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WaterOperator.org Blog

Articles in support of small community water and wastewater operators.

Water Operator Vaccination Update

Water Operator Vaccination Update

By Margaret Golden

When the public thinks about “essential employees” they typically picture healthcare workers, first responders, or even grocery store workers. The water operators that work to keep our water safe and protect public health are also essential, currently classified in CDC’s phase 1C category for vaccine prioritization

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recently hosted a webinar discussing COVID-19 vaccinations for essential workers, specially those who work in the water sector. Since the vaccine is new and currently in limited supply, the CDC created a list of “essential workers” with various levels of priority in order to ensure that those who are most vulnerable would be able to get the vaccination first. These recommended categories, including water sector professionals as phase 1C,  were developed by the CDC with help from the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices). These guidelines were set up by the CDC to serve as recommendations, as the ultimate timeline decision lies within your local jurisdiction.

Each state has created its own specialized action plan depending on its need for sub-prioritization. For example, areas where large outbreaks have occurred are being prioritized as well as workers with a history of illness. There are also potential exceptions to the timeline. For example, if you are someone that works in a state, county, or local jurisdiction that is different from the one where you live you might be able to get vaccinated where you work. If you are unsure about where you stand in the timeline, you should contact your local public health department.

With COVID-19 vaccines developed in record time, there is understandably some hesitation surrounding it. However, after being tested on a wide range of adults from diverse backgrounds and after being approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the CDC has determined the vaccine to be safe and effective. Two vaccines are currently available in the United States, from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both use mRNA technology, meaning that the mRNA instructs the body to produce a harmless piece of the spike protein so that your body can create the antibodies to fight against them. This means that the vaccine cannot give you the virus because there is no live virus in the ingredients. You should also still get the vaccine even if you have had COVID-19 because it can still help prevent you from getting it a second time.  

As we approach the one year anniversary of the first lockdown in the United States, we are lucky to have a vaccine available to protect the workers who ensure our water is safe to drink. When it’s your turn, WaterOperator.org encourages all water sector professionals to be vaccinated to help stop the spread of this deadly virus. If you have concerns, we recommend contacting and following the advice of your local health department or personal physician.

Lastly, it is important to remember that getting vaccinated is just one of many efforts to be made; we all also need to continue to wear masks, wash hands, stay six feet apart, and avoid crowds, whether you have been vaccinated or not. 

Screens: An Important First Step in a Wastewater Treatment Plant

Screens: An Important First Step in a Wastewater Treatment Plant

 

 

By Phil Vella

No matter what size wastewater treatment plant you have, screening equipment at the headworks is a necessary requirement. Screens or pretreatment devices are designed to remove or reduce large solids like wood, cloth, paper and plastics from the waste stream. This not only allows downstream treatment process to be more efficient but also protects the equipment such as pumps.

Several different types of equipment can be used to meet these objectives and there is no one-size-fits-all solution that can be applied to every headworks situation. Some of the limitations of small systems are low flows, space and financial considerations. The following will focus on those options most likely to fit into a small wastewater treatment plant. 

As with most equipment at a plant, screens come in a variety of sizes, capacity, automation and cost. In general screens may be classified as coarse, fine and micro and are based on the size of the screening openings. The discussion here will focus on course screen technology with openings 6 to 36 mm (0.25 to 1.5 in.).
 

Manual Bar Screens

With the limitations of small systems, a manual bar screen may be a great option. These screens have vertical bars approximately 1 to 2 inches apart to catch the incoming debris. Although very basic, they do provide a good level of protection for the plant. An example is shown in Figure 1. However, as with most basic equipment, there are limitations.


Source: Islamic University of Gaza.

The most obvious limitation is that this is a manual operation and requires dedicated manpower and can be a burden to small systems. This is especially true during high flow events such as storms that may require more frequent raking and may also create more of a safety hazard for the operator.

Automatic Bar Screens

To limit the labor involved with manual bar screens, there are several automated options available. These can be classified into different group types. Chain Driven Screens, Catenary Screens, Reciprocating Rakes, Continuous Belt Screen and many variations of them. A summary of different types of screens with their advantages and disadvantages is given in Table 1. These options also commonly use vertical bars to capture the solids and remove them with an automated raking system. Since these are automated, the cost and other operational costs must be considered. In addition, these systems are larger than the manual screen so adding this to a facility may require civil engineering to modify the influent channel or the headworks building if placed there. You may have reduced the labor cost but have increased the capital and infrastructure expense.

