Operations Challenge


What is Operations Challenge?


Operations Challenge is the “Wastewater Olympics” for professionals in the wastewater treatment industry. 

Teams of 4 members compete in 5 separate events: Process, Maintenance, Laboratory, Safety and Collection Systems, at a regional level to earn the right to represent Florida at the National competition at WEFTEC.

All teams compete in all events. Each event will be scored separately against established criteria.  The scores of all events will be totaled and the champion team will be selected.

Operations Challenge Competition Events:

Maintenance Event:
This event tests the maintenance skills of the team to respond to a severe weather condition resulting in a lift station pump outage.  A Godwin Dri-Prime diesel driven sewage handling trailer mounted pump set will be used to respond to the emergency as a backup pump at the lift station.  The event will be focused on the routine maintenance of the pump in preparation for use at the lift station and the installation of the piping, programming the setup and starting the pump.

Collection Systems:
This event simulates connecting a 4-inch PVC lateral sewer to and 8-inch PVC sewer pipe while in service and the programming of an automatic sampler.  Teams will cut out a “cracked” section of eight inch (8”) gravity PVC sewer pipe with water circulating through it. Drill a four inch (4”) hole in a piece of eight-inch (8”) PVC pipe on a separate stand.  Install a saddle connection with gaskets and two straps to represent a house connection. Cut and install the 8” PVC section with saddle and install the section with “flexible” repair couplings.  The water tightness of the repair will be evaluated.

Teams will respond to a worker that collapses inside a manhole.  The worker is unconscious and it is suspected that he has been overcome by an unknown chemical in a manhole requiring rescue. During this rescue, a second worker has a heart attack and goes unconscious, this starting a second rescue effort. The teams will rescue the worker in the manhole and provide aid to the second victim.

Teams will perform a BOD analysis using the YSI ProOBOD optical BOD probe.  Set up a seeded BOD and calculations to complete a BOD bench sheet.  They are expected to perform all steps of the procedure including the calculations from memory.

Process Control:
The process control event consists of two separate activities: a written test and the operation of treatment plants via simulation software.  Teams will be split in two were each sub-team will complete one of the activities.  The written test will contain a series of multiple-choice questions, some short math questions and some operational type scenarios with questions.  The process simulator is a treatment plant software model designed so that operators can make adjustments and changes to the process.  The team of two will receive several scenarios with the description of the plant and the goals to be achieved.  They are expected to adjust the simulator to achieve the goals on the different scenarios presented.
Each event will be timed and all team members are expected to participate.  The 2 teams with the best overall score will travel to compete in the national competition at WEFTEC to represent Florida.

We need your support and are looking for sponsors to help finance the travel costs for Florida’s champions to compete at the national level at WEFTEC. If you would like to contribute, please reach out to Brad Hayes for sponsorship information.