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W. Garfield weston foundation award
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95 per cent of what I needed to know to do my current job was covered by the courses I took during my two years in the Water Quality Technician pro [...]

Gord Newlands
Water Quality Technician
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Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen is the simplest definition of water but in reality, water is so much more. The Water Quality Technician prog [...]

Shannon Christian
Water Quality Technician
Water Quality Technician

Water Quality Technician

Water Quality Technician

Water Quality Technician

Water Quality Technician

Water is a life source that millions of species depend on for survival. As a water quality technician, you will work towards keeping water safe for consumption and for the return of it to the environment through proven treatment methods. Distribution and collection methods will also be examined. As part of this program, you will also complete the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s (MOECC) entry-level Drinking Water course. You may also challenge the four MOECC operator- in- training exams (water treatment, wastewater treatment, water distribution and wastewater collection) for an additional fee.

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Program Description

Public health depends on the superior management of water quality and a team of professionals is required to ensure safe water for residents of Ontario. The Water Quality Technician program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and practical skills to work in water and wastewater treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection and environmental monitoring.

You will receive the specific education required to develop the skills needed to meet the demands of municipalities with water and wastewater treatment systems, water-use industries and environmental monitoring agencies.

Classes will be delivered at both the Oshawa and Whitby campuses, depending on the semester and year. This enables students to utilize various applicable lab resources. Students will be notified in advance when they register for classes.

You will focus on:

  • Engineering concepts
  • Environmental quality
  • Professional responsibility relating to co-workers, the public and regulators
  • The impact that water quality has on human health

Targeted skills development includes:

  • Chemistry and mathematics related to water quality, treatment and analysis
  • Conflict management, problem solving and effective communications
  • Emerging pathogen risks and public health concepts
  • Hydrology
  • Knowledge development in the areas of operation of water and wastewater systems
  • Microbiology
  • System design concepts and blue print reading
  • Sampling, laboratory techniques and data interpretation

Please note: You will be required to purchase green tag safety boots in order to participate in many laboratory settings.

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Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Mature Student Status
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 mathematics (C, M or U) 
  • Grade 12 chemistry (recommended)
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Career Options


  • Drinking water inspector
  • Sales and technical support person • Wastewater operator
  • Wastewater technician
  • Water distribution operator
  • Water quality technician
  • Water treatment operator


  • Environmental monitoring agencies
  • Equipment providers
  • Government laboratory and regulatory branches
  • Industrial operations
  • Water and wastewater treatment plants across Canada
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Program Costs

YEAR ONE FEESDomesticInternational
Compulsory Ancillary$1,141$1,541
Program Incidental$213$213
Total Fees:$4,204$14,376

Please note: fees are based on the 2016-2017 academic year and do not include textbooks. For more information please see Other fees to consider.

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Field Placement

A field placement will allow you to utilize your applied training and further develop hands-on competencies critical to developing public trust in water quality. In addition, you will have the opportunity to complete the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s (MOE) Entry Level Drinking Water Course (see additional fees information) as part of your studies. You may also wish to challenge the four MOE Operator-in-training exams (water treatment, wastewater treatment, water distribution and wastewater collection (see additional fees information).

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Students applying to this program may be eligible to apply for the W. Garfield Weston Foundation Award. Qualified recipients of the award will receive $5,000 per year, for up to two years, including $1,500 for tuition and $3,500 for other expenses such as travel, food, books, tools and supplies. For more information, please visit the award page.

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  • code: WATR
  • Program length: Four semesters
  • Credential awarded: Ontario college diploma
  • Location: Oshawa and Whitby
  • School: School of Science & Engineering Technology (SET)
  • Domestic tuition: $2,851 (CDN)
  • Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Open Open: September 2017
  • International Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Open Open: September 2017
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