First Nations Zone - Tools and Information


Many First Nations communities in Ontario choose to follow provincial training and certification requirements, and participate in Ontario’s Operator Certification and Training Program.

The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is committed to supporting First Nations drinking water systems in Ontario. Established in 2004, the Centre provides a state-of-the-art facility and highly skilled research and training staff to meet the specific needs of drinking water operators in Ontario, including operators in First Nations communities.

Operator Certification and Training

The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC), Keewaytinook Okimakanak/Northern Chiefs Council (KO) and the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) have entered into a partnership to collaborate on projects that support drinking water operator training, certification and mentorship to First Nations communities in Ontario. Information about the projects being undertaken through this collaborative effort will be communicated to all First Nations communities in Ontario. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – OFNTSC, KO, WCWC

The Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators (ELC) is being offered to operators of First Nations systems to help meet their training needs. The revised course offerings started in the fall of 2017.
ELC Introduction Letter to Tribal Councils in Ontario – September 2017

The ELC for First Nations provides operators with a basic understanding of water characteristics and public health, water science and mathematics, treatment and distribution systems.
A Guide to Drinking Water and Wastewater Operator Certification for First Nations

It is delivered over a two-week period:
- Week 1 – facilitated self-study with face-to-face instructor support
- Week 2 – classroom instruction and hands-on component delivered by two instructors

Registration for the ELC for First Nations is free of charge and course participants’ travel and accommodation expenses will be reimbursed based on the Ontario Government Travel Directive. The course is available to current operators in First Nations communities as well as others in the community who have an interest in becoming a drinking water operator.

Upcoming ELC for First Nations sessions:

Week 1 – February 4-8
Week 2 – February 25 - March 1

Fort Frances:
Week 1 – March 4-8
Week 2 – March 25-29

Sioux Lookout:
Week 1 – April 1-5
Week 2 – April 29 - May 3

Week 1 – May 6-10
Week 2 – May 27-31

Week 1 – June 3-7
Week 2 – June 24-28

Thunder Bay:
Week 1 – October 7-11
Week 2 – October 28 - November 1

For information on the operator certification program and how to obtain a certificate, visit the Ontario Water Wastewater Certification Office (OWWCO) website:

For communities with small drinking water systems, visit our website's Small Systems Zone for training and resources related to small systems.

WCWC Support Services

WCWC offers a Helpline service for Ontario’s owners, operators, and operating authorities of drinking water systems and members from the public. Through this initiative, WCWC provides information, education and advice to address questions related to drinking water including treatment processes, equipment, operational requirements and environmental factors.
WCWC has a considerable amount of technical knowledge to offer and will strive to provide you with tailored information relating to your query.
Call the helpline toll free at 1-855-306-1155 or email

WCWC is pleased to offer a new online service, the Drinking Water Resource Library. The Drinking Water Resource Library was developed to provide easy access to trusted resources related to drinking water. The library consists of a catalog of documents and features multiple search functions to ease the research of information.