Although course screens can remove large material at the head works, disposal of this material becomes and added cost and requires operation and maintenance.  In addition, the wet screenings collected are smelly that can attract vermin and result in odor complaints from the community. 

TYPE OF SCREEN

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

CHAIN OR CABLE DRIVEN SCREENS

Design in the market for many years
Simple channel construction
High screenings loading rate
Insensitive to Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG)
Low headroom required

Submerged components subject to wear and tear

RECIPROCATING RAKE SCREENS

No critical submerged components
Widely used

Low screening loading rate
High overhead clearance, particularly at deep channels

CONTINUOUS SELF-CLEANING SCREENS

Medium to low headroom required
Allows a pivot design for servicing the unit above the channel

Several moving components
Components subject to wear and tear

ARC SCREENS

Simple design
Lower capital and operational cost
No drive parts under water Utilizes 100% of channel width

Limited to small to medium flow plants
Not suited for deep channels

CATENARY SCREENS

Simple to operate
Easy to maintain

Chains are very heavy and difficult to handle
Large footprint

Source: WEF, Manual of Practice 8, 2017

The following are examples of some of the screen options available to wastewater treatment plants.

Multi Rake Chain Driven Bar Screen (Automatic/Self Cleaning) Source 

Multi Rake Automatic System

 


 

Reciprocating (Single/Basket) Rakes | Source

Catenary Bar Screen | Source

Arc Screen | Source

In summary, there is no right equipment choice for all headworks screening circumstances. Individual factors such as flow rate, solids loading, cost and infrastructure modifications must be considered. Choosing the correct option is important not only in protecting downstream equipment but also for efficient and effective solids removal resulting in proper wastewater treatment. 

Featured Video: Lift Station 2 Pump Cleaning

Featured Video: Lift Station 2 Pump Cleaning

Lift stations are designed to move sewage from a lower to higher elevation through pumps and pipes. Once pumped to a higher elevation, sewage continues to move through the collection system via gravity to reach the wastewater treatment plant. Utilities typically install one of two types of lift stations. Submersible pump lift stations, also called wet well lift stations, contain the pumps, sewage, and floats all in one vault. Dry well lift stations use two vaults to separate the pump system and wastewater. To learn more about lift station operations, components, sizing calculations, inspections, maintenance, emergency response, and pump selection for both types, check out the U.S. EPA’s Wastewater Utility Operation and Management for Small Communities – Lift Station Overview webcast recording.

Learning the theory behind lift station operations, maintenance, and emergency response is an essential component to any wastewater operator’s training, however hands-on experience is also important. While we can’t give you hands on experience in a blog post, the following video offers a real world example of lift station maintenance. In this video, a Minnesota operator demonstrates how to remove debris from a clogged pump at his facility’s lift station. He also overviews the various components on the lift station control panel. Please note that when troubleshooting lift stations you should first be trained in operator safety. Safety topics to review before working with lift stations include lock out tag out, confined space, electrical safety, fall protection, crane safety, and tail gate safety.

Increasing Attention to Significant Noncompliance Dischargers

Increasing Attention to Significant Noncompliance Dischargers

WaterOperator.org would like to thank EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance for helping develop this blog post as part of its outreach to permittees about the Clean Water Act National Compliance Initiative.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit compliance protects public health and the environment from the release of harmful contaminants. During FY 2018 approximately 20% of the nation's 46,000 permit holders were in significant non-compliance (SNC) violations. SNCs are designated as serious violations warranting enforcement response if not promptly resolved. These violations ranged from significant exceedances in effluent limits to reporting failures. To better defend environmental and public health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has initiated a National Compliance Initiative (NCI) for NPDES permits and, in September, released a Compliance Advisory.

The NCI uses a full range of compliance assurance tools to reduce NPDES permittees non-compliance. By FY 2022 the NCI aims to reduce SNC rates by half. Small systems, this includes you too! This NCI will target facilities of all sizes equally. More attention will be directed toward facilities approaching or already in SNC. Facilities failing to comply can be subject to increased monitoring, inspections, enforcement actions, and other compliance activities. The NCI notes that permittees that voluntarily disclose and correct violations may be eligible for a reduction or elimination of penalties.

