Diploma in Water Treatment Technology

Note: Admissions to the Open Learning Distance Diploma in Water Treatment Technology program are currently suspended until further notice.

The Diploma in Water Treatment Technology prepares students to operate and maintain water-treatment, distribution, re-use, and disposal facilities, and to monitor water quality. This program is designed to educate students in chemistry, microbiology, mathematics, mechanical and electrical systems, instrumentation and treatment technologies as they are applied in the water industry. Students will also study environmental law, occupational health and safety, communications and utility management. During the hands-on lab components, students will be trained in the operation, maintenance and troubleshooting of basic to advanced water systems and processes.


Diploma Water Treatment Technology

By the end of this program students will be able to function as competent team members within the appropriate industry sector, with the ability to:

  1. Demonstrate primary, secondary and advanced water-treatment and distribution operations
  2. Demonstrate fundamental to advanced knowledge of electrical and instrumentation systems as applied to the water industry
  3. Apply basic to advanced knowledge of mechanical systems: piping, valves and pump theory, as well as primary and secondary process equipment energy management.
  4. Apply water sciences including applied math, chemistry, hydraulics, microbiology and toxicology relevant to water and wastewater treatment
  5. Enact source water quality-sampling, analysis, reporting and protection
  6. Discuss the legal, safety and environmental concerns within the industry
  7. Explain the details of applicable human resource issues, assets and financial utility management

The Water Treatment Technology diploma program contains 20 courses of three credits each, including an elective requirement, for a total of 60 credits required to graduate.

Admission Requirements

Grade 12 (or equivalent)

This program also recognizes past educational and work experience through prior learning assessment and recognition.

Residency Requirement

The Water Treatment Technology diploma requires 9 TRU credits (Open Learning or campus).

Diploma Graduation Requirements

Water Treatment Technology diploma program graduation requires completion of 60 credits, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 based on the TRU vocational grading scale, as well as successful completion of each individual course within the program with a grade of 70% or higher.

Graduates from this diploma program will have the education requirements to apply to the Environmental Operator Certification Programs for an Operator in Training Certification. This will enable them to work towards their certification in water treatment water distribution.

Diploma Courses

Year 1

WTTP 1701, Water Sources (3 credits) - This course provides training in the development of new and existing water sources. Students focus on ground and surface water sources as they relate to the way drinking water is treated and distributed. Areas of study include: basic water supply hydrology; groundwater sources; surface water sources; emergency and alternate water sources; source water conservation; source water quality; and source water protection.

WTTP 1711, Water Treatment 1(3 credits) - This is a basic water treatment course with emphasis on environmental applications focusing on past, present and future technologies concerned with water treatment. The major emphasis will cover: Operator responsibilities, water sources, reservoir management, coagulation and flocculation processes, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, corrosion control, and basic water treatment sampling procedures.

WTTP 1721, Applied Math and Science (3 credits) - This course covers the essential elements of mathematics and science which enables students to be successful in the program. In mathematics, the concepts of fractions, ratios and proportion, scientific notation, percent, algebra, calculation of areas and volumes, graphs, and the conversion of units are covered. The science component of the course is divided into two areas: hydraulics and chemistry. In hydraulics, the concepts of pressure, hydraulic grade lines, calculation of head loss, pumping and flow rate problems are discussed in detail. In chemistry, the structure of matter, the balancing of chemical equations and the calculation of dosage are studied.

WTTP 1731, Mechanical Systems 1 and Water Distribution (3 credits) - Students explore the principles of mechanical systems as they apply to water distribution, including piping, pumps and valves used in water and wastewater treatment facilities. The principles of cross connection control are also covered.

WTTP 1741, Environmental Legislation, Safety and Communications (3 credits) - This course provides a foundation in three topic areas: legislation, safety and communications. Under the legislative section, students gain an understanding of the basic principles of environmental law and the legislative framework under which most water suppliers must legally operate. The safety section includes topics such as occupational health and safety as it applies to operations and management of water systems. The third section covers oral and written communication skills required for operators dealing with specific situations that arise through interactions with the public.

WTTP 1801, Applied Electrical Systems (3 credits) - This course offers students an introduction to electrical systems as they apply to the daily operation of water and wastewater treatment processes. Students are introduced to electrical principles, components of electrical systems, operating principles of electric motors, variable frequency drives, advanced motor control and programmable logic controllers.

WTTP 1821, Instrumentation 1 (3 credits) - This course offers an introduction to the instrumentation trade as it applies to the day-to-day operation of water and wastewater treatment plants. Topics discussed include: process control principles; terminology; and troubleshooting techniques. This course is not designed to create tradespersons, but is designed from the viewpoint of plant operators, to develop more awareness of the trades and to enable operators to function more effectively.

WTTP 1831, Mechanical Systems 2 and Energy Management (3 credits) - This course is a continuation of Mechanical Systems 1 and Water Distribution. Students are introduced in more detail to the selection, operating principles, adjustment and maintenance of mechanical equipment used in water and wastewater treatment processes and facilities. The course is arranged in four general sections, starting with moving water, process equipment and pumps as well as energy conservation management.

WTTP 1851, Water Treatment 2 (3 credits) - This course is a continuation of Water Treatment 1. Advanced topics in this course include: water softening; pH control; pre-oxidation; and dissolved metals removal. Students are provided an overview of chemical feed systems and chemical dosage calculations.

WTTP 1891, Water Treatment Lab (3 credits) - This course offers students hands-on practical training integral to the development of water operators. Students’ progress through practical labs involving water quality sampling and analysis, basic electrical, instrumentation, mechanical system maintenance, and plant operation fundamentals for water treatment and distribution. Please Note – students must attend this course in Kamloops.

Year 2

WTTP 2711, Water Chemistry (3 credits) - This course provides students with an introduction to the study of water chemistry. The focus is on chemistry fundamentals that water operators require for problem analysis related to water treatment. Areas of study include: pH; alkalinity; and inorganics (metals and nonmetals, anion/cations) and organics (hydrocarbons, aromatics, detergents, pesticides) species that are found in water. Practical examples of removal and treatment of chemicals found in water are provided.

WTTP 2721, Advanced Coagulation and Particle Removal (3 credits) - This course is a continuation of Water Treatment 2 in which coagulation in general terms is introduced. This course takes an in-depth look at coagulation and particle removal. Topics discussed include: the advanced principles of coagulation; emerging technologies; jar testing; and clarification methods and equipment. The course aims to provide operators with information that will improve their ability to assess conditions in the water treatment plant and make decisions to ensure the smooth operation of their treatment process.

WTTP 2731, Filtration (3 credits) - This course introduces students to the basics of water filtration mechanisms and the methods of their classification. Topics include a historical overview of the development of water treatment and its impact on water filtration today. The process of slow and rapid sand filtration and its operation, performance optimization, maintenance, and backwashing techniques are considered in detail. Alternative filtration processes, such as membranes, pressure sand, manganese green sand, activated carbon, pre-coat and sediment filtration are also explained, along with operations and maintenance procedures for each of the technologies.

WTTP 2741, Disinfection (3 credits) - This course covers the advanced concepts of drinking water disinfection and fluoridation. Topics include history of disinfection, causes of waterborne diseases and disinfection goals. Theory of disinfection, design, and operation as well as "disinfection by-products" are discussed. Technologies covered include chlorination, ozone, UV and alternate disinfection methods. Maintenance and calibration procedures used in monitoring equipment for both disinfection and fluoridation are also addressed.

WTTP 2801, Microbiology and Toxicology (3 credits) - The goal of this course is to introduce students to unifying concepts of biology, microbiology, and toxicology relating to water, and the most common and significant sources of infectious diseases caused by microbial contamination. Students explore the types of toxicants present in aquatic systems, their routes of exposure and modes of action, as well as their effects on human health and the environment.

WTTP 2821, Instrumentation 2 (3 credits) - This course offers a more advanced study into plant floor control and supervision. Students are introduced to the components of a computerized system, and progress to advanced topics including an analogue signal handling, timers and counters, and how discrete and analogue values can be passed from one Programmable Logic Controller to another. Students develop an understanding of modern plant-wide control systems. These systems rely on emerging technologies, such as computers, Programmable Logic Controllers, operator interfaces, and microprocessor based plant-floor devices, together into a Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.

WTTP 2831, Management and Leadership Skills (3 credits) - This course provides an introduction to human resources, assets and operations, financial management and techniques used in the water industry. Topics include the art of management and the role of the manager, decision making, time management, written records, human resource management and communication skills. Students examine the skills required for operations management, asset identification, designing an asset maintenance program, data acquisition, and water conservation. Accounts and budgets, financial accounting and international legislation are discussed.

WTTP 2841, Source Water Protection Management (3 credits) - This course introduces students to source water challenges and issues as well as impacts on water quality and quantity due to climate change. Students study how ground and surface source waters and their catchment areas can face threats and vulnerabilities that impact water safety and sustainability. Students learn to characterize source waters, delineate protection areas, and identify water quality and quantity hazards and vulnerabilities. Using this data, students develop risk assessments and response plans to mitigate hazards through water system design, operations, and watershed management.

One elective requirement (3 credits)

WTTP 2891, Water Treatment Field Project (3 credits) - Students participate in a 90-hour supervised field project at a water or wastewater facility. The focus is on students demonstrating practices related to advanced process control concepts, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems, human resource management, asset/operation and financial management and leadership, operational procedures in coagulation and particle removal, filtration techniques and basic to advanced disinfection processes. Students will prepare a project reports on each of the identified processes and a final presentation on treatments processes.

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