Michael Blacklock – WCW Member Profile

Working-in-Water-logoWCW Member Profile – Michael Blacklock

Michael BlacklockName: Michael Blacklock
Position: Relief Operator
Organization: City of Saskatoon – Saskatoon Water, Wastewater Treatment Plant
Born and Raised: Portage la Prairie, MB; Raised – Prince Albert, SK

Education/Training

B.Sc. in Toxicology (University of Saskatchewan, 2012)

Level II Water and Wastewater Treatment Operator

Master of Business Administration in Executive Management Candidate (Royal Roads University, 2018)

History in the industry and as a WCW member

My career started in the summer of 2012 with a small engineering firm in Alberta working as a water and wastewater treatment operator for various oil and gas companies.  From there I moved to another small energy services company working in the same capacity where I achieved my level II certification in water and wastewater treatment.  In the fall of 2015, I accepted a position as a Relief Operator with the City of Saskatoon Wastewater Treatment Plant and have been working here as part of the operations team.

Typical day

On a day-to-day basis, we routinely check all equipment (pumps, blowers, diffusers, reactors, boilers, etc.) and monitor plant data through SCADA to ensure proper operation of the BNR process.  We assist the on-site environmental laboratory in collecting samples as well as maintenance staff in the commissioning, decommissioning and maintenance of equipment.

Job Satisfaction

The challenges of learning a new process such as a BNR facility.  The complexity of a BNR facility is very interesting.  Currently, we have multiple projects on-the-go at the plant in an effort to upgrade the process which creates a breadth of learning experiences for an operator.

Main challenges

Learning and understanding the entirety of processes and understanding how the commissioning of new projects will affect the BNR process.

Advice

My best advice would be to work hard at learning as much as possible about the three main components of the water and wastewater industry which is operations, engineering, and finance (business).  This will help you to better understand how and why certain projects and operations are managed.  Also, a well-rounded knowledge base of each of these aspects will help you become a better facilitator when assisting in the decision-making process with your peers.

Time away from work

My time away from work is mostly spent working as a Naval Intelligence Officer with the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve and studying for my MBA.

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