NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association urge the Government of Alberta to review and amend the requirements for certification with regard to the individual water systems.
WHEREAS the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act requires that specified water and wastewater facilities in the province of Alberta have certified operators to supervise and/or carry out day-to-day operations;
WHEREAS the certification requirements are becoming onerous in terms of both time and money;
WHEREAS these requirements are making it increasingly difficult for small municipalities to hire and/or train staff to meet these requirements;
The Village of Beiseker is a small community of less than 800 and receives its water from the Aqua 7 Water Services Commission pipeline. This water originates from Drumheller, where it is treated and piped to the Aqua 7 Kirkpatrick reservoir where it is treated again. From the Kirkpatrick reservoir, it is distributed via the pipeline to the other communities (Village of Linden, Village of Carbon, Village of Acme, Kneehill County, Village of Beiseker and the Town of Irricana) for local distribution. All of these communities are required to have a level one operator. Over the years we have trained and certified a number of operators, all who eventually leave for larger, more affluent jobs. After losing our operator in February of 2015, we advertised for an operator for a 6 month period of time to no avail. Our neighboring communities were kind enough to give us assistance but their staff numbers are also small and we could not impose on their goodwill for the extended timeframe that it takes to train and certify an operator from our own staff. The one-year intern period and the cost of the courses becomes prohibitive for small communities over the course of time.