New mobile water treatment plant ready for experiential learning 

The side of the mobile water treatment plant

Water system operator trainees can now obtain hours required for certification with the new mobile water treatment plant at Yukon University. YukonU is offering the first ever Small Water System Operator Lab thanks to support from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) who funded the mobile water treatment plant.  

Water operators are trained and certified to ensure that drinking water is safe and reliable for our communities. The mobile water treatment plant offers learning opportunities that prepare students for working in real-world situations. Students learn to operate treatment plants by troubleshooting, completing daily checks, calibrating analysers, interacting with automation systems, and adjusting chemical dosage; all made possible in the mobile water treatment plant.  

Water and wastewater operator courses have been offered at YukonU over the years, however, COVID-19 restrictions halted the on-site component of these courses which previously took place at local water treatment plants. The mobile plant not only solves this issue, but it also addresses a long-running challenge of students obtaining the required hours of hands-on experience before they can be certified. 

“YukonU is pleased to introduce the mobile plant as a tool to increase sustainability of our water treatment systems, while building capacity of operators throughout the Yukon,” said Dr. Lesley Brown, President and Vice Chancellor, Yukon University. “The winterized mobile water treatment plant allows us to offer our existing courses in an experiential way to communities and First Nations that need certified operators, and we are grateful that CanNor helped make this a reality”. 

Students can register for a three-week program aimed at small water system operators beginning February 14. This program consists of Water Treatment Level 1 and 2, a one-week classroom-based course, and Small Water System Operator Lab, in which students will spend two weeks in the mobile water treatment plant. Upon the successful completion of this program, students may take the Small Water System Operator certification exam.  

“Workers in this field carry a lot of responsibility and the systems they operate can be complex,” said Alison Anderson, P.Eng., Instructor/Coordinator, Yukon Water and Wastewater Operator program. “Now our students can gain skills and confidence as they operate and maintain an industry standard water treatment plant in a low risk setting with the guidance of our experienced instructors.” 
Yukon University is grateful for the financial support from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and our partnership with BI Pure Water

“Northern businesses and organizations are continuing to adapt to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Regional Recovery and Revitalization Fund (RRRF), our government provided immediate support to sectors that are vital to the recovery and growth of the Northern economies. CanNor’s support for the Mobile Water Treatment Plant, including $99,000 over one year through the RRRF, will now allow students to access this training safely in their home communities to ensure continued skills development throughout the pandemic.” 

-  Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon 

Learn more by watching the Mobile Water Treatment Plant video

About YukonU  

Yukon University is a flexible post-secondary institution that includes a place and pathway for every learner. Our students are grounded in education and research relevant to the North. Our resourceful and creative graduates are building a resilient, versatile and ambitious future for all northerners.  

With over 40 degree, diploma, certificate and trades programs, local learners can access opportunities without needing to leave home—those from across Canada and internationally are invited to deepen their understanding of our rapidly changing circumpolar world.   

Our 13 campuses are located on the traditional territories of the 14 Yukon First Nations. We respect and honour Yukon First Nations knowledge, worldviews and educational priorities in every aspect of YukonU. 

About CanNor 

CanNor works with Northerners and Indigenous peoples, communities, businesses, organizations,  federal departments and other orders of government to help build diversified and dynamic economies that foster long-term sustainability and economic prosperity across the territories – Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon. 

Laura Seeley 
Communications Advisor, Yukon Region 
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency