OMWA launches revamped website

The Ontario Municipal Water Association (OMWA) is pleased to announce a new look and new functionality for its website. It incorporates both the previous website’s content and the new (Water)3 posts in a WordPress standard platform.

We hope that this new look makes it easier for visitors to find the information and data you need. If you encounter problems or have questions about access, please contact us.

 

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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OMWA board of directors and executive committee, 2017

OMWA’s new board of directors

The Board of Directors of the Ontario Municipal Water Association (OMWA) are pleased to announce that at their Annual General Meeting held May 9, 2017 in Niagara Falls, the following slate of Directors was approved.

Political Directors

  • Rosemary K MacLennan               Municipality of Trent Hills
  • Mark Howson                                      Sault Ste. Marie PUC
  • Peter Chilibeck                                   Lakefront Utility Services Inc. (Cobourg)
  • Lynn Dollin                                            Town of Innisfil
  • Doug Lawrance                                  Town of Sioux Lookout
  • Andy Bruziewicz                                 City of Sarnia
  • Patrick Merlihan                                 Township of Woolwich

Management Directors

  • Andrew Henry                                  Lake Huron and Elgin Area Water
  • Nick Benkovich                               City of Greater Sudbury (retired, 2018)
  • Jim Keech                                           Utilities Kingston
  • Amy Martin                                       City of Guelph
  • John Thompson                              City of Barrie
  • Susan MacFarlane                          Lambton Area Water Supply System

Also at the Annual General Meeting, Andrew Henry, who has been the OMWA President for the past three years, announced that he would be stepping down and will become our Past President.

Following the 2017 AGM the OMWA Board held a Meeting of the Directors and the following changes to board’s executive were made:

  • President Andrew Henry (Manager, Lake Huron & Elgin Area Primary Water Supply Systems, London) stepped down after serving three years, and is now Past President;
  • Vice President Rosemary Kelleher-MacLennan (Deputy Mayor, Municipality of Trent Hills) was elected President;
  • Vice President Peter Chilibeck (Chair, Lakefront Utilities, Cobourg) is now Chairman of the Board;
  • Board members John Thompson (manager of Water, Wastewater and Environmental Operations, City of Barrie) and Doug Lawrance (Mayor, Municipality of Sioux Lookout) were elected Vice-Presidents.

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Developing and writing effective standard operating procedures

Part one: About SOPs

Ken MacDonnellBy Ken MacDonnell, P. Eng.
Professor, Fleming College

Over the years, and especially since the Walkerton tragedy, there has been a general shift for municipalities and other public entities to operate with a clear set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Whether it be as a requirement to conform to DWQMS, a compliance requirement for your ECA, the result from a visit from a Ministry of Labour / Ministry of Environment and Climate Change inspector, or you were ahead of the curve and understood that SOPs were a part of a Best Management Practice, the fact is that SOPs are here to stay.

The most critical component in the above title is the development and writing of effective SOPs. In order for SOPs to be effective they should:

  • Clearly define the purpose of the SOP (i.e. why is the task required);
  • Identify all tools and equipment required to perform the SOP;
  • Provide easy and concise instructions to complete the task.

Finally, the SOP must take into consideration and identify all possible hazards and safety precautions required to complete the tasks associated with the SOP safely.

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A Message from the President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Lynn DollinOntarians depend on their municipal governments to provide clean, safe drinking water and effective stormwater and wastewater services. While municipal governments face a host of infrastructure challenges, continued investments in our water systems remain a priority to Councils across Ontario. These essential services are critical to our health and well-being, environment and economic development.

The Ontario Municipal Water Association has been an important leader and resource in ensuring that our water systems are safe, reliable and sustainable – from source to tap.

I’d like to congratulate the OMWA for this new online publication, encompassing all aspects of municipal water services. From stormwater and wastewater management, to source protection and drinking water, the issues are complex and many. A new resource to keep informed on issues, events, policies and technologies is most welcome.

Yours sincerely,

Lynn Dollin
AMO President

~~~~~

Lynn Dollin is Deputy Mayor Mayor of the Town of Innisfil. She was first elected councillor in 1994 and as Deputy Mayor in 2014. She is also chair of the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Committee and a member of the board of directors for OMWA. She has held a seat on AMO’s Board of Directors since 2011 and in 2014 was elected to the position of Chair of the Ontario Small Urban Municipalities (OSUM). She was elected president of AMO in 2016.

(Water)3: OMWA’s new online venture

(Water)3 is the new online publication from the Ontario Municipal Water Association. It will focus on water-related issues, events, technologies, news and politics, with an emphasis on Ontario.

(Water)3 encompasses all aspects of drinking water, stormwater and wastewater (also called reusable water and recycled water), groundwater, source protection, including related areas of health, treatment, First Nations, legislation and training.

In 2017, we will have two issues, and expand to four in 2018. In between issues, we will have our Twitter feed active and will publish interim articles, updates and commentaries to keep the content relatively fresh.

(Water)3 will complement our popular newswire service to keep members up to date on issues, events, policies and technologies.

We welcome submissions, advertising, news releases and comments. Please contact us at communications@omwa.org for more information.

Stormwater Fees: Is Your Municipality Ready?

StormwaterNew technologies, new rules and new practices in stormwater management are spurring changes in infrastructure, urban design and development.

In part, these are spurred by climate change – heavy rainfalls are becoming more frequent in many areas – and in part by growth and development that creates more runoff. Existing infrastructure is often hard-pressed to cope with the increase.

However, those changes are seldom matched by increases in funding or capital.

While most Canadian municipalities fund their stormwater facilities through property taxes, many are turning to additional stormwater fees to help pay for rising infrastructure and operational costs.

In a report to the Credit Valley Conservation Authority (1), consultants Zizzo Allan wrote:

Recent flooding events in Ontario have brought significant attention to stormwater management. As flooding-related damage increases, interest in the legal liability associated with flooding and other stormwater events has grown as well. In light of predictions that climate change will make extreme weather events more frequent and intense, physical damage and liability concerns may prompt municipalities to ask whether, and to what extent, they should adapt their stormwater management policies and infrastructure.

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