While this initiative might feel intimidating, the NCI offers resources to those taking immediate compliance efforts. The EPA recommends permittees first assess compliance by reviewing discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) and the Enforcement & Compliance History Online (ECHO) tool. If your facility does require assistance, reach out to your NPDES permitting authority for assistance. Other organizations like Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and National Rural Water Association (NRWA) may also be able to provide assistance. Each state implements their own NPDES programs with the exception of New Mexico, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and areas within Indian Country which are managed federally.

Small system SNCs can originate from a variety of causes. Failure to monitor, analyze, and report wastewater samples according to your NPDES permit can lead to a violation. Alternatively, incomplete or inaccurate compliance data transferred from state systems to the EPA’s Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS) system can result in inaccurate identification of SNC permittees. Checking your compliance status in ECHO can prevent these complications. In addition to monitoring and reporting violations, unplanned discharges such as from a sanitary sewer overflow can also result in SNC. When wastewater effluent exceeds NPDES pollutant levels, utilities will also fall out of compliance. These exceedances typically arise as a result of operational, design, or administrative issues. We recommend the following resources to help improve your NPDES compliance:

Activated Sludge Process Control and Troubleshooting Methodology
Resolve 95% of your activated sludge process control issues using this Ohio EPA manual.

EPA’s ECHO Electronic Tool
The ECHO Detailed Facility Report tool helps facilities monitor compliance and verify the cause of SNC. Learn how to use the tool through the “Intro to ECHO Webinar” and other materials on this webpage.

EPA Webinars: Technical Assistance for Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs)
The EPA hosts free webinars once a month offering technical assistance to POTWs. Find these webinars on our national training calendar or at the link above.

Managing Small Domestic Wastewater Systems
This TCEQ guide helps utilities develop plans to maintain or achieve compliance. The guide includes compliance checklists and planning worksheets. For additional assistance, TCEQ has developed and referenced resources for troubleshooting anything from bacteria control to process control.

Why Is My Lagoon Not Meeting Effluent Limits?
This article from the November 2016 issue of The Kansas Lifeline summarizes how to troubleshoot lagoon effluent compliance issues.

To find solutions to more specific compliance challenges, check out the WaterOperator.org resource library and small systems blog posts.

Featured Video: Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?

Featured Video: Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?

In 2015 the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power went viral when it unleashed 96 million shade balls into the Los Angeles Reservoir. The 175 acre reservoir served to store 3.3 billion gallons of treated drinking water. Shade balls were previously introduced to three other reservoirs in the LA area between 2008 and 2012. Releasing the 96 million balls marked the end of a 8 year project.

The project was first instigated when the Department of Water and Power was notified of high bromate levels in their water. Bromate (BrO3) is a disinfection byproduct regulated at 0.01 mg/L. High levels can increase risk of cancer. The chemical forms when bromide (Br ), an otherwise harmless ion, reacts with ozone (O3). For this reason treatment plants that use ozone are required to monitor for bromate monthly. Qualifying plants can reduce their monitoring to quarterly.

The LA Department of Water and Power determined that while they were finding low levels at the treatment facility, levels were elevated at the reservoirs. Upon investigation the facility realized that bromate can form under chlorination as well. When chlorinated water containing bromide reacts with sunlight, it forms bromate at even higher concentrations than ozonation. This realization prompted the facility to look toward a solution.

Removing the naturally occurring bromide wasn’t an option. Chlorination residual was necessary to protect public health. Ultimately the Department determined that sunlight was the only variable left to control.

After brainstorming for affordable and effective covers that could block sunlight across 175 acres, the Department discovered a product called “bird balls”. At the time, bird balls were used to deter waterfowl from swimming in contaminated water bodies or ponds near airport runways. These balls were made from high density polyethylene, a floatable, food grade plastic. The addition of carbon black gives them a black color and increases their life expectancy to approximately 10 years without sun bleaching. After consulting the manufacture, the balls were put through a small-scale test to access their bromate reduction abilites. The shade balls passed with flying colors.

