Operational Assistance Program

This WaterBC.ca program helps you to employ the services of an experienced contractor to assist with the operation of your water system.

This program is currently available only on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and the Southern Interior. If you are located in any other area of the province, we still encourage you to complete the questionnaire. We use the information you provide to help us understand the needs of BC community water suppliers. This helps us to develop effective programs. Also by registering your interest in the program you will secure first-come-first-served priority during the early stages of program delivery.

If after reading through the following you have any questions about this program or need further assistance, please contact WaterBC.ca directly by email or by phone.

About Operational Assistance

All water supply systems require the services of an operator to carry out operational and maintenance activities. The WaterBC.ca Operational Assistance Program (OAP) provides water supply systems with convenient and affordable access to the services of experienced operators who work under contract. Some water systems may need full time services while others may need part-time services to oversee more complex operations, to fill-in for an operator that is on holidays, or relief services for an operator that has fallen ill. These contractors visit the system at regular intervals to carry out operating and maintenance (O&M) tasks. This program is typically of interest to community water suppliers at the lower end of the size range, typically 10 to 800 connections.


The size and nature of the typical smaller water system in BC is such that a full-time operator is not required. It is also the case that the equipment used in water supply systems is increasing in complexity, specialized training is required to operate certain elements, and regulatory requirements are becoming more stringent. These considerations make it difficult for many small systems to find and directly employ an operator with the appropriate qualifications, training and experience. This program overcomes these challenges and provides access to the services of experienced operators on a part-time contractual basis. When you join the Operational Assistance Program you will enter into an annual contract with an experienced operator, with fees invoiced to you monthly. You can select the operating and maintenance tasks to be carried out to suit your budget and the requirements of your system.


To prepare for the employment of operational assistance under contract you will need to review your water system and the tasks required to operate and maintain it to a satisfactory standard. You may also wish to review your financial plans to ensure you have the means to contract for operational assistance. We can provide access to resources to help you with financial planning if required. You may also want to consult with regulatory agencies to discuss your plans for operational assistance. It is also important to review your need for other planning activities; they may help you to provide the context within which this WaterBC.ca program can be utilized. WaterBC.ca has produced a list of operating and maintenance tasks typically carried out in smaller water systems. You may download this using the link below.

How to Join the Program

Follow these steps to join the program:

  1. If you are already a Registered User, go to your MyWaterBC page and click on the Operational Assistance Application Form.
  2. You first become a WaterBC.ca Registered User by completing the WaterBC.ca User Registration Form. This enables you to access the information documents listed below. You then complete your Water System Profile: do this by logging into your Registered User account and clicking on the Add Water System link
  3. Once you have registered your water supply system, click the link for the Operational Assistance Program (OAP) application form. The form collects information about your system for review by an WaterBC.ca Industry Partner.
  4. Complete the application form and click on the Submit button at the bottom of the form.
  5. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaire the Industry Partner will contact you to discuss your system further.
  6. Subsequently you will receive a Budget Estimate which will give an indication of the costs to you of the Operational Assistance service.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact us at WaterBC.ca directly by email or by phone.

Further Resources

The following resources provide more information about the Operational Assistance Program. We recommend you look through them in the order shown.

  1. A list of typical operations and maintenance tasks for small and medium sized water systems. (This document is currently in draft form and may be amended during the initial stages of the program.)

Industry Partners

The Operational Assistance services are delivered by experienced operators who are WaterBC.ca Industry Partners. You contract directly with an Industry Partner for these services. Please follow the steps above, and you will be put in touch with an Industry Partner.