FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE09-03
May 5, 2009
Michael Saucier / Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600
Four Wastewater Treatment Teams Compete in the 22nd
Annual Operator's Challenge
The Competition is Designed to Illustrate the Skills Required for Successful Operations
The NYC Department of Environmental Protection today
held the 22nd Operator’s Challenge event in which four teams of wastewater
treatment operators competed to formally recognize the expertise and diverse
skills required for the operation and maintenance of New York City's 14
wastewater treatment plants. This contest is part of
a statewide and national
competition developed by the Water Environment Federation (WEF). The New York City competition took
place at the Jamaica Wastewater Treatment Plant in Queens.
"This competition gives our treatment plant operators
the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and high degree of competence and
pride they bring to the complex task of performing their everyday duties,' said
DEP Acting Commissioner Steven Lawitts. 'DEP's 14 wastewater treatment plants
treat 1.3 billion gallons of raw sewage a day. Harbor water quality has improved
is now at its
best in over 100 years, based on 100 years of scientific sampling data and
the operators play a huge role in that success."
This year’s contest includes:
Teams to connect a 4-inch PVC lateral sