Program Information

Environmental Technicians, specializing in water and wastewater treatment, are in demand in Ontario for a variety of sectors including mining, oil and gas, the public service and private industry. The Environmental Technician - Water & Wastewater Systems Operations College diploma is a fast-track to qualification for employment as a licensed drinking water operator in Ontario. In addition, this program shares a delivery of courses with Northern College and as such, certain lectures will be delivered remotely via a virtual classroom. The platform used for the distance delivery will be Microsoft Teams and students will be expected to have a personal mobile device like a laptop to login and view the lectures delivered by the partner college faculty.

Students enrolled in this program will train in Lambton College's new Centre of Excellence in Energy & Bio-Industrial Technologies. The Centre offers state-of-practice technology laboratories and infrastructure to support learning and research in next-generation technologies in collaboration with industry.

The program has an innovative compressed delivery model, allowing students to graduate faster - in two years instead of three - by combining theory and practical systems operator experience, in conjunction with three co-op work terms.

Students can expect to be exposed to both operating water treatment facilities and pilot-scale systems during their studies. The conversion of raw water to safe drinking water is the goal and students are immersed in every step of the process.

The curriculum focuses on preparing students to write the Ontario Operator-in-Training examinations and the Drinking Water Operators Entry-Level Course through the Walkerton Clean Water Centre and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. In combination with the co-op work terms, graduates may obtain the practical experience required to graduate with a Class 1 Operator license. This is subject to specific co-op work experiences and number of hours worked in accordance with the Ontario Water Wastewater Certification Office (OWWCO).

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Student will train with GPS-X Water and Wastewater modelling software. This state of practice, dynamic plant simulator allows students to model, control, optimize and manage different real world scenarios in a controlled environment.

Fall 2021 Delivery Format

For the Fall 2021 term, this program will be fully in-person. Students in first year will be expected to attend classes on campus between September 2021 and December 2021. International students have until October 1 to arrive on campus; remote learning will not be accommodated after October 1.

If however, due to public health restrictions, this is not an option, this program will revert to partially remote and students will be expected to attend classes on campus sporadically throughout the week to complete hands-on curriculum in a safe and socially distanced environment.

For upper year students, information about delivery format is available on

See Course List

Admission Requirements

O.S.S.D. or equivalent with:

  • Grade 12 English C or U
  • Grade 12 Math C or U (MCT4C or any Grade 12U math is preferred; MAP4C accepted with minimum grade of 60%)
  • Grade 12 Chemistry C or U (recommended)

Mature applicants must be at least 19 years of age by the start of classes, be out of secondary school for at least one year and usually do not have a high school diploma. Mature applicant assessment for this program is available in the Counselling Department in the subject of English. The assessment(s) will demonstrate proficiency in required admission subjects. For more information please contact the Counselling Department at ext 3412. Academic admission requirements can be obtained through Academic Upgrading and Pre-Programs at Lambton College.

Foreign educated students - who have not been educated in either Canada or the USA - can choose to have their foreign education assessed by a third party service such as, the International Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) or the World Education Services (WES).

For students who have already had their credentials assessed, they may use that assessment if their education is the equivalent of an O.S.S.D. or above.

The admissions process is competitive and meeting the minimum academic requirements does not guarantee admission.

Lambton College reserves the right to alter information including admission requirements and to cancel at any time a program or course; to change the location and/or term in which a program or course is offered; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies or changes in the job market; to change the pathways third-party certification bodies; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations or over-acceptance of offers of admission. In the event Lambton College exercises such a right, Lambton College’s sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to Lambton College.

English Language Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate language proficiency by submitting one of the following scores:

  • IELTS of 6.5
  • TOEFL iBT 79
  • Passed Lambton Institute of English placement test 

Please Note: IELTS is the only proficiency score accepted by the Study Direct Stream (SDS) program. Additional country-specific requirements may also be applicable.

Meeting the minimum English requirements does not guarantee admission. Students with higher English proficiency scores will receive priority in the admission assessment process.

Course List

COM-1013: Critical Thinking and Writing

In this writing course, students will respond to current issues and news articles via various styles of paragraphs and essays. Students will strive for clarity of message and diplomatic expression of opinion based on fact. Students will practice thinking critically and will organize and hone their writing to ensure clarity and correctness in their messages. Critical Thinking and Writing lays the foundation for a subsequent research- writing course.

MTH-1063: Introduction to Mathematics I

This is the first of two courses designed to provide the student with a fundamental understanding of mathematical concepts. This course reviews and enhances topics in numeracy, measurement, graphs, algebra, solving equations, and statistics. Competent use of a scientific calculator is also emphasized.

ITS-1013: IT Skills for Technology

Current and effective use of Information Technology Skills (ITS) is a requirement for all working professionals. ITS-1013 is a blended learning course designed to acquaint students with Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint software as well as the fundamentals of file-management when using the Microsoft Windows operating system. Different browsers, practical Internet research tools and the Lambton College email program are also studied. This course is delivered using practical hands-on applications and comprises additional online skills assessment and training tools purposefully designed to provide flexibility in learning. Greater emphasis is placed on Microsoft Excel than Word and PowerPoint as the course aligns more closely to technology studies. This course further prepares students to apply these technological skills as they continue and expand in their technology program areas of study.

JSS-1001: Job Search and Success

This course is designed to give the student an understanding of how to conduct a job search and how to succeed in the work place. This includes self-reflection, effectively designing a cover letter and resume, online job searches utilizing social media, behavioural based interviewing as well as marketing oneself effectively in a job interview. Job safety, successful work strategies and harassment and discrimination plan of action is also discussed.

INL-4163: Introduction to GIS

Introduction to GIS is an introduction to Geographic Information Systems. Geographic Information Systems involves the manipulation of databases to produce a variety of reports and/or maps.

EVL-1114: Chemistry and Physics

This course deals with concepts in chemistry and physics of relevance to water and waste water facility design and operations. The emphasis is on the "need to know" aspects of theory; practical lab and field sessions are used to reinforce concepts introduced in lecture.

WML-1204: Water Monitoring and Sampling

This is a course designed to introduce basic sampling and analytical techniques to water and wastewater plant operators. The course concentrates on sampling techniques and necessary lab skills. Students learn how to develop sampling plans and take representative process samples that are free of contamination due to handling. They also learn the proper techniques and instrumentation for performing comprehensive laboratory analyses on water and wastewater samples.

WML-1023: Introduction to Wastewater Collection and Treatment

This course is a detailed examination of the techniques and principals involved in the proper collection and treatment of wastewater. The course concentrates on the purpose of wastewater collection and treatment systems, the major sources of wastewater and the technology available to combat wastewater disease. Topics discussed include an overview and history of collection and treatment systems, wastewater equipment and facilities, preliminary and primary treatment, activated sludge control, basic process responses and interactions, and a general survey of different types of wastewater management systems. Lecture material is supplemented with a visit to one of the local facilities in order to view how the concepts discussed in class are being implemented by industry and by municipalities.

EVL-2012: Soil and Air Monitoring and Sampling

This is a course in basic soil and air sampling and analytical techniques for waste facility workers. Preliminary topics to be covered include soil characteristics, soil classification, soil monitoring and sampling, the composition of our atmosphere, air pollution, and air quality monitoring and sampling. Field and laboratory sessions will involve the application of these concepts as they are introduced in lecture.

GED-XXX3: General Education Elective

COM-2043: Communications for Technology

Technical writing differs from most student writing; therefore, it is necessary for students to learn the structure, nuances, and style of technical writing to be successful in completing labs, summaries, and reports. Through research writing and documentation, and through oral presentations, successful students will gain important transferrable skills that provide the basis for technical communication required in their other coursework and the workplace.

EVL-4016: Water Treatment Plant Instrumentation and Controls

EVL-4016 will encompass the basics of industry safety and job planning, electrical service concepts, instrumentation, final control elements, process control theory and devices, as well as process control systems.

EVL-3124: Pumps and Motors

Operating equipment pertaining to various types of industries will be discussed. This course contains a practical approach to pumps, internal combustion engines, fire hydrants, lift stations and lubrication fundamentals. The principle of operation, types, parts, operation and basic maintenance of these types of rotating equipment are covered. This course discusses the basics and application of fluid properties. An overview of rotating electrical motors and generators is also included.

EVL-2012: Plant Operations

This is a course in basic soil and air sampling and analytical techniques for waste facility workers. Preliminary topics to be covered include soil characteristics, soil classification, soil monitoring and sampling, the composition of our atmosphere, air pollution, and air quality monitoring and sampling. Field and laboratory sessions will involve the application of these concepts as they are introduced in lecture.

WML-4002: Waste Characteristics

This course examines concepts important to the operation of wastewater treatment (WWT) facilities. The activated sludge treatment process is investigated in detail. The importance and role of microorganisms in wastewater treatment is also examined. Students will perform a lab to assess the solids content of a wastewater sample.

EVL-4002: Chlorine Maintenance

This course deals with chlorine and chlorination systems, their installation, storage and handling, safety practices, start up and shut down procedures, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

EVL-1000: Independent Study for ELC

This is the Self Study portion of the Entry Level Course for Drinking Water Operators, as delivered by Northern College under license by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MoECC). Students must read the Textbook, guided by the practice questions in the Self-Study workbook, and successfully pass a comprehensive Self Study test (70%) before proceeding to take the Classroom portion of the Entry Level Course, as delivered in EVL3005 Certification Preparation.

