Six students from Parkland College’s Water and Wastewater Operators Course toured Yorkton’s Water Treatment Plant today (Thurs).
They got a first-hand look at the technology used, the process of treating water that’s drinkable and safe, and were able to ask questions during the tour.
Maebelline Pascua, Coordinator of Corporate Training and Continuing Education at Parkland College, says the course is a pilot project for this school year, adding it’s a partnership between Parkland College, Yorkton Tribal Council and 3 of their departments (Labour Force Development, Pre-Employments Supports and Technical Services) and Indigenous Services Canada.
“Initially we had the water treatment and water distribution in the fall, and this is the second part which is the Class 1 Water-Wastewater Treatment and Wastewater Collection.” Pascua said of the two parts of the course.
The program provides “strong foundational training in the Water and Wastewater discipline and is designed for those who are new to this field of study or those who are already working in this field but who want to upgrade or fulfill their continuing education requirements” according to Parkland College in a media advisory.
It’s 19-week program, which wraps up at the end of this month, then the students write their certification exams.
Tamara Brass is one of the six students who participated in the tour and enjoyed the experience.
“It gave me an idea of how much effort is put into maintaining drinkable water for communities, especially that we need water to survive so it’s quite the experience to know what’s going on,” she said.
Brass said she always had an interest in how water is treated to make it safe and drinkable, which led her to joining the course. She currently works at the Key First Nation’s Water Treatment Plant.
Glenda Holmes is the Water Works Manager at the facility, and did the tour with the students.
Holmes believes it’s important that people understand how their water gets treated, because we can take it for granted.
“There’s a lot that goes into it,” Holmes said. “I think it’s important, especially young people, it also gives them an idea of maybe another career path they might be interested in, and we’re always looking for people that are interested in the industry.”
Yorkton’s plant was commissioned in 2010, and currently has 5 trained operators working there, with 3 receiving training.