John R McKenzie – WCW Member Profile

Working-in-Water-logoWCW Member Profile – John R McKenzie

John R McKenzieName: John R McKenzie
Position: Water & Wastewater Manager
Organization: Opaskwayak Cree Nation
Born and Raised: Born in Snow Lake, Manitoba and raised in Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Manitoba and area.


Chemical Engineering Technology, Maintenance Management, Certified Level 2 Operator in Water Treatment, Water Distribution, Wastewater Treatment, Wastewater Collections.

I have also received certificates in Becoming a better manager, Conflict resolution along with many other courses that deal with employees.

History in the industry and as a WCW member

After Graduating College, I was hired as an assistant plant operator at the Opaskwayak Cree Nations Water and Wastewater Facilities where I found the stress and pressures of being a plant operator was something I could handle. It made me feel good knowing I was there and how responsible a person had to be in order to operate and maintain a Water and Wastewater Facility. I operate and maintain 2 balanced individual budgets for both Water and Wastewater departments.

Being an MWWA member has helped me with CEU’s and keeping me updated on new technologies in my field.

Typical day

There is no typical day as an operator. After taking care of the daily duties, there is the maintenance side of operating plants which include both Proactive and Reactive duties on a daily basis. Then comes your ordering and shipments of chemicals and supplies to each facility that has to be received and sent to the appropriate facility on a daily basis. All sub-contractors, supplies, equipment, utility charges and man-hours must be budgeted for on a yearly basis.

Job Satisfaction

I like working with the public and assuring them that potable water is safe “although it’s never that easy to reassure them”.  I like the challenges of looking ahead and trying to prepare for those challenges.


Take pride in your work and what you do and always practice your due diligence.

Time away from work

I try to stay healthy by exercising and eating right. Fishing and playing Texas Holdem.