New OIT manual released for 2017

Revised OIT manualThe third edition of the Operator-In-Training (OIT) manual was released in winter, 2017. This edition brings it up to date with current legislation, policies and practices.

This popular reference text is used in training courses around the province as an introduction to the basics of drinking water, water treatment and wastewater operations, as well as providing lessons on legislation, disinfection, equipment, health and safety, chemistry and mathematics. It includes self-study questions with each chapter.

The new manual was edited and revised by staff of the Ontario Municipal Water Association (OMWA) with oversight by its board of directors and other contributors.

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Retirement of Nick Benkovich from the OMWA board

OMWA president announces retirement of Nick Benkovich, long-time member, from the OMWA board

Long-serving board member, Nick Benkovich, Director of Water & Wastewater Services for the City of Greater Sudbury, retired from his job at the end of December, 2017. He is also leaving the Ontario Municipal Water Association board of directors after more than a decade of service to the greater water community in this province.

OMWA president, Rosemary Kelleher-MacLennan, commented on his leaving:

“It is with bittersweet emotion and homage that I write this message. Bittersweet because it has been such a privilege to work with Nick, and he will be missed immensely, but pleased that he is opening a new chapter in his life and we wish him many new amazing adventures.
“In 2004 Nick Benkovich joined the OMWA Board and became a true champion and voice for our northern water connection. From our first board meeting it was quite apparent that Nick had a deep passion for the north and our water.
“Nick has represented the OMWA in the highest of standards throughout his 13 years on the board and we have all benefitted from his integrity, his principles and his devotion.
“On behalf of the board, it has been a true honour to have had your leadership at the table, you have left your thumbprint on us and the north. We wish you all the best in this next chapter of your life, and hopefully our paths with cross again in the near future.
“With heartfelt sincerity,
Rosemary Kelleher-MacLennan, President OMWA”


Sudbury-born Nick Benkovich holds an Honors Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo (BES) as well as a Graduate Diploma in Public Administration from Laurentian University. He has been employed in the water /wastewater sector for more than 35 years. He wrote that he, “…volunteered for OMWA because I wanted to contribute to the water sector in Ontario beyond my home organization. I hope to see OMWA continue to grow toward fulfilling its “One Water” mandate as defined in the current strategic plan for the organization.”

Nick consider himself “an outdoors person” and enjoys a wide variety of activities such as running, hiking, kayaking, fishing, & hunting.

Nick was instrumental in the development of Sudbury’s Backflow Prevention By-Law, Preventative Plumbing Subsidy Program, Quality Management System, to name only a few. Nick played a key role in implementing the changes required by the Source Water Protection Act, after the Walkerton tragedy and has provided Standard of Care Training to Sudbury city staff.

He has been involved with broader change initiatives, including working with the MOECC in the development of the System-Wide ECA program and involving the City of Greater Sudbury with the NWWBI initiative.

Nick is currently a member of the Local Source Water Protection Committee and is the City’s Risk Management Official, as required by the Source Water Protection Act.

Nick’s innovative vision allowed him to make changes across the city’s water / wastewater division with a mission to improve process, people, technology and data. These efforts included mobilizing field crews with tablets and mobile GIS, implementing Cityworks asset management and leading edge SCADA infrastructure.

Nick was also involved with the following committees:

  • RPWCO (Regional Public Work Commissioners of Ontario) – subcommittee
  • ODWAC (Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Council) – member
  • NEOWWC (Northeastern Ontario Water Works Conference) – served as president for multiple terms
  • Water / Wastewater Operator Certification Working Group
  • Helping to develop ORO / OIC Guidelines