Shade balls not only reduce bromate formation in the reservoir, but they deter birds, control algae, and reduce evaporation by 80 to 90%. Having been implemented under historical drought conditions, the innovation was applauded for its water saving results. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology these shade balls will have to be used for roughly 2.5 years to compensate for the water required to produce them. Since less chlorine is required to control algae formation with the adoption of shade balls, the treatment facility is experiencing significant cost savings as well. Over the course of their life span the reduction in chlorine use and evaporation will have paid for roughly half the shade balls.

Shortly after their installation, one of the reservoirs was removed from service and two of the remaining reservoirs transitioned to floating covers. Federal law requires that all drinking water bodies open to the air be covered. Transitioning the final Los Angeles Reservoir would have been too cost prohibitive based on its size. So given the effectiveness of the shade balls in such a large area, they shall remain in the Los Angeles Reservoir to prevent bromate formation, evaporation, and algae for the Los Angeles people.

Best Practices for In-Person Training During COVID-19

Best Practices for In-Person Training During COVID-19

To provide operators with continuing education opportunities during the pandemic, many training providers have adapted their classes to virtual training. These efforts have resulted in new online training opportunities and have allowed operators to earn their much-needed continuing education credits. Despite these efforts, not all training topics can be offered in an online format to all operators. Some training topics require equipment demonstrations and hands-on practice. In addition, some operators have limited internet access or may find it difficult to learn in an online setting.

For these reasons and others, some training providers have returned to an in-person training format. In this post, we have summarized COVID-19 safety trends our staff have observed from training providers as they resume in-person training. Using these trends, as well as CDC guidelines, we have provided a compiled set of recommendations to protect operators registered for in-person training.

Looking through training registration webpages and memos posted regarding the resumption of in-person training, the bulk of training providers have noted that they intend to follow local, state, and federal safety guidelines during class and in preparation of the class. This generally includes social distancing, the requirement of masks, and a restriction on the number of registrants per class. Many providers will also require students to fill out a COVID-19 screening checklist as well. Training providers of colleges or areas with higher infection rates trended to have stricter and more detailed guidelines. Classes developed around the use of hands-on equipment such as backflow prevention workshops, developed specific guidelines for how equipment will be maintained during the course.

The most thorough training providers include safety information about instructor requirements, student requirements, and facility requirements. Some of these trainers designated their own hotline to report cases or ask additional questions about COVID safety.

Based on our review of these recommendations, we have put together “best of” guidelines that training providers can use to protect their operators.

Classroom Preparation:

  • Training will follow federal, state, and local guidelines
  • Prepare the facility according to CDC Facility Disinfection guidelines
  • All employees should be trained and certified on personal hygiene and surface sanitation/ disinfection procedures. See the Disinfecting Your Facility guidance by the CDC.
  • Instructors are to remain at least 6 feet away from students
  • Set up the chairs or workstations no less than 6 feet apart
  • Provide hand sanitation stations throughout training facility
  • Place posters in popular areas that encourage hand hygiene
  • Specify entrances and exits through signs or floor tape
  • Ensure that the check-in table provides a notice to:
    • Require mask use and proper hand hygiene
    • Inform of hand sanitizer stations
    • Prohibit handshakes, encouraging other noncontact greetings
    • Direct employees to visit the CDC’s coughing/sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage
    • Inform guests of specified entrances and exits visible for the use of classes
    • Request students fill out pre-screening questions
  • Training will be rescheduled or moved if the host site experiences an active COVID-19 case within the 2 weeks of class

Classroom Maintenance:

  • Disinfect common surfaces (doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, classroom tables, chairs, etc.) before class, once mid-morning, once mid-afternoon, and after students leave for the day
  • Limit bathroom use to one or two people at a time to maintain social distancing
  • Suspend food consumption or drinks inside classroom
  • Suspend food service or offer pre-boxed meals during breaks
  • Require students eat outside or in designated areas set up for social distancing.