EVL-3005: Certification Exams Prep (OIT and ELC Classroom Portion)

EVL-3005 is a course in two parts. The first module, OIT Preparation, prepares students to write the Operator In Training examinations in Water Treatment, Water Distributiuon and Supply, Wastewater Treatment, and Wastewater Collection (MOECC/OWWCO). These examinations are prerequisite to being able to work in the water/wastewater treatment industry as an Operator In Training (OIT). The second module, Entry Level Course for Drinking Water Operators, is the mandatory 35 hour Classroom component of the Entry Level Course for Drinking Water Operators, delivered by Northern College under license by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).

EVL-2003: Problem Solving in Water and Wastewater Treatment

This is a course in applied mathematics for water and wastewater treatment operators. Major topics covered include conversions, basic water treatment mathematics. A methodology of problem solving will be developed which will enable students to successfully deal with a wide variety of practical scenarios.

CPL-1049: Co-op Work Term (optional)

Co-operative education provides students with the opportunity to apply classroom learning to the workplace, undertake career sampling and gain valuable work experience that may assist students in leveraging employment after graduation. For further information regarding co-op, please refer to:

CPL-2049: Co-op Work Term (optional)

Co-operative education provides students with the opportunity to apply classroom learning to the workplace, undertake career sampling and gain valuable work experience that may assist students in leveraging employment after graduation. For further information regarding co-op, please refer to:

EVL-4022: Laboratory Procedures

This course prepares students for the laboratory aspect of a plant operator's responsibilities. Topics covered include regulations, sampling, chemistry, laboratory equipment and procedures, safety, and a variety of analyses performed by operators and water quality analysts. Lab/ practical sessions will focus on laboratory equipment and instrumentation, including its proper application, use, calibration, and troubleshooting.

WML-3011: Wastewater Digester Operation and Nutrient Removal

This course focuses on two specific areas of wastewater treatment: Module 1 begins with an overview of wastewater processes, then concentrates on Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) . BNR is a process tackling the reduction of polluting chemical nutrients that are not eliminated via the normal activated sludge treatment process. Module 2 focuses on the operation of sludge digesters -- a biological treatment step that reduces the sludge volumes and produces a sludge free of bacteria and pathogens -- safe and dirt-like.

OES-4304: Mechanical Practices for Operating Engineers

This course is intended to develop the introductory mechanical skills required by an Operating Engineer and those who work in a process-related position. Certain types of jobs in the field of Operating Engineering will require varying levels of hands-on mechanical skills. Students in this course will develop an understanding of energy isolation, various types of fluid conductors, gasket selection and installation techniques, blank and blind usage, pressure testing, shaft alignment, fire extinguisher usage, compressor fundamentals, and procedures for rigging, hoisting, and proper communication.

WML-3002: Hydrogeology

This course introduces the student to the principles of hydrology and hydrogeology and how they relate to water, wastewater, and waste management. The course is introductory in nature and covers a broad range of topics. This course will enable the student to understand the terminology and basic concepts of hydrology, the hydrologic cycle and related geologic principles. Water quality and contamination, and principles of its measurement, site analysis, and clean-up will be studied. The successful student should be well prepared to participate in site investigations and well site planning by understanding the major variables and influencing factors on both surface and groundwater systems.

WML-4003: Environmental Regulations and Legislation

This course offers an introduction to, and understanding of, several Acts and Regulations that Environmental Technicians and Water Treatment Technicians will encounter. Students will be introduced to these Acts and shown how to interpret them. They will additionally learn how to plan strategies for, comply with, report, and act on environmental incidents.

OHS-2012: Health and Safety for Industrial Processes

The graduate of this course will have a good understanding of safety aspects of the law, the legal responsibilities of the workplace, and his/her own legal rights and responsibilities, as well as work processes and procedures being used in present-day industry. This course will give them a basic understanding of the Occupational Health & Safety Act and its associated Regulations, and an understanding of health and safety issues in an industrial setting.

GED-XXX3: General Education Elective

GED-XX3: General Education Elective

CPL-3049: Co-op Work Term (optional)

Co-operative education provides students with the opportunity to apply classroom learning to the workplace, undertake career sampling and gain valuable work experience that may assist students in leveraging employment after graduation. For further information regarding co-op, please refer to:

Program Maps

Students are required to follow their prescribed program map and are not allowed to take unscheduled breaks for any reason.

Current Students

Current students can view program maps from previous years on the mylambton website. 

You will need to login with your C# and password in order to access your program map.

Technology Requirements

This program requires a mobile device (laptop or tablet) with a camera and microphone.

Employment Opportunities

Our graduates pursue a broad range of exciting employment opportunities. They find employment in Ontario's municipal and aboriginal water and wastewater facilities, environmental departments in mines and other industries, solid waste management facilities and in government.

A wide variety of career opportunities that are dynamic and challenging that also offer a competitive rate of compensation are available to graduates. Career positions may include, but are not limited to: environmental systems operator - water treatment, water purification plant operator, liquid waste process operator, sewage plant operator, waste treatment plant operator, wastewater treatment plant operator, water filtration plant operator, and water treatment plant operator.

For more information, please contact the appropriate campus:

905-890-7833 x 222
Sarnia/Main Campus
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