the interior of a water treatment plant

An interview with OFNTSC Circuit Rider Trainer, Jack Brown.

We asked one of our Circuit Rider Trainers, Jack Brown, to answer a few questions for us on what the Circuit Rider Training Program is and why it's so important for First Nations Water Operators to utilize. Check out his responses below!

1. What are the most common issues you see that cause BWAs in First Nations communities? 

The most common issues that I have encountered that relate to B.W.A.s are directly related to water distribution system breakdowns. The most common occurrence is usually from a water main break.

2. How can these challenges be overcome? 

The most important task is to isolate the break as quickly as possible while keeping positive pressure in the system to minimize contamination. To ensure public safety a precautionary boil water advisory is initiated and not deemed safe or lifted until all repairs, disinfection, flushing, and water sampling has been done.

3. What is the Circuit Rider Training Program?

The Circuit Rider Training Program provides C.E.U (Continuing Education Unit) certified training courses as well as On-the-Job Training for all First Nation operators. A certified trainer has a number of communities that they visit and provides the training necessary to ensure operators meet their yearly training requirements to maintain their licenses.

4. Why is the Circuit Rider Training program important for First Nations to utilize?

The Circuit Rider Program is important for First Nation communities to utilize for many reasons that also benefit Water Treatment Operators. There is no cost to either the participating First Nation or the Water Plant Operator. The trainer comes to the community, so there are no travel costs for the operators. Trainers can also work one on one with the operators. All training is tracked and can be tailor-made to the operators’ needs.

5. Why did you decide to get into this field and what is the most rewarding aspect of your job? 

I was asked to work with the Circuit Rider Program about ten years ago. I had over twenty years of experience in the water treatment field at that time. I felt that I could share what I had learned to help others to be successful and to be able to contribute to their communities. I have been fortunate to travel and see many places and have met a lot of awesome people over the years. The best part of being a CRTP trainer is when an operator is able to place their license up on the wall.