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August 26-29, 2018 
Kansas City, Missouri

Sept. 12-14, 2018
Cornwall, ON

Waterline - Summer 2018

Blue-Green Algae: A Potentially Toxic Visitor

For some communities in Ontario, the late summer-early fall period means the return of an unwanted and potentially dangerous visitor - blue-green algae blooms.

Blue-algae (cyanobacteria) occur naturally in ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. Usually invisible to the naked eye, under the right conditions the plant-like organisms multiply rapidly and form a mass or "bloom" on the surface of water bodies.  Blooms are often blue-green and thrive in areas where the water is shallow, slow moving and warm, but they may also be present in deeper, cooler water.

A key contributing factor to the growth of blue-green algae is the amount of available nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. Blooms can be caused by agricultural and stormwater runoff as well as leaching from septic systems.  In Ontario, phosphorus tends to be the nutrient that influences the growth of algae, according to the  Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks .

Blue-green algae can be aesthetically unpleasant as they produce taste and odour compounds.  During a "harmful algae bloom," toxins are produced. Exposure to these toxins can pose a health risk to humans and animals. 

OCWA works closely with local health units and the Ministry to monitor the occurrence of blooms. We also work in partnership with clients to pro-actively monitor and sample before and during bloom season.

OCWA also supports the work of two Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Chairs with the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo whose projects include research into  cyanobacteria.  One of the projects we're involved in is an examination of the accumulation of algae at various stages of water treatment.  Click  here for full story.
MECP Minister Rod Phillips
Ontario's New Premier and Ministry Name Change

On Friday, June 29, 2018, Doug Ford was sworn in as the Premier of Ontario.
Under the new government, a number of ministries have been renamed or merged. OCWA is now an agency under the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), formerly the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. Rod Phillips, MPP for Ajax, has been appointed Minister. 

A complete list of ministries and cabinet appointments is available on the Government of Ontario  website.  
New Round of Asset Management Workshops Funded by FCM

Earlier this summer, The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) announced new training opportunities to help local governments across the country optimize asset management practices.

FCM is awarding $5.2 million in grants to 17 partner organizations to deliver the next phase of training between July 2018 and December 2019. The focus in this second round of funding is to expand the understanding of asset management and build technical capacity. 

Ontario partner organizations include the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and Asset Management Ontario.

Read more about this next round of training opportunities here.
OCWA Case Study: Remote Monitoring, First Nations Services

A lack of continuous monitoring of water quality poses a serious challenge for many communities with aging treatment plants. 

Such was the case for the Ochiichagewe'babigo'ining Water Treatment Plant and Eagle Lake Water Treatment Plant in northwestern Ontario, which were not equipped with remote monitoring technology and were unable to provide round-the-clock operations staff at the facilities.

Read about OCWA's partnership with Bimose Tribal Council to improve operations and water quality at the plants through the use of remote monitoring technology.
OCWA in the Community
Saluting our OneWater Partners in Education!

The 2017-18 school year was another great one for OCWA's OneWater Education Program. OneWater engages Grade 8 students through hands-on activities and interaction with local water operators who partner with the community to provide its water and wastewater treatment services. To date, more than 45 schools and 2,000 students have participated in the program.
OCWA would like to welcome the following communities that participated in OneWater for the first time: Renfrew, Deep River, Keene, Ailsa Craig, St. Pauls, Camlachie, Mississauga, Everett, Greenstone (Nakina and Geraldton) and Wheatley We'd also like to thank all the returning communities for their ongoing support.  OCWA is grateful to our community partners who share our passion for educating youth on the value of water.

Here are some photos from the past school year (clockwise from top left): St. Joseph's Catholic High School in Renfrew receives a OneWater appreciation plaque; an OCWA operator presents OneWater at Bobcaygeon Public School in Kawartha Lakes; St. Joseph Catholic School in Geraldton enjoys a tour of the local water treatment plant; North Middlesex Infrastructure Supervisor Johathan Lampman joins us for the OneWater plaque ceremony at East Williams Memorial PS in Ailsa Craig;  Rebecca Clothier, Treasurer/Deputy Clerk for Perth South, joins us for the ceremony at Downie Central PS in St. Pauls; an OCWA operator teaches students at Tosorontio Central PS in Everett.

Book the OCWA OnTap Water Buggy for Your Community Event

Helps cut down on plastic waste!

OCWA is proud to supply safe, reliable drinking water to homes, businesses and organizations in your community. But did you know that OCWA can also provide quality tap water at local events throughout the spring, summer and fall? 

The OCWA On Tap water buggy is a mobile water distribution system that our clients can book free of charge! Inviting us to your next event is a great way to promote the benefits of drinking tap water. It is a healthy source of hydration, helps save your residents money and cuts down on wasteful plastic water bottles.

There are two sizes to choose from:

(Unit design may be different from photo)
- Single-tap unit that fits on the back of an OCWA vehicle
- Must hook up to local water supply
- Great for smaller events!
- Unit with eight taps
- Option to use pre-filled poly tank (holds 225 gallons) or hook up to local water supply
- Great for larger events, but book early as there are a limited number available!

When you book the OCWA On Tap buggy, you know the water you're getting will be clean and safe. Our buggy is maintained by certified water treatment operators who follow strict operational guidelines and public health regulations.

Call your local OCWA representative for more information or to book an OCWA On Tap water buggy for your next community event! (Based on availability.)

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