Collaboration, Commitment, and Clean-Up: An Insider’s Look into Clearford’s First Nations Operations

Clearford expanded its water management service offering to First Nations in April 2022. Working closely with a Southwestern Ontario First Nation community (the Reserve or the Band) over the past two quarters has led to the successful operation of the water treatment plant and the delivery of potable water to members of the Reserve.

Managing and operating water facilities for First Nations has unique challenges that require spending time to learn about the community and to develop the specific plan and logistics to deploy an operations team. Clearford and the Band shared a strong commitment to provide best in class water services. From cleaning up and labelling the inside of the plant to implementing operational forms and state of the art electronic logbooks, the Band supported Clearford throughout each developmental stage.

Water quality at First Nations communities is a frequent news topic across Canada. Located outside traditional municipal servicing boundaries means that the Band is responsible to deliver water and wastewater services. With over 290 plants under management in Ontario, Clearford is ideally suited to operate and manage the Reserve’s community-owned water and wastewater infrastructure.

As mentioned in our initial blog post, Clearford Expands Services into First Nations Communities, a transition plan typically takes months; however, the urgency to transition operations was consolidated into a short two-week turnover period. As a result, Clearford executed a short-term plan while mapping out the long-term operations strategy.

Initial discussions with the First Nation’s IT Manager, Public Works Manager, and previous operators allowed Clearford to hit the ground running. With this clear understanding of the Band’s needs, Clearford developed a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as part of the long-term plan to maximize operational efficiencies and minimize costs.

The long-term plan also outlines logistical components for management of client relations, federal government regulations, classified system operational requirements, and team assembly and travel.

Client relations

After a series of virtual and in-person meetings with the Band, Clearford used its past experience to provide short and long-term plans for the efficient management and operation of the water and wastewater infrastructure on the Reserve. Beyond that, Clearford found itself working closely with the Reserve to further fine tune the plants for additional operational efficiencies.

“The Reserve’s IT Manager developed code that was implemented into the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, giving Clearford the ability to operate chlorine control and alum dosing remotely,” said Clearford’s Hub Supervisor. “This was a huge advancement for both the plant operations and time management, especially when on-call,” he concluded.

Federal government regulations

Water treatment systems servicing First Nation communities are regulated through the Federal Government rather than the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks of Ontario. Clearford’s compliance team engaged with representatives from both the Federal and Ontario ministries involved to ensure that all regulatory requirements are continuously met in the operating plants.

Operational requirements for classified systems

Existing Clearford staff hold the appropriate licenses and expertise required to operate any classified system, which enabled Clearford to rapidly assign an operations team at the Southwestern Ontario community. Taking over the operations of a system in the municipal water sector can involve many responsibilities including:

  • Re-calibrating equipment;
  • Testing chemical dosing;
  • Adjusting chemicals;
  • Evaluating equipment and repairs;
  • Implementing operational forms and logbooks;
  • Labelling equipment;
  • Testing filters; and,
  • Identifying historical and future trends.

It takes an experienced operator to execute this checklist and standardize operational procedures.

Assembling a qualified operations team

The operations team is supported by Clearford’s experienced compliance and engineering teams. All teams are supported by an experienced Health and Safety department to ensure services are delivered in the safest way. The Reserve’s decision to outsource its water operations means they can rely on Clearford to manage, operate, and take all compliance responsibility for their water and wastewater infrastructure and allow the Band to focus on other community initiatives.

About Clearford

Clearford is one of the largest operators of private water and wastewater systems in Ontario with  approximately 290 systems across the province. Our diverse team of licensed engineers, certified operators and technical staff provide total solutions that meet the water management needs of owners, property managers, and communities.

In-house personnel include designers and technical specialists in water and wastewater, engineering, compliance & regulations, construction services, and health & safety. Water and wastewater operators are licensed by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Clearford continues to expand its capacity to deliver these services in Ontario and remote mines in Northern Canada.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2022 and has been modified to provide the latest information on this topic.

About Clearford Water Systems Inc.
Clearford Water Systems Inc. is a provider of unified water management solutions for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of water and wastewater infrastructure systems. The Company’s technology-based water solutions include Clearford One® wastewater infrastructure systems, Clearford M-brane™ packaged treatment solutions, and a full range of UV Pure® water disinfection products. Clearford is the winner of the Frost & Sullivan 2017 Enabling Technology Leadership Award for Global Decentralized Water & Wastewater Treatment. For more information on Clearford Water Systems, please visit

Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains certain statements that constitute forward-looking statements as they relate to the Company and its management. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts but represent management’s current expectation of future events, and can be identified by words such as “believe”, “expects”, “will”, “intends”, “plans”, “projects”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “continues” and similar expressions. Although management believes that the expectations represented in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that they will prove to be correct.

By their nature, forward-looking statements include assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual future results, conditions, actions or events to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. If and when forward-looking statements are set out in this news release, Clearford will also set out the material risk factors or assumptions used to develop the forward-looking statements. Except as expressly required by applicable securities law, the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements. The future outcomes that relate to forward-looking statements may be influenced by many factors, including, but not limited to: industry cyclicality; the ability to secure third party agreements; successful integration of Clearford’s system with third party technology; competition; reduction in demand for products; collection from customers; relationships with suppliers; product liability; intellectual property; reliance on key personnel; environmental; interest rates; uninsured and underinsured losses; operating hazards; risks of future legal proceedings; income tax matters; credit facilities; availability and terms of financing; distribution of securities; restrictions on potential growth; effect of market interest rates on price of securities; and potential dilution.

For more information contact:
Kevin Loiselle, President & CEO
Clearford Water Systems Inc.
Phone: 613 599 6474 ext. 303

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