Advanced Water Systems Operations and Management (Co-op) Curriculum

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences

Accepting Applications for January 2023

See curriculum for: September 2023 January 2024
Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate ( 3 semesters )
Classes begin:
January 09, 2023
Offered at:
Frost Campus
Program code:
Tuition & Ancillary Fees:
$3,777.33 per semester*
$10,224.44 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.

Vocational Learning Outcomes

  • Utilize a wide variety of instrumentation and standardized protocols for the collection and analysis of samples and data required in the operation of water and wastewater facilities.
  • Collaborate with individuals, groups in testing and troubleshooting equipment at various water treatment and distribution facilities and at wastewater collection and treatment facilities.
  • Evaluate system design and operations based on current legislation, regulations and standards affecting water and wastewater treatment plants, scope and authority of certificates of approval and owner, operator responsibilities.
  • Develop risk management strategies including emergency response and disaster preparedness for water and wastewater systems.
  • Test and monitor microbiological parameters in water and wastewater applications and propose remediation strategies to reduce, eliminate contaminants.
  • Assess current, innovative and emerging technologies in such areas as water conservation, alternative supply (e.g. rainwater) and zero-discharge for the provision of potable water and wastewater treatment and their possible applications within the industry.
  • Assess current infrastructures in water operations for ongoing maintenance plans to address future needs and changes in such areas as disaster preparedness, population growth and climate change.
  • Manage projects in the maintenance, renewal, and replacement of utility infrastructure using project planning and project management tools.

Courses and Descriptions

Semester 1

Units/ Hours: 30

This course provides students with knowledge of human population growth and the evolution of water and wastewater treatment processes over time. The biology of humans, the impacts of human population growth, and the basic processes of water and wastewater treatment are discussed. Students learn how contaminants move through the environment and the implications of these pathways for source water protection. Relevant legislation related to water quality in Canada will be presented. Students will review case studies on water contamination both in Canada and Internationally.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course examines municipal infrastructure management, including distribution systems (pipes, valves, booster facilities, hydrants, and reservoirs) and wastewater collection systems (pipes and pumping stations). Additionally, students are introduced to design concepts for stormwater managment (flow calculations and retention pond sizing). An integral component of this course is the understanding of fundamental hydraulics concepts such as flow, pressure, headloss, pipe sizing in both pressurized and gravity fed systems. The planning required for renewal / maintenance of these systems and the development of protection plans for public health and property from water-related disasters are covered. Current and emerging/new technologies in infrastructure management are also discussed.

MATH 147
Units/ Hours: 30

Students will learn the basic concepts required to perform calculations essential in the water/wastewater industry. Subsequently, with these skills, students will be required to solve problems common to the industry. Topics include isolating variables in equations; working with units; hydraulics and flow; dilutions and concentrations; detention time; and mass balance.

Units/ Hours: 45

Wastewater treatment methodologies are the main focus in this course. This will course will examine the major physical, chemical and biological processes involved in conventional treatment processes. Students will investigate various methods of wastewater treatment such as activated sludge processes, rotating biological contactors, trickling filters and sequencing batch reactors. Students will learn to interpret data to better understand operational processes, and concepts will be expanded through the use of scenario based process examples. Students will also investigate solids removal, handling and treatment and the generation and use of biosolids.

Units/ Hours: 45

In this course, students investigate small systems and their configuration, operation, legislation and reporting requirements. The course also provides site specific variations of physical and chemical units of a treatment plant. Point-of- use and point- of-entry and on site systems will be explored.

ENVR 137
Units/ Hours: 45

The focus of this course is to introduce the students to lab skills associated with working in a lab at a wastewater treatment facility. The primary goal is to instruct students in lab procedures in a safe manner, respecting and following established protocols. Specifically, students will learn common procedures including SVI, BOD, Suspended Solids/VSS/TSS, titrations, and jar testing to determine proper chemical dosing.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course provides students with an insight into the working environment for water and wastewater facilities with a heavy focus on Health and Safety. Students will learn about the Ontario Health and Safety Act and how to apply the specific regulations including Construction Projects, Industrial Establishments, Confined Spaces, and Occupational Injuries / illnesses. Students will also learn about corporate functionality of Human Resources and Health and Safety. Students will also learn about how to search for relevant jobs in the industry. Finally, students will have an opportunity to hone their resume and interview skills through a mock interview.

Semester 2

ENVR 139
Units/ Hours: 30

This course is a follow-up course to ENVR 138 in which students will use the skills previously taught to critically think and assess numeracy in the water/wastewater sector. Specifically, students will be perform detailed analysis on water/wastewater problems then determine and respond to their legitimacy (i.e. do the numbers make sense) and troubleshoot to correct the problem. An integral part of this course how to use excel, including developing spreadsheets and logic statements to assist with solving problems.

Units/ Hours: 45

Students learn to apply current theory and laboratory observations to conventional and advanced water and wastewater treatment plant operations. Students are introduced to SCADA, maintenance management systems and remote operation technologies. Students are introduced to the development of process flow diagrams and how they relate to SCADA control. SCADA demonstrations will be an integral component in this course.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course covers waste streams and common treatment techniques for various industrial sectors that fall under MISA Regulations including mining, Iron and steel, petroleum refining, and pulp and paper. Additionally, this course will cover high purity water applications and process requirements for cogeneration power plants (steam turbines). Students will discuss the impact of assessment techniques associated with industrial wastes and regulatory frameworks, specifically MISA and develop strategies to meet these discharge requirements. Students will also apply water cooling applications to the industrial wastewater treatment process. Site visits and the use of sampling for enforcement will be an integral part of this course including sampling and analysis of waste streams.

Units/ Hours: 45

Water treatment operations in large water treatment facilities are the focus in this course. Chemical unit operations including flocculation, coagulation, sedimentation, adsorption, chlorination, ozonation, and UV disinfection are also covered. This course includes site visits to treatment facilities. Safe sampling operational procedures, quality analysis and assurance will be emphasized. Facility security and risk management planning are included in this course. Students will be provided the opportunity to obtain their ELC (Entry Level Course) certificate in this course.

Units/ Hours: 45

Developing short-and long-term plans/ projects for management is a major focus in both large and small facilities as well as industry. Students write a project plan in a chosen area of utility management (water, wastewater, conservation, disaster management, sustainability) including defining the project, identifying stakeholder expectations to ensure efficient management, monitoring, ongoing quality maintenance and planning for risk mitigation. Human resource planning as an essential component in a plan is emphasized.

Units/ Hours: 30

This course provides a general overview of utility management specifically related to the water and wastewater industry. A focus of the course will be the development and admistration of budgets (both operating and capital), developing and retaining personnel, and examining new and emerging issues and possible technological solutions to local, national, and international issues associated with water and wastewater systems. Energy sources from waste and new technologies are also discussed. Planning for future issues and infrastructure upgrades is also included as part of this course as well as the development of plans for the long-term sustainability of water supplies through the process of asset management.

ENVR 140
Units/ Hours: 45

This course is a follow up course to ENVR 137 in which students will further develop lab skills, specifically related to water treatment. Time will also be spent on preparing students to write their Water Quality Analysts exam as defined in O. Reg. 128. Specific topics include jar testing for optimal chemical dosage, precipitation chemistry, disinfection of water and chlorine reactions, and spectrophotomery.

Semester 3

APST 126
Units/ Hours: 12

Students will participate in a field summit as their culminating experience and review of their co-op. Students will do an evaluation and presentation regarding their co-op experiences.