Eighteen years ago, an e-coli outbreak in Walkerton left seven people dead and hundreds sick.

The Walkerton Clean Water Centre held its annual maintenance fest for two days.

Over 100 water operators who manage Ontario’s drinking water participated.

Training is now mandatory in the province, and has been provided to more than 78,000 people since the centre opened in 2004.

“It’s one thing to train in an academic classroom, it’s another to have people out here working,” said Carl Kuhnke, president and CEO of the Walkerton Clean Water Centre.

Officials with the centre also travel and train communities around Ontario.

A new project involves training 133 First Nations communities in the province.