Confederation College and Walkerton Clean Water Centre Forge Partnership for Water Treatment Training


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(Thunder Bay, ON, April 29, 2024) – Confederation College announced a collaboration with the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC), set to improve water treatment education in Northern Ontario. This partnership brings the "Operation of Conventional Treatment Processes" course to Confederation College's custom-designed and cutting-edge pilot water treatment plant, marking a significant milestone for the Environmental Technician program. For the first time, the 2024 cohort of graduating students had the unique opportunity to engage in specialized training in Thunder Bay.

This initiative is not just a first for the college but a step forward in addressing the critical demand for skilled operators in the water and wastewater industry across Northern Ontario. The training took place on April 24-25, and focused on hands-on learning and practical application in environmental chemistry and pilot lab operations.

Brian Bates, Chief Executive Officer of the WCWC, shared his enthusiasm for this collaboration, stating, "The Walkerton Clean Water Centre is excited to announce our partnership with Confederation College to bring our Operation of Conventional Treatment Processes course to Thunder Bay. This collaboration not only enhances the accessibility of this intensive course to students in Northern Ontario but also plays a crucial role in attracting new graduates to the Drinking Water Operations field."

Sandra Stiles, Coordinator of the Environmental Technician program lauded the initiative, stating that “the 2024 cohort of graduating students from the environmental technician program are the first to get the Operation of Conventional Treatment Processes training here. They are graduating with the skills needed to work in the very diverse environmental field and, in particular, the in-demand water and wastewater industry in Ontario.” Stiles added, “The collaboration with Walkerton Clean Water Centre will help to attract and train new operators for water treatment here at the College.” 

The partnership between Confederation College and the WCWC represents a significant leap forward in equipping students with the necessary skills to thrive in the diverse environmental field, with a particular focus on the in-demand water and wastewater industry.

The WCWC team was on-site on April 22 – 23 to familiarize themselves with the college's equipment, which set the stage for the engaging and innovative learning experience that will help prepare the next generation of workers to ensure the sustainability and safety of the region’s water resources.



Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has seven regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Greenstone, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout and Red Lake, as well as a growing Distance Education division.    

Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 7,000 combined full- and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 600 full- and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $707.3 million annually.