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WATERCON 2014 - Wastewater Challenge Results
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IWEA Wastewater Operator Challenge

by Greg Garbs

The IWEA Operator Challenge happened on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 during the WATERCON 2014 conference. The challenge was in the main exhibit hall center aisle. The event started at 1pm and finished up around 3pm. The challenge consisted of four events, Maintenance, Safety, Laboratory, and Operations. There were a total of 26 participants. Judges were assigned to the events along with strict judging criteria. The equipment and supplies necessary for the events was graciously supplied by participating vendors. Each event was structured for learning and a bit of fun. Each of the 26 participants received a Certificate of Participation and the winners of each event received an award plaque. Here are the results and recap of the Challenge.

Laboratory event was a low level chlorine analysis. The challengers utilized equipment and supplies provided by Hach. The standards and unknown were provided by PDC Labs and Prairie Analytical. The challengers were judged on procedure and technique. The winners of this event were James Kaminski and Rick Federighi.

Maintenance event was the replacement of lobes on a rotary lobe pump. Pump, tools and replacement parts were provided by CES repping Borger, Peterson & Matz repping Vogelsang, and Flow Technics repping Netzsch. The challengers were required to safely remove and replace the lobes in one of the three pumps. The winners of the maintenance challenge are Wayne Rydecki and Josh Peters.

Safety event was a hazardous confined space entry. The participant had pretend this was a permit required confined space. They had to fill out the form, suit up, connect up, and pretend to step into a hole. Equipment will be provided by Argus-Hazco. The winners of this event are Dan Raddatz and our own Lou Storino.

Operations event was a plant operator’s worst nightmare. The short quiz was developed by the ERTC experts. The quiz had a few devious twists woven into the questions. The winners of this event were Robert Turley and our own Pat Schatz.

There was one trepid individual that successfully navigated all 4 of the challenges. The Overall Winner was Jim Winslade with a combined score of 354.

Please remember these vendors and thank them for their contributions to this successful event.

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