEUs)

  • Perform maintenance on a UV system, and review safety hazards.  Participants will be able to identify UV system components, disassemble and reassemble the UV reactor and properly clean UV optical surfaces.  

Basic Spills Management (0.2 DA CEUs)

  • Review the basic equipment in a spill kit and its purpose.  Participants will be able to use the equipment to clean a simulated chemical spill.

 Confined Space Entry (0.2 DA CEUs)

  • Set up rescue equipment and conduct the necessary inspection checks to ensure the proper operation of equipment and safe environment for the operators.

 Does this Look Infected? (0.2 DA CEUs)

  • Review the pathogens that can survive in an aqueous environment.  Operators may become exposed to these pathogens during maintenance or daily activities at treatment plants.  This session will review the methods and techniques to use to reduce the risk of infection.

 Work Area Protection Plan (0.2 DA CEUs) - May 24, 2018 (St. Thomas)

  • Review the requirement for Traffic Control at a sewer access point which is located on a municipal roadway.  Participants will be required to participate in a physical setup of the plan using provided road signs.

Bugs up Close (0.2 CEUs)

  • Learn how to use a compound microscope and to be able to prepare a wet mount slide.  Participants will then be able to list the various microorganisms found in mixed liquor and determine operational changes required to improve the treatment process.

 Laboratory Analysis of Wastewater (0.2 CEUs)

  • Perform sampling functions, microscope evaluation, Gravimetric, SVI tests as well as ammonia and phosphorous testing.

 Submersible Pump Maintenance (0.2 CEUs)

  • Assemble a submersible pump and identify pump components and demonstrate how to change the oil in a mechanical seal.

 The FOG (0.2 CEUs)

  • Discuss sources of fat, oil and grease in the collection system, wastewater treatment plant and customer plumbing.  Participants will be able to identify and demonstrate solid understanding of FOG issues and FOG management options.

 Wastewater Simulator (0.2 CEUs)

  • Using a simulator, participants will execute the troubleshooting procedures to use when a treatment facility is faced with a high flow event or a high BOD loading event.

 Wastewater Simulator – Part 2 (0.2 CEUs)

  • Simulate the impact on treatment process when process equipment is taken out of service.  Using a simulator, participants will be able to practice troubleshooting techniques and discuss the steps to take when reporting out of compliance issues to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). 

Distribution Maintenance (0.2 DA CEUs)

  • Install various coupling devices that are used to join lengths of pipe in the distribution system, or used for repair purposes.  Prior to installation of coupling devices, participants must review manufacturer’s manuals, blue prints for installation and AWWA C651-05 disinfection guidelines.

 Sampling & Flushing Techniques (0.2 DA CEUs)

  • Review sampling techniques when collecting bacteriological and chemical samples.  This module will allow operators to review proper sampling/testing techniques and steps to take when flushing.

