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Training Sessions

Aquatera is excited to invite you to join us for our first ever virtual conference! Water Week North 2021 will take place online from October 5-8, 2021. 

The conference offers water and wastewater industry opportunities to attend a virtual trade show, streamed technical sessions and workshops, and online networking opportunities for attendees and suppliers.

We're working hard to finalize our conference schedule. In the meantime, below is a sneak peak at some of the exciting courses we look forward to offering!

Learn more and Register Today!

Workshops

The Science of Pipe Cleaning

This presentation examines wastewater main cleaning procedures and new methods for optimal cleaning results. Participants will learn about the relationship between flow and pressure as well as nozzle design and how that impacts the performance of the equipment. The causes and remedies of “blown toilets” will also be discussed. Attendees will have a better understanding of how to clean lines quicker, more effectively and with less physical effort.

  - Presented by Ken Billingham of KEG Technologies

Cargo Securement

This course provides the general basics of cargo securement and explains the requirements detailed by the North American Cargo Securement Standard. Participants learn the elements of a securement system; what is required to properly load and secure cargo for a variety of vehicles such as trucks, cars, and heavy machinery; and will discuss the results of improperly secured loads.

  - Presented by Rick Lupal of Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association (AMHSA)

Flag Person

Municipal workers are often exposed to the hazard of traffic moving through their work areas. To combat danger, flag persons can be used to control the flow of traffic. This course provides participants with an understanding of flag person responsibilities and duties. Includes information on equipment, practices, procedures, day and night operations, emergency vehicles, communication and the importance of correct placement. The course includes classroom / live webinar instruction, group exercises, videos and an exam. Recommended for managers, supervisors, foremen and workers.

  - Presented by Rick Lupal of Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association (AMHSA)

What a Hammer Can Teach You About Settling Differences at Work!

Conflict is inevitable in all workplaces. Having practical, ready methods for resolving differences in perspective can keep conflict from escalating and damaging interpersonal relationships. Participants will learn practical, easy methods for resolving conflict and de-escalating differences of perspective. Participants will be able to demonstrate concepts included in the session through interactive exercises.

  - Presented by Kris Robins of Kris Robins Training and Consulting

Operator Training, Awareness and Competency

This session will focus on how to conduct a training needs analysis, develop a training matrix and standardize training. We will also look at how conducting a proper incident investigation can help determine if the training and competency process within your organization is adequate to prevent a similar incident from occurring.

  - Presented by Shane Fusion of Fusion Safety Services

Electrical Safety for Non-Electrical Workers

You don't need to be an electrician to benefit from an understanding of electrical safety.
This half-day course tailored specifically for non-electrical workers teaches the basics needed to work safely with and around electrical tools and equipment. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, Standards and Regulations; Electric Shock; Arc Flash; First Aid and Emergency Response; Risk Assessment and Management.

  - Presented by Matthew Britton of Magna IV Engineering

Technical Presentations

Drinking Water and Wastewater Prosecutions

Far too many operators have ended their long-term careers working for municipalities in courtrooms. They have incurred stress as a result of being investigated and often fired. Sadly, for most, their failure to follow the rules regarding environmental legislation resulted in their first and only time sitting in a criminal court room - all usually because they slacked off at their jobs and cut some corners. This presentation will cover the real world consequences that environmental offenders have had to face; the dangers of accepting below standard work or fitting in with poor work culture; what to expect and do when Environmental Protection Officers attend a worksite; how water/wastewater treatment can cause such severe harm that even small breaches often result in prosecutions; and the best ways to make sure you never have to see a prosecutor.

  - Presented by Craig Kallal of Alberta Crown Prosecution Service

Drinking Water Filtration Basics

Filtration is the last physical barrier in drinking water treatment. Media filtration using sand, anthracite and sometimes Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) has been used commonly in drinking water filtration. Low-pressure membrane filtration has also been widely used. With varying source water quality (turbidity, organics, etc.) pre-treatment requirements for filtration have changed over time from conventional treatment (coagulation, flocculation, clarification, and filtration) to direct filtration with or without flocculation, and skipping the clarifier. As an energy optimization opportunity, water treatment facilities are considering seasonal direct filtration. This presentation covers the fundamentals of media filtration and low-pressure membrane filtration, backwash requirements, use of filter aid chemicals to improve filtration performance, direct filtration and membrane pre-treatment requirements using selected recent pilot-and full-scale examples.

  - Presented by Sutha Suthaker and Nicholai Kristel of Associated Engineering

What Landscapes Know About Water

The water drawn from any given point has a history and the landscape that the water flowed over is a key part of that history. The landscape upstream of a withdrawal point influences what type of water is withdrawn and how much water there is available for withdrawal. This session will provide an overview of how landscape influences water quality and quantity by reviewing the interactions that water has with the landscape.  Discussions will include the biotic (vegetation, human footprint, etc.) and the abiotic (soils, climate, etc.) characteristics of the Peace watershed and the interactions that they have with water. Understanding these interactions, provides insight to the water that is available for withdrawal and also informs us of the potential effects that the water we release will have on the receiving water body. Watershed management is the application of this understanding to support the watershed in provisioning water resources that we as a society want.

