Changes to the Saskatchewan’s Water and Wastewater Works Operator Certification Standards

  • These Saskatchewan Water and Wastewater Works Operator Certification Standards took effect on December 4, 2016 and are intended for use by the Saskatchewan Operator Certification Board, operators, municipalities, consultants and other persons involved with the operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities in Saskatchewan.
  • The Operator Certification Board must base their certification decisions on these standards as well as The Waterworks and Sewage Works Regulations.
  • All ten provinces as well as Yukon and the Northwest Territories participated in the development of the “Canadian best practices” with which Saskatchewan’s certification standards align. The purpose of the “Canadian best practices” isto provide greater program and administrative guidance to jurisdictions and to strive for greater harmonization of certification program requirement across Canada. In this way the “Canadian best practices” and Saskatchewan’s certification standards support reciprocity and the Agreement on Internal Trade.
  • The Agreement on Internal Trade requires each province and territory to issue the same type and level of drinking water and wastewater certificate which have been issued in other provinces and territories provided that the certificate is in good standing.
  • The other provinces and territories are at various stages in instituting these best practices. In terms of our neighboring provinces, Alberta and Manitoba have already included all of the best practices within their guidelines.
  • Sixteen best practices recommendations were developed. The Saskatchewan certification program already operates by the majority of these best practices but changes to the standards are required to institute them fully.
  • Changes include:
    • No substitution for education for small systems and Level One Classifications. The previous certification standard allowed for one year operating experience as a substitute for two years of grade school and one year operating experience for one year high school. The completion of grade 10 or equivalent for small systems and grade 12 or equivalent for level one classifications helps to ensure an operator has the minimal acceptable reading, mathematical and applicable science knowledge and abilities to read, understand, calculate and interpret operational and safety instructions; and
    • Six hours (0.6 CEUs) of mandatory approved training are now required for both small water systems and small wastewater systems. The previous requirement was to obtain a 70% mark on small system certification exams and exams could be challenged without the operator ever receiving training. Mandatory entry level training on defined subjects ensures that all operators have completed training on the fundamentals of water/wastewater.

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With the recent global outbreak of the COVID19 virus, the SWWA would like to reassure its members that we are committed to ensuring the safety of our membership as a whole. Alternatives to the upcoming workshops are being explored and the November conference is still scheduled to take place without interruption at this time. Further details will be provided once final board decisions have been made.  Due to the uniqueness of this situation, the SWWA is working outside its normal realm and ask that you remain patient while we find the most appropriate solution for all involved.