Operational Courses

  • Course duration - 1 day
  • Training hours issued - 6.0
  • This course will review the legislation that governs the water and wastewater industry, and look at the complex world of water and wastewater operations. You will find out how operations is able to get water from our lakes, rivers, and underground aquifers to the consumers’ taps, and then how to collect and treat the used water so that it’s safe to return to the environment.
  • Course duration - 2 days
  • Training hours issued - 14.5
  • Developing training skills in the water (and wastewater) sector examines the process of teaching adults by focusing on the learning experience. The course aims to provide the essential knowledge and skills required to design and deliver interesting, relevant and enjoyable training programs. Adult learning principles and methods will be actively demonstrated, both in design and delivery. Group discussions, hands-on demonstrations, facilitator-led role plays and individual practice sessions will help participants learn by observing and by doing. As with all adult learning courses, active learning involves full participation and willingness to learn from others in the course. The target audience for this program is anyone that would like to build on their presentation skills, or anyone expected to deliver training as part of the job.
  • This course is beneficial for PCTs, subject experts, supervisors, and Operations managers.
  • Course duration - 2 days
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 1.4
  • Training hours issued - 14.0
  • Chlorine gas. On the one hand it’s a powerful, economical, effective, reliable, and safe disinfectant. On the other, it can be irritating, corrosive, unstable, and life-threatening. In this course participants will learn how to treat this widely used chemical.
  • This course explains its many properties of chlorine gas, how gas chlorination systems safeguard against accidental releases, proper system maintenance, and how to use the different leak repair kits should they become necessary. This course develops the skills and knowledge needed to manage chlorine gas.
  • Course duration - 1 day
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 0.7
  • Training hours issued - 7.0
  • This workshop is designed for those looking to improve or build on your math skills, prepare for an upcoming certification exam, or refresh your mathematics. The course will to solve typical wastewater and water calculations: volumes, flows, dosages, F/M ratios, sludge retention times as well as metric-imperial conversions.
  • Course duration - 2 day
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 1.4
  • Training hours issued - 14.0
  • A good preventive maintenance program and its planned practices are what OCWA relies on to keep water and wastewater services strong and reliable for its users. This course, for new operators hungry to gain maintenance insight, looks at the major components in your facilities, their basic operating principles, and what you need to do to keep them operating reliably. The fundamentals of operation, troubleshooting, and proper application of various pumps, pipes, valves, bearings, seals, and motors are covered.    
  • Course duration - 1 day
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 0.7
  • A stressful part of an operator’s job is to write certification exams.  In order to relieve some of the stress and assist operators write and pass certification exams, we have developed a course that will assist them understand and troubleshoot the questions found in certification exams.
  • This course will discuss basic exam preparation techniques, and will guide operators through the Need-to-Know-Guides recommended on the Ontario Water and Wastewater Certification Office (OWWCO) website.  The larger portion of the course will consist of the discussion and analysis of common certification exam questions. 
  • Course duration - 1 day
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 0.7 CEUs
  • Training hours issued - 7.0
  • This introductory course explores water conservation principles and practices used throughout the world and in Ontario. We’ll explore key water conservation principles, and how Integrated Water Resource Management helps ensure that these principles are met. Best management practices for water conservation are investigated on three levels: water supply, outdoor conservation, and indoor conservation. The fundamentals of water conservation public awareness campaigns are then discussed and applied to allow all water industry personnel the opportunity to understand what will become a key component of their work in the coming years.
  • Course duration - 1 day
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 0.7
  • Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection has become the preferred technology for water disinfection.  If you are new to this disinfection technology, then this is the course for you!
  • During this course, you will be exposed to the background of UV practices and the equipment that is used at water and wastewater treatment facilities. 
  • The main objective of the course is to familiarize participants with the operating principles of UV treatment, monitoring parameters and dosage determination.  A key component of this course is the practical exercise where participants conduct an inspection of a UV system to ensure its operation.

Water Courses

  • Course duration - 2 days
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 1.4
  • Training hours issued - 14.0
  • This course examines all aspects of distribution system operation, and its multitude of components including aging pipe, valves, water towers, hydrants, booster pumps, water hammer, dead ends, rechlorination stations, pressure zones, air reliefs, beam breaks, repair saddles, biofilm, tuberculations, swabs, backflow, corrosion, colorimeters, and hydrant diffusers.  This course is designed for operators with some experience, but who are looking for more insight. 
  • Course duration - 1 day
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 0.7
  • Training hours issued - 7.0
  • Essential for fighting fires, hydrants are also access points to our distribution systems, and are important tools for maintaining water quality. This course explores hydrant design, safe operation, maintenance, and flow evaluation. Operators will have an opportunity to disassemble and overhaul several types of hydrants. Also curious about colour coding and Fire Code requirements? Here’s the course!
  • Course duration - 3 days
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 2.1
  • Training hours issued - 21.0
  • This course is designed for those who have completed your Entry Level Operator course, gained valuable operating experience and have your Level One operator certification. This offering will broaden your skills to take on that next water treatment challenge
  • This advanced course covers public health, legislation, water characteristics, disinfection (all types), treatment, and troubleshooting in greater depth and complexity. It’s time to know more about mudballs than just that they occur in filters. Find out how mudballs form, why they form, what they can do to filter performance, and how you can prevent them. This course includes math and groundwater CT calculations as well!
  • Course duration - 2 days
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 1.3
  • Training hours issued - 13.0
  • If you’re a certified Level 1 operator or above, then this course is a great opportunity to explore in detail, the different types of disinfectants commonly used in North America, their strengths and weakness, operational challenges, and safe use practices. In addition, time is spent reviewing “The Procedure for Disinfection of Drinking Water in Ontario”, which offers up a wealth of information on how to achieve proper disinfection. And we’ll take a paced approach to the CT concept which will ultimately allow you to complete complex surface water disinfection calculations.
  • A key course to prepare you for the disinfection challenges at any plant.
  • Course duration - 2 day
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned - 1.4
  • Training hours issued - 14.0
  • This course explores the underground world of main breaks, pipes, valves, repair clamps, locating equipment and techniques, and of course, how to get to those components safely. That means trenching and worksite safety, traffic control plans, and working with pressurized systems. Then it’s time to figure out how to get the repairs disinfected, sampled and back in service—all to MOE and AWWA standards. A key course for all operators.
  • Course duration - 5 day
  • Director Approved CE Credits earned – 3.5
  • Training hours issued - 35.0
  • This course is designed to assist water distribution personnel in preparing to write the certification exam for Water Distribution Class I – II. This course has been created around the Need-to-Know guide for water distribution in order to meet MOE standards and expectations. Course information reinforces the knowledge you have acquired thus far in your work, and it also introduces new terms to help you become familiar with the style and language of certification exams. 