  - Presented by Adam Norris of Mighty Peace Watershed Alliance

The Fort McMurray Ice Jam Flood and its Impacts on the Wastewater System

In April 2020, Fort McMurray’s Lower Townsite was flooded during the Spring Breakup of the Clearwater and Athabasca Rivers. The flooding event resulted in the second major evacuation in the community in 4 years, and had a major impact on the community’s wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. This presentation will provide an overview of what happened, what was done to protect and recover the infrastructure, and new resiliency measures taken to protect against future flood events.

  - Presented by Stephan Weninger of Stantec

Dam Safety

Sean Nicoll, P.Eng with Associated Engineering will review the recently updated Dam and Canal Safety Directive related guidelines and how this may impact municipalities. A dam is considered as any liquid retaining structure that is at least 2.5m high and has a minimum storage capacity of 30,000 m3. This applies to both sanitary lagoons and stormwater management facilities. Under the recent updates, these structures are required to have a Dam Safety Management Plan. The Plan includes the following:

  • inundation mapping of a breach
  • consequence of classification
  • emergency and safety management

Also, annual monitoring and inspection is required by designated qualified professionals.

  - Presented by Sean Nicoll of Associated Engineering 

2020 SCADA Upgrades

Stantec was engaged in 2020 to address failing SCADA and PLC hardware. Aquatera’s SCADA system is a combination of two SCADA platforms: the water/wastewater iFix system and the distribution/collection ClearSCADA system. Additionally, the wastewater treatment plant and the raw water pumphouse both utilize an obsolete PLC platform which needed to be replaced before it fails. Aquatera also requested consolidation of the two SCADA platforms into a single platform to improve functionality and reduce maintenance. Stantec’s approach was to use a combination of hardware and virtual environments to replace existing systems and create resiliency and longevity. We designed phased work packages that allowed changeovers with minimal operational downtime.

  - Presented by Matthew Sider and Michael Magas of Stantec

Greening of the Utility Industry

The most progressive of today’s water utilities are defining the Utilities of the Future (UOTF). Instead of solely collecting and transporting wastewaters as far downstream as possible to central treatment plants where water is cleansed to meet permit limits prior to discharge to waterways, the UOTF transforms itself into a manager of valuable resources, a partner in local economic development, and a member of the watershed community seeking to deliver maximum environmental benefits at the least cost to society.

A recent survey (2021) conducted by American Water Works Association identified climate change as one of the greatest challenges that will be faced by the industry. Considering the above, UOTF are implementing activities that results in climate change mitigation (greening) and facilitate the adaptation responses at the water utilities. Some of the greening activities for water utilities include:

  • Reclaiming and reusing water
  • Extracting and finding commercial uses for nutrients and other constituents
  • Capturing waste heat and latent energy in biosolids, biogas and liquid streams
  • Generating renewable energy using its land and other horizontal assets
  • Using green infrastructure to manage facilities but also to improve urban quality of life more broadly
  • Considering decentralized treatment and local re-use
  • Adopting natural local watershed/water cycle approach to holistic water management

The above actions benefit the utility in the form of reduced costs and increased revenues. However, they also deliver environmental, economic, and social benefits both locally and nationally. This course will cover all of the above greening options, pros and cons of each, technology status and example projects, where available.

  - Presented by Lalith Liyanage of WSP Canada

Taste and Odour - The Customer's Tap Experience

Taste and odour in our water system can be one of the most troublesome and difficult to resolve issues we experience as operators. Customers taste and odour complaints are sometimes widespread, sometimes localized and often experienced differently by different customers

The presentation will cover the root causes of taste and odour in a water supply, where they come from, and how to mitigate them.

  • Root causes of taste and odour – is it always the treatment plant?
  • What does the customer experience and what clues does that give us?
  • How to determine localized issues from more widespread issues in your distribution system.
  • What can I do as a distribution operator to mitigate control taste and odour?
  • What can I do as an Operator to prevent taste and odour issues in the future?

Often these questions can be answered by being part detective, part operator and finally being a good water ambassador for your community.

  - Presented by Grant Dixon of ATAP and Regional Water, and Fred Wiebe of ATAP Infrastructure

Drinking Water Compliance 101 – A Brief Introduction to the Regulatory World of Drinking Water in Alberta

The presentation will provide an overview of the drinking water regulatory program, how it has changed over time, and what operators can expect when working with the Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) Compliance team on inspections, incident management and more. We will cover best practices, solutions to common problems, and provide clarification on the roles of Compliance, Approvals, and the Drinking Water Operation Specialists. The session will also provide an opportunity for operators to ask questions and engage in a discussion with AEP Compliance.