Student Requirements:

  • Students should be directed to review safety requirements and pre-screening questions prior to the training
  • Upon arrival Students should be directed to fill out a liability waiver acknowledging the measures taken by the training provider to prevent the spread of COVID-19, their compliance, and who should be held liable if illness occurs. An excellent example of this waiver was developed and used Arkansas Rural Water Association. Such waivers can require that:
    • Students must wear a mask according to CDC guidelines
    • Additional PPE, including protective gloves, may be required during certain tasks
    • Students must follow social distancing guidelines to maintain 6 feet of distance between the instructor and other students
    • Students will wash hands frequently for 20 seconds avoiding contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth
    • Students follow appropriate coughing etiquette
    • Students must refrain from eating or drinking in the classroom
    • Students will adhere to all safety guidelines set by training provider
  • Upon arrival Students should read and sign a prescreening questionnaire that certifies:
    • I am not experiencing any symptom of illness such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell
    • I have not traveled internationally or out of state within the last 14 days
    • To my knowledge, I have not been exposed to someone with a suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days
    • I have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • If resources provide, students will have their temperature checked before entrance. Students with temperatures above 100ºF will be denied.
  • Students should bring their own writing utensil, books, paper, and calculator. No sharing is permitted.
  • If diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms within 2 weeks of the training or if exposed to COVID-19 during the training, students must notify the training provider

Equipment Expectations:

  • Instructors observing student(s) must remain 6 feet away from the testing station and student
  • When hands on equipment is used, attendees will get their own piece of equipment that stays in class
  • Each cart and testing station will be routinely cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected before the start of class and after each session
  • All tools and test kits will be routinely cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected before the start of class and after each student has complete

While continued training opportunities are important, the health of our essential workers must be priority. WaterOperator.org hopes that all training facilities offering in-person classes are taking every possible to protect their students.

A note to our operators: If you’re looking to attend an in-person training, investigate the training provider safety measures before registration. If these measures aren’t available online, it’s always best to call ahead. WaterOperator.org lists live, online and in-person training opportunities in our national training calendar.

Chemical Grouting: A Solution to Infiltration

Chemical Grouting: A Solution to Infiltration

Editor's Note: We want to thank Avanti International for permission to use their photo as Figure 1 in this post.

Infiltration is defined as an excess of unwanted water entering a sanitary wastewater system from groundwater or storm water. More specifically, infiltration occurs when groundwater enters the sanitary sewer through defects in pipes and manholes (Figure 1). This excess water can cause damage to the collection system when sewers are forced to transport more flow than they are designed to handle. Increased effluent also raises wastewater treatment costs because the facility must treat harmless storm water and groundwater with the sewage. This added flow increases wear on equipment, electrical cost, and overall operation and maintenance expenses. In addition, if the capacity of the collection system or treatment plant is exceeded, untreated wastewater may be discharged into the environment.

infiltration source diagram

Figure 1. Potential Sources for Infiltration

As with most utility problems, there are many potential solutions. For infiltration where defects are localized, some of these solutions include mechanical point repair, injection methods, or rerounding. A discussion of the chemical grout injection option is given below. 

The chemicals used for grouting have been available since the early 1960s. They are usually urethane based and when they come in contact with water react to form a polymer material that is a barrier to water flow. The conditions/steps required for grouting are:

  1. A pipe or joint cannot be failing structurally
  2. There must be a path for the grouting solution to flow out into the soil
  3. The area must be free of debris such as roots, grease and other obstacles that may prevent proper application of the grout.
  4. Application of the chemicals at a pressure higher than the water table of inflowing water.
  5. Final testing of the repair (air pressure or visually).

A video providing an overview of this process using remotely operated equipment is given below.

 

Chemical grouting can also be applied manually and can stop the leak almost instantly. A video of manual grouting for a leak in sewer wall is shown below. 


In summary, chemical grouting technology for stopping infiltration is attractive because the chemicals are non-toxic to the wastewater treatment plant and can be applied using remote controlled equipment or manually for small localized defects. Chemical grouting is a flexible low cost option for infiltration repairing of sewer mains in addition to sewer laterals.

Preventing & Responding to Security Threats

Preventing & Responding to Security Threats

Facility and infrastructural security are an important component of any emergency response plan. Whether the outcome can result in vandalism, theft, terrorism, or a threat to staff or community safety, suspicious activity should always be taken seriously. When the city of Woodland Hills was alerted of trespassing at their water storage tank, the utility promptly issued a boil order until they could confirm that their water was safe to drink. These actions prevented any potential harm due to contamination leaving community members safe and reassured that their utility was taking an active role in water security. Evaluating risk to malevolent acts will allow your system to initiate or upgrade preventive measures and develop an appropriate response plan to protect staff and the community.