Wastewater Courses

  • Course duration – 2 days in class & self-study (distant education) based on pre-assessment.
  • Training hours issued - 23.5
  • This course will focus on operator competencies required to write the Level III and IV Wastewater Treatment Certification Exam. It includes content and questions that operators may find on the certification exam. It also covers various conventional and advanced treatment processes, performance optimization, support systems, process control parameters, laboratory analysis and safety integration, hands-on activities.
  • Course duration - 3 days
  • CE Credits Earned - 2.0
  • Training hours issued - 21.0
  • In addition to the plant infrastructure that’s been put in place, there’s also a team of biological players that need to make the treatment process work. This course explores the biological treatment processes; how to sample, analyze, and interpret what’s happening in those processes; how to deal with process issues; and how to optimize conditions to meet your effluent targets.   
  • Course duration - 1 day
  • CE Credits Earned – 0.7
  • Training hours issued - 7.0
  • Beginning with the basics of digester operation and maintenance, this course then concentrates on the requirements of the Digester Gas Code and TSSA inspection criteria. The safety measures and equipment required for safe digester operation are discussed, and an inspection of the various components is carried out.  Idea for operators perparing for the inspection process, and p a greater understanding of the safeguards that must be present on any anaerobic digester system
  • Course duration - 2 days
  • CE Credits Earned – 1.3
  • Training hours issued - 13.0
  • Lagoon operations can be a complex world of biology, chemistry, and hydrology under its calm surface. This course dives into the design, operation, maintenance and regulatory requirements around effective lagoon operations. It’s also a large body of water, so we’ll be looking at the safety hazards associated with them, and some of the problem solving skills you’ll need to understand and operate effectively and efficiently
  • Course duration - 3 days
  • CE Credits Earned – 2.0
  • Training hours issued - 21.0
  • This course will assist wastewater treatment personnel in understanding various aspects of biosolid treatment methods. Sludge (Biosolids), is one of the largest operating costs in a utility. Dealing with it cost-effectively and efficiently is a key component of biosolids treatment. A primary concern when dealing with biosolids (sludge) is the task of dewatering the sludge so that it can be safely reused or disposed of in the future. In this course you will learn about the methods available to treat the various forms of sludge, as well as understanding the process by which the biosolids are conditioned and thickened.
  • Course duration - 2 days
  • CE Credits Earned - 1.3
  • Training hours issued - 13.0
  • Collection systems are critical municipal networks that direct the effluent of industry, the fats/greases/and oils of restaurants, the flushing and draining of homes, and in some locations, the rains of enormous storms to our wastewater plants for treatment and eventual safe release to the environment..
  • The challenges and complexities of a wastewater collection system are immense. Occasionally, objects are found wedged in a forcemain. This course is here to assist you in acquiring the knowledge and skills essential for assessing, operating, and maintaining a wastewater collection system. Designed for people new to wastewater collection, it reviews basic hydraulics and the equipment and materials used in a wastewater collection system. It’s also a great prep course for operators writing their OIT or Level 1 exams.
  • Course duration - 2 days
  • CE Credits Earned - 1.4
  • Training hours issued - 14.0
  • Do you want to increase the depth of your wastewater operations knowledge, without experiencing the depth of the primary clarifier? Now that you’ve gotten your feet wet at your plant, it’s time to build on your operational insights.
  • This course reviews and expands on the various wastewater treatment processes in use throughout OCWA, and makes the connection between the operational checks you carry out, and what these checks are telling you if your plant is operating properly and efficiently. Gain valuable insights into each treatment step, the equipment used, solids handling, waste stabilization lagoons, and the health and safety procedures required at all facilities.
  • Course duration - 1 day
  • CE Credits Earned – 0.7
  • Training hours issued - 7.0
