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Metro Vancouver donation flows straight to Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Students enrolled in the Water Engineering Technology (WET) diploma program will be benefitting this fall from some well-placed connections.MetroVan Donation June 2013

The College is in the process of incorporating used equipment donated by Metro Vancouver for use in various classes involving wastewater treatment and chlorination in the two-year program.

The donation includes a wide variety of heavy-duty equipment and instrumentation that was part of the Lions Gate Wastewater treatment plant, including industrial control valves, two large pumps, and a sulphur dioxide de-chlorination system.

“This makes for a much more realistic experience for the students,” said Professor Sam Lang.

“Many organizations and facilities in our industry use this equipment – swimming pools, municipalities, irrigation districts, wastewater treatment, pulp and paper plants – it’s all still very much out there.”

The donation came through a series of unexpected connections that flowed from Willyam Dragon, a member of WET’s advisory committee.

Dragon and his colleague Steve Sever were both members of a sustainability leadership program at Metro Vancouver. When Sever shared he was looking to decommission some equipment and needed to do so in the most sustainable way possible, Dragon pointed the way to the College.

“Giving wastewater treatment equipment a second life is a great example of sustainability in action,” said Metro Vancouver Utilities Committee Chair Darrell Mussatto. “Instead of being recycled or landfilled, these items will help prepare the next generation of water engineers and plant operators.”

Allison MacMillan, chair of the Water Engineering Technology department at the College, agreed.

“This is precisely how the College’s relationships with industry end up supporting and benefiting a much broader group of people than anyone would have initially imagined,” MacMillan said.

Laboratory technician Roland Oliynyk is now working on building a demo system for students to use once they arrive in the program this fall.

“It will look like what people see in the municipal plants,” he said.

Kathy Butler, executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation, said the donation illustrates the benefit of building relationships with industries throughout the province.

“In kind donations like this don’t happen every day,” Butler said. “We are grateful that Metro Vancouver thought of us.”

Metro Vancouver delivers regional services to 24 local authorities throughout the Lower Mainland.