Senior Water / Wastewater Professional

Mark Harris

Mark Harris is a seasoned professional in water and wastewater management, with extensive experience in utility management, regulatory compliance, financial oversight, human resources, and asset management.

With over two decades of hands-on experience in water and wastewater management, Mark brings a comprehensive skill set and broad understanding of the intricate challenges associated with managing public utilities. His work spans multiple facets of utility management including regulatory compliance, financial oversight, human resources, and asset management. Mark is committed to operational efficiency, environmental sustainability, and the responsible management of resources.

  • Knowledgeable in water and wastewater provincial and federal regulatory compliance
  • Proficient in budget management, rate and recovery models, and new system cost recovery
  • Adept at handling labor relations, including union negotiations and staff appraisals
  • Experienced in community engagement processes for public works projects
  • Skilled in the development and management of asset databases and work management systems
  • Expertise in preparing RFP/RFQ documentation and reviewing submissions, project cost estimation, and staffing levels

Mark commenced his academic journey with an Environmental Technology Diploma from Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology in 1989. Building on this foundational knowledge, he pursued higher education at the University of Western Ontario, completing the Environmental Entrepreneur Program in 1997 and a course in Supervisory Management in 1999. These academic accomplishments align seamlessly with Mark's industry-specific certifications: Water Treatment 4, Water Distribution 4, Wastewater Treatment 4, and Wastewater Collection 3—all certified by the Ontario Wastewater Certification Office (OWWCO).

Until September 2023, Mark served as the Senior Operations Manager at the Ontario Clean Water Agency. He oversaw the operation, maintenance, and management of the Lambton Area Water Supply System (LAWSS), a critical infrastructure serving 100,000 residents across Lambton County and six municipalities. The system features a water treatment plant capable of handling 181,844 m³ per day, storage capacities totaling 166,000 m³, and a transmission main extending 250 km. Additionally, Mark managed 19 smaller utility contracts, ranging from stormwater management to wastewater collection and treatment.

Mark was the Regional Manager of Conveyance Services from 2017 to 2019, specializing in a range of utility services, from leak detection and manhole inspections to fire hydrant maintenance. He was responsible for project cost estimations, steering RFP bidding processes, and managed staffing levels to meet client expectations.

Between 2004 and 2017, Mark directed the Environmental Services for the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc. His role was comprehensive, encompassing capital infrastructure projects, budget planning, and CUPE union negotiations. He was instrumental in developing and administering both capital and operational budgets in line with master plans and financial models.

Earlier in his career, Mark supervised the Public Works and Pollution Control Divisions at the City of St. Thomas. His responsibilities were diverse and included operational management and human resources, ranging from hiring and performance appraisals to labor management.

Mark excels in financial operations and public consultation. He brings a nuanced understanding of rate and recovery models, new system cost recovery, and has a proven track record in reviewing RFP/RFQ submissions. His commendable communication skills enable him to engage effectively with diverse communities and stakeholders. Furthermore, Mark has successfully crafted and managed Drinking Water Quality Management Plans to ensure public access to clean, safe water.

Mark Harris is a seasoned professional with a rich blend of technical knowledge, practical experience, and leadership qualities essential for the challenges inherent in water and wastewater management.

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