  • This course is designed to introduce you to one of the most important—and unseen--contributors to the reduction of wastewater organics, the wastewater microorganisms. Biological wastewater treatment can be as simple as natural ecosystems such as marshlands, or as complex as engineered systems of microorganism cultivation and harvesting. The course will introduce the role of bacteria and protozoa in biological wastewater treatment, the latter of which is used as performance indicator organisms. The course will focus on the identification, structure, and function of the performance indicator microorganisms. We’ll also look at some nuisance microorganisms that interfere with the cultivated microbiology and their negative impact on your system effluent. 
  • Course duration - 2 days
  • CE Credits Earned – 1.4
  • Training hours issued - 14.0
  • A sound understanding of laboratory analysis methods and a solid repertoire of good laboratory sampling techniques are key attributes for any wastewater operator. Combine that with the knowledge needed to interpret your results, and you have become a key player at your facility. This course gives you hands-on experience performing a range of typical wastewater sampling and analysis procedures, and leads you through the processes used to figure out what those results mean.  A valuable foundations building course for all operators.
  • Course duration – 2 days
  • Training hours issued – 14.0
  • This course is designed specifically for persons who have a general understanding of wastewater treatment, but are looking for a comprehensive advanced overview of various types of wastewater treatment systems.  It is recommended for officials such as MOECC Wastewater Inspectors, Ministry of Health Inspectors or Municipal Officials who have regulatory obligations but require an advanced understanding of the various treatment processes they may encounter.
  • This course will help participants develop a greater understanding of the purpose of primary, secondary and tertiary treatment methods used at wastewater treatment plants as well as biosolids management practices.  Various types of treatment processes such as Conventional Activated Sludge, Extended Aeration, SBR and RBC will also be explained. The course will cover the essentials of Facultative Waste Stabilization Lagoons and Wastewater Collection Systems.
  • This course is augmented with a physical tour of an advanced wastewater treatment facility as well as troubleshooting various problems at conventional activated sludge treatment plants using a sewage simulator and trying to resolve them
  • Course duration - 1 day
  • CE Credits Earned – 0.7
  • Training hours issued - 7.0
  • Welcome to the new approach to wastewater training and troubleshooting! 
  • Wastewater operators face daily challenges operating conventional activated sludge treatment plants.  This exciting new course provides participants an overview on the conventional activated sludge treatment process and uses a computer simulator to test various approaches when troubleshooting treatment process problems. What approach will work best— aggressive, middle of the road, ultra-conservative, maybe multi-point adjustments?
  • Each participant will be assigned a laptop which contains the simulator and will be expected to actively participate in group discussions and troubleshooting scenarios on the computer simulator. Participants can work in pairs or individually to solve the scenarios presented during the course.
  • Course duration - 2 days
  • CE Credits Earned – 1.4
  • Training hours issued - 14.0
  • What’s the old saying, “It always flows downhill”?
  • Unfortunately, our cities and towns aren’t laid out with that concept in mind, so we have pumping and lift stations to get the goods where they need to go.
  • These facilities need to be properly designed, operated, and maintained in order to get the job done. This course for experienced operators looks at all aspects of these stations, and includes information on the safety issues that an operator may encounter
  • Course duration - 3 days
  • CE Credits Earned – 2.1
  • Training hours issued - 21.0
  • This course is designed for operations staff preparing to write wastewater treatment class 1 and 2 examinations. This course will examine all aspects of wastewater treatment. As the key concepts and processes of wastewater treatment are instructed, participants will practice these concepts through practice exams in order to gauge progress and knowledge gained.  Multiple choice style exams will be reviewed to help prepare participants when they write the real exam.