  - Presented by Glenora Coles of Alberta Environment and Parks

The Positive Impact of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

This presentation will review the relevance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in the workplace, what the characteristics of EQ are and why it matters more now than ever before. This presentation will review how EQ aids in conflict resolution, increased communication, stress reduction and how those that practice EQ are more effective in their roles with increased job satisfaction. Attendees will have the ability to ask questions and walk away with tangible actions to enhance their EQ.

  - Presented by Laurel Osei-Assibey of Aquatera Utilities Inc.

Collaborative Project Delivery

The water and wastewater industry continues to explore the use of collaborative project delivery frameworks in an attempt to realize better value in project delivery. Faced with increased budget and schedule pressures, municipalities are being drawn to collaborative delivery models, in an effort to better manage risks, gain price and schedule certainty earlier in the project delivery process and enhance decision-making ownership. For municipal treatment infrastructure, early engagement of constructors, operators and other key stakeholders help balance design intent, financial and schedule objectives, constructability and long-term operability throughout the design development process.

The use of collaborative delivery models provides owner’s with the flexibility to allocate risks and responsibilities to achieve the desired contractual flexibility, functionality and operational efficiency of the end product.  

With a broad cross-section of case studies now available, lessons learned can be leveraged from projects across Canada and internationally to better understand the benefits and limitations of the collaborative delivery models for municipal treatment projects. References will be made to a broad range of collaborative project delivery models including Design-Build, Progressive Design Build, CMAR, and Alliance Delivery. Through the analysis of several municipal treatment projects completed over the past 15 years, the presenter will highlight where collaborative delivery has worked well and where it has been challenged to delivery better value to municipal clients. Case studies will be used to identify key considerations when assessing different alternate delivery models for municipal treatment applications and highlight key success factors for achieving win-win outcomes without compromising the functionality of the end product.

  - Presented by Stephen Horseman of WSP Canada

Considerations for Rate Setting

This one hour seminar is designed to give a high level introduction to rate setting considerations, focusing on full cost recovery methodologies. We will look at both sides of the rate setting equation, Revenue Requirements and Rate Structures, and show how they are built up in an easy to understand way.

Topics included:

  • Budgeting
  • Capital Plan
  • Financing impacts
  • Infrastructure charges
  • Fixed vs Variable rates
  • Usage projections

By the end of the session, attendees should be able to understand the information used by a utility in building a rate model, the impacts of financing decisions to user rates, and have increased knowledge to begin to investigate their own rate setting processes.

A Solution for Infrastructure Gaps in the Water and Wastewater Sector

Graham Capital is the project development, financial advisory, equity investment, and asset management subsidiary of the Graham group of companies.  Leveraging our deep internal financial capability, and intimate knowledge of the Canadian construction and project finance landscape, our team has developed a new model for delivering rate-based infrastructure projects for municipalities in Canada.  We call it the Municipal Investment Partnership Model, and it is tailored specifically to address a common set of challenges faced by our municipal partners in today’s economic landscape:

  • The presence of a clear infrastructure construction, expansion, or renewal need.
  • Insufficient capital funding available through traditional channels and increased upward pressure on rates.
  • Pressure on the municipal debt limit that restricts borrowing capacity.
  • An urgency to complete the project, based on external factors.
  • A desire for municipalities to retain control of their infrastructure and associated economic benefits.

Graham’s Municipal Investment Partnership Model solves these challenges in the utility space and can be custom-tailored to any specific infrastructure requirement. Our model can be applied on any infrastructure project that benefits from a long-term rate base, including water, wastewater, renewable energy, waste management, and energy-efficient retrofits.

This presentation will provide context on the infrastructure gap in the water and wastewater sector, limitations of current frameworks for project delivery, and provide an overview of Graham’s Municipal Investment Partnership Model. 

What Landscapes Know About Water

The water drawn from any given point has a history and the landscape that the water flowed over is a key part of that history. The landscape upstream of a withdrawal point influences what type of water is withdrawn and how much water there is available for withdrawal. This session will provide an overview of how landscape influences water quality and quantity by reviewing the interactions that water has with the landscape.  Discussions will include the biotic (vegetation, human footprint, etc) and the abiotic (soils, climate, etc) characteristics of the Peace watershed and the interactions that they have with water. Understanding these interactions, provides insight to the water that is available for withdrawal and also informs us of the potential effects that the water we release will have on the receiving water body. Watershed management is the application of this understanding to support the watershed in provisioning water resources that we as a society want.

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AWWOA Incident Safety Awareness Workshop (FREE for all Attendees)

AWWOA, in collaboration with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo have developed this three-hour workshop to educate water and wastewater professionals on the hazards of chemical handling in the industry. The workshop will share insights into an incident that occurred at the RMWB Water Treatment Plant, including re-cap and review followed by risk assessment and incident prevention.

  - Presented by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo/AWWOA