Learning more about water treatment issues - from basic water chemistry to the latest on arsenic removal - will now be as convenient as logging onto the Web.

The new e-learning program will be unveiled at the association's annual convention, March 16-20, in Baltimore.

“WQA's e-learning courses will offer water treatment professionals an easy, cost-effective way to stay current on a range of water treatment issues as well as earn credits toward maintaining certification,” explains Mark Rowzee, WQA education director. “There will be courses for employees new to the water treatment industry as well as more experienced professionals,” he adds.

Initial online courses will cover basic water treatment fundamentals such as water chemistry and also core technologies including softening/ion exchange and reverse osmosis. The latest treatment options for arsenic removal will be covered in another new offering.

On the horizon are courses covering the latest science and treatment options for Legionella and radium. Initial courses will be available for preview and purchase on the WQA Web site, www.wqa.org, beginning March 22. The cost per course will be from $20 to $25.

“Continuing education is a top WQA priority and the new online program is a low-cost option for busy people to keep current and expand their knowledge of the industry,” Rowzee says. “E-learning is as close as the nearest Web connection and available whenever the student is - so there are no travel costs or missed work days.”

Each WQA online course will include 30 to 45 frames featuring bulleted copy, graphs, diagrams, photos, facts and tips - as well as links to related Web sites and suggestions for additional reading. The courses also will include interactive progress questions (multiple choice with answers revealed) as well as a final credit quiz with immediate notification of results. A passing quiz grade will earn the student a minimum of 1.5 education hours (.15 continuing education units or CEUs) as well as a printable course certificate.

“Course information is presented in 'bite size' increments, taking the student step-by-step through the learning process,” Rowzee explains. “Whether students are learning about a subject for the first time or taking a refresher course, they'll find a wealth of information - both theoretical and practical - presented via an interactive approach.”

WQA Annual Convention attendees will have an opportunity to preview initial online courses at the WQA Booth. The first three course offerings:

Basic Water Chemistry - This course provides an overview of chemistry fundamentals related to water diagnosis and treatment. Concepts covered include an introduction to water contaminants, ions, acids and bases, and understanding water analyses.

Understanding Ion Exchange: Softening and Basic Deionization - The principles behind ion exchange are explained with an emphasis on softening and basic concepts of deionization.

Arsenic: Chemistry, Occurrence and Removal - A course that offers an overview of arsenic's various forms, where it's most prevalent and the most effective removal technologies. Links to the latest health research on arsenic also are included.

Additional new courses will be introduced on a regular basis, Rowzee says. “We plan to develop a wide range of course offerings on subjects from fundamentals of water treatment to complex contaminant issues and solutions. Whether it's a new dealership employee who wants to become familiar with common water terms or an industry veteran who wants more information about protecting against Legionella in tap water, relevant courses will become available. We're confident the WQA online education program will be a tremendous new resource for the industry,” he adds. ND