Municipal Affairs and Environment

Water Treatment - Level I and II

This course is generally 3 days in duration and includes classroom-style instruction and review/exam preparation. Completion of this course will prepare operators for the Level І and ІІ Water Treatment Certification Exam.

Introduction and Basics

  • Importance and responsibilities of a water treatment plant operator
  • Hydrologic cycle
  • Surface water sources and water quality
  • Groundwater sources, water quality and operational terms
  • Drinking water quality legislation and regulations
  • Sample collection protocol
  • Reservoir Management and Intake Structures

Coagulation and Flocculation

  • Purpose of coagulation and flocculation in the water treatment process
  • Coagulation process details – flash mixing, types of mixers, use of coagulants, type of coagulant chemicals, etc.
  • Flocculation process details – floc basin design, detention time, flocculation aids, incidental flocculation, floc quality characteristics, etc.
  • Efficiency of coagulation and flocculation processes – monitoring of water quality, visual observations, use of jar tests, etc.


  • Purpose of sedimentation in the water treatment process
  • Water quality characteristics that impact efficiency of sedimentation
  • Sedimentation basin design – basin shape/configuration, inlet zone, settling zone, sludge zone, outlet zone
  • Tube settlers and plate settlers
  • Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) – description of process and associated advantages
  • Solids Contact Process (Upflow Clarifiers) – description of process and associated advantages/disadvantages
  • Sludge collection and removal – types of collection/removal systems, removal frequency


  • Purpose of filtration in the water treatment process
  • Types of filtration systems – gravity, pressure, slow sand, diatomaceous earth, etc.
  • Types of filter media and design configurations
  • Filter operation – head loss, turbidity breakthrough, filter production, filtration rate, filter run length, etc.
  • Filter backwashing – process description, surface washing, underdrain systems, etc.
  • Direct filtration
  • Filter operation and maintenance activities

Membrane Processes

  • Pressure driven membrane processes – reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, microfiltration and ultrafiltration
  • Electrical driven membrane processes


  • Purpose and requirements for disinfection
  • Impacts of water quality on disinfection efficiency
  • Disinfection alternatives
  • Properties of chlorine
  • Chlorine dosage calculations
  • CT
  • Chlorine breakpoint
  • Basic chlorine chemistry
  • Hypo-chlorination equipment
  • Gas chlorination equipment
  • Chlorine safety

Corrosion Control

  • Influencing factors for corrosion – physical, chemical and biological
  • Types of corrosion – internal, external, bimetallic, stray current
  • Corrosion prevention methods (treatment options)
  • Langelier Index

Taste and Odour Control

  • Common taste and odour causing compounds
  • Removal of taste and odour causing compounds – optimizing coagulation and flocculation processes, aeration, and adsorption
  • Destruction of taste and odour causing compounds – oxidation

Iron and Manganese Removal

  • Adverse effects of elevated iron and manganese levels in drinking water
  • Treatment options – greensand filters, oxidation with potassium permanganate
  • Red water problems


  • Purpose for fluoridation of drinking water
  • Adverse effects associated with elevated levels of fluoride
  • Fluoridation chemicals
  • Fluoridation equipment
  • Fluoride safety precautions


  • What is hardness?
  • Benefits and limitations of softening drinking water
  • Softening methods – chemical precipitation, ion exchange

Handling and Disposal of Process Wastes

  • Sources of sludge in the water treatment process
  • Manual sludge removal
  • Sludge dewatering processes – solar drying beds, sand drying beds, belt filter press, centrifuges, filter press, vacuum filter

Cross Connections

  • What is a cross connection?
  • Types of cross connection prevention devices – air gap, atmospheric vacuum breaker, pressure vacuum breaker, double check valve assembly, reduced pressure zone device

Pumps and Hydraulics

  • Pump applications in a water distribution system
  • Types of pumps and how they work – positive displacement, centrifugal pumps, turbine pumps
  • Pump components – impellers, packing, lantern rings, mechanical seals, bearings
  • Operation and maintenance of pumps – pump alignment, cavitation, net positive suction head, troubleshooting

Lab Procedures

  • Description of glassware, chemicals, lab equipment, and instrumentation
  • Laboratory and field safety
  • Quality assurance and control
  • Specific tests such as hydrogen ion concentration (pH), alkalinity, total hardness, chlorine demand, chlorine residual, fluoride, iron, nitrate, coliforms, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, conductivity, temperature, colour, etc.
  • Proper procedures and techniques for collecting bacteriological samples

Math and Metric for Water Treatment Operators

  • Math and metric related discussions
  • Practice Questions – review of typical math certification exam questions

Certification Exam Preparation

Practice Questions – typical certification exam questions related to water treatment plant operation

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