2012 NRTC Operations Program Recap

From Hugh Logan, WEF Delegate Director

We had an awesome turnout for the Operations Program during the Northern Regional Training Conference in Modesto.   It was important to us to provide 2 full days of Operator training this year and, thanks to our speakers, we pulled it off.   For those who missed the Operator Program at NRTC, here’s a recap.

On Thursday, we started with a session about liquid stream H2S control methods from John Harrell of Helix Laboratories.   Then, Josh Gleason of Treatment Equipment Company led us through the decision making process in selecting the most appropriate valve actuator based on cost, maintenance, and accuracy.   We then had a collaborative discussion on the skills needed by Operators to meet future process control and regulatory requirements, while accommodating tightening agency budgets (more about the results of this discussion later).

After lunch, Levi Fuller of Dublin/San Ramon Services District taught the basics of Anaerobic Digestion process control and the math required to pass the Operator certification exams.    We were then joined by Christine Gordon and Mathew Buffleben of the State Water Resources Control Board.  Christine presented the latest information about the Operator Regulations and the Office of Operator Certification website.   Mathew discussed the Office of Enforcement and ethical behavior expected from Operators.

Friday started off with David Stoops of Livermore teaching Certification Math.  David presented two full sessions so Operators can be prepared for the examination in October.   Ray Busch, from the City of San Leandro, followed with an in depth discussion of how Operators can participate with Capital Projects and develop new skills to remain on the cutting edge.

After lunch on Friday, we heard from Mike Llaptian of Wonderware about reporting SCADA data.  Our next two speakers were frontline Operators, speaking from their experience.   Chris Phillips of the Delta Diablo Sanitary District spoke about the transition of their aeration system.   Richard Halterman of San Leandro wrapped up the session with how his plant developed worst-case scenarios to stay prepared during major capital project construction.  Many thanks to Richard for being the Session Moderator on Friday as well.

The NRTC is scheduled for Modesto again next year. It’s a good venue for commuters and for overnighters as well, since the lodging rates are reasonable.   We encourage Operators to get involved with development of training classes as the local section, regional, and state levels.  Don Hurdle, Donald.Hurdle@sce.com , and Rick Staggs, rick.staggs@fresno.org , are the CWEA Operations Committee leaders for this coming year.  Let’s support them when they call for help in developing future conference training.

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