To prevent malevolent acts, start by taking an assessment of your facility’s vulnerabilities. Consider entry points, security code accessibility, chemical tanks, storage tanks, vehicles, utility equipment, hazardous chemicals, and infrastructure within the distribution or collection system. Infrastructure essential to operations and limited in redundancy or identified to be at greater risk to malevolent acts may require more meticulous security measures. To assess physical security threats, check out the Security Vulnerability Self-Assessment Guide for Small Drinking water Systems.

The goal in a vulnerability assessment is to determine where prevention measures can be implemented and develop a response plan to suspicious activity.  According to the Minnesota Department of Health, many facilities increase security by locking entry points, using external lighting, posting warning signs, requesting law enforcement patrol, fencing in critical infrastructure, or installing motion sensors, alarm systems, and video cameras. Once all preventive measures have been taken, develop a response protocol for each potential threat. The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators has developed response guidelines for security violations. In each response scenario, utilities should plan for how they can maintain internal, interagency, and external communication.

Utilities should practice emergency response exercises regularly and keep track of necessary changes to response protocols. During these exercises reserve time to monitor which staff have access to key entry points at the utility. Successful security programs will also build and maintain a close relationship with local law enforcement. This relationship will allow utilities to respond swiftly and efficiently in coordination with law enforcement when suspicious activity does occur.

Remember that final goal of these measures is to prevent any interruption in services, damage to infrastructure, and safety threats to staff and the community. For more information on Malevolent Acts check out the EPA’s Baseline Information on Malevolent Acts for Community Water Systems.

Featured Video: Infusing Innovation into the DNA of Our Culture

Featured Video: Infusing Innovation into the DNA of Our Culture

There are many factors that drive the current utility model for wastewater operations. With traditional values in play, we have reached difficult economic and operational challenges. In order to address these challenges, we must adapt a new mindset and new utility model to push affordability for water customers, better equipment management, and increased compliancy.

Adapting a more innovative approach and mindset:
Our current utility practices suggest that our societal and business values coincide with "extraction, use, and waste disposal". This creates a motivation that is, at bare minimum, driven by public engagement, capital investment, and operations & maintenance. As a result our current water resources are being utilized inefficiently and ultimately running low. We must instead adapt a Resource Recovery business model for a circular economy. Focus must be shifted from regulatory compliance, utility impact, and traditional utility models to pivot toward ecological uplift, collective impact, and a transformative entrepreneurial business model. This new business model should include focus on resource recovery and watershed health as well as pump, plant, and pipe health.

The start of a new, innovative, and effective approach might be slow but can grow exponentially. Water organizations must start with efficiency and work their way to optimization, which will lead into investments for bigger ideas and new intellectual property such as smart meters, efficient pumps, proper monitoring equipment, better facilities, and so forth. Collective cooperation and corresponding mindsets will keep the industry on the same track with the addition of new water personnel and management turnover.

In this week’s featured video by the Water Research Foundation, Diane Taniguchi-Dennis, Deputy General Manager at Clean Water Services, presents a case study for how her organization is improving utility functionality through a culture of innovation.

How to Find Free Webinars on WaterOperator.org

How to Find Free Webinars on WaterOperator.org

Our staff at WaterOperator.org work hard to make sure operators can easily find all potential training opportunities for their water or wastewater operator certification using our national training calendar. This calendar currently links to over 11,000 events each year, all of which are pre-approved for operator continuing education credits and many which are free. Whether it’s a training hosted by your primacy agency, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, a subsection of the American Water Works Association, or another local training provider, we strive to list them all.

Given the increased demand for virtual training opportunities, we’ve recently created a tutorial to help you optimize your search for live, online training. We hope that this video will help you to more easily meet the training requirements under your certification.

Please note, that these opportunities all have a time and date associated with their registration. We do not list on-demand training in our calendar. If you require assistance searching for pre-approved, on-demand training opportunities, please email us at info@wateroperator.org.