Barry Kobryn – WCW Member Profile

Working-in-Water-logoWCW Member Profile – Barry Kobryn

Barry KobrynName: Barry Kobryn
Position: Senior Regulatory Analyst
Organization: City of Calgary
Born and Raised: I was born in Minnedosa, Manitoba, and grew up in Marathon, Ontario on the North Shore of Lake Superior: “Group of Seven Country”.


I graduated from Lakehead University in 1978 (H.B.Sc., Chemistry). I’ve been a member of the Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta since its inception and participated in the development of its Code of Ethics.

History in the industry and as a WCW member

My environmental experience started in university when I worked summers at the pulp mill back home testing mercury releases. I worked in sulphur research after moving to Calgary in 1979 and started with The City in 1986 supervising the wastewater lab. I moved into The City’s water regulatory function in 2001.

I chaired the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association’s (CWWA) Wastewater and Stormwater Committee for 7 years until January 2012. In that role I brought CWWA positions forward by sitting on the Core Advisory Group for the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluents and as a member of the CWWA/Federation of Canadian Municipalities group which participated in the final consultations with Environment Canada on the Fisheries Act Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER).

I’ve been a WCW member since 1986, but focused on lab organizations during my early years chairing the Alberta Water Analysts Committee for 2 years. I’ve attended a number of WCW conferences and have watched the papers get better and better as members moved to cutting edge practices.  I’ve enjoyed presenting papers on Calgary’s total loading management and aquatic ecosystem health monitoring programs and wrote an article on the WSER for the Spring 2010 issue of the WCW magazine. I’ve also participated in and presented at a number of Provincial Council workshops in Alberta.

Typical day

I do a lot of research and synthesis of information. I field many information requests both about regulations and topics I’ve been involved in. I joke (well, half-joke) that one of my major duties in recent years is “historian”.

Job Satisfaction

Wastewater is an extremely interesting field and environmental regulation takes you into just about every aspect your operations. I’ve always enjoyed the responsibility of balancing everyone’s interests, as is the role of the public sector.

Main challenges

I enjoy the challenge of trying to translate something complex into something practical and understandable.

Career Highlights

I was made an Honorary Lifetime member of CWWA in 2010.


Make sure you like what you do. Once you’ve found what you like, maintain a curiosity about it and keep learning. You’ll never have a dull moment.

Time away from work

I participate in many different activities including personal fitness, home handywork, trying to play guitar, learning Bridge, camping, and exploring new computer technologies – too many to give them their fair due without retiring (last day in the office February 22, 2013!).