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E-SplashFebruary 2014 - Top-Ops Is Back
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash - February 2014

Top-Ops Is Back—Join Us At Monday's Meet & Greet
Larry Thomas, Top-Ops Committee Chair

The Top-Ops competition is back again in our favorite slot…Monday’s Meet & Greet Reception. Please join us either as a participant or as a spectator.

Last year, teams sponsored by Elgin, Lake Forest, and the independent Team H20 tussled for the trophy, with Elgin winning the pot. We are still open for teams for this March, so please sign up.

Top-Ops is pretty simple. It is a contest between teams of water treatment operators. Questions asked of the contestants encompass all aspects of water supply, treatment, and distribution, and are comparable to those on the water operator certification exam. A moderator poses a variety of multiple choice questions to the panel of teams each of which attempts to respond correctly using a white board to write the letter corresponding to their response. Each team that presents a correct answer scores a point. If the answer is wrong, they lose a point. The rules are easy, the questions are reasonable.

Teams can consist of one, two, or three operators. The operators on a team do not have to be from the same utility. You can put a team together representing a utility, a county, a local operators’ association, or a group of friends. In order to compete in Springfield, operators do not need to be members of AWWA. They do need to work full time as a water treatment plant employee, a water distribution system employee, or as a first-line supervisor. Engineers, upper-level supervisors who do not work as a day-to-day operator are precluded from participating as an official team. (We will allow some "spring training” teams, but those teams are not officially entered and are not allowed to win.)

ISAWWA Conference registration is complimentary for participants for the day of the competition (Tuesday). ISAWWA will also provide one room night accommodation for the contestants during the conference with double occupancy. Additionally, the Illinois Section will assist with travel costs for the winning team to compete at the AWWA conference.

Please consider putting a team together for this coming WaterCon and give Elgin something to worry about. If you have any questions, write me at or call 815-355-0923.


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