Entry Level Course for Drinking Water Operators

The Entry Level Drinking Water Course (ELC) is a mandatory course developed by the ministry for all drinking water operators. Successful completion of the ELC is needed to renew a drinking water Operator-in-Training certificate or obtain a Class 1 drinking water certificate. For the purposes of operator certification, the Ministry considers an ELC completion certificate valid for 10 years. If 10 years have passed since you successfully completed the ELC, you may be required to retake the course.

The course provides new operators with a basic understanding of water characteristics, pathogens, treatment and distribution processes, and the regulations that govern water quality. This course is intended to complement the on-the-job training that Operators-in-Training (OIT) receive from their employers.

Overview of Entry-Level Course

The Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators is divided into two parts:

  • Self-study – estimated to take 40 hours to complete and
  • Classroom training – five days

As a first step in completing the Entry-Level Course, the OIT must complete the self-study portion on his/her own time and write a test related to the self-study material. Once the OIT has passed the self-study test, he/she may attend the classroom training session. The classroom portion of the course also has a test. OITs must successfully complete the ELC in order to renew their OIT certificate once, or to apply for a Class 1 drinking water certificate.

 The Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators covers the following subjects:

  • Protecting the health of the public
  • Regulations governing water quality
  • Water related math and drawings
  • Water characteristics and sources
  • Disinfection
  • Treatment
  • Sampling
  • Equipment
  • Well operators
  • Distribution
  • Safety

The course is available through the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) to any individual wishing to pursue a career in drinking water. For more details, please contact the WCWC at 1-866-515-0550 or visit their web site: wcwc.ca

The ELC is also included in the curriculum of certain environmental programs at several Ontario colleges. Students who graduate from these programs are not required to take the ELC through the WCWC. For a list of the colleges that offer the ELC as part of their environmental programs, please visit: https://www.wcwc.ca/en/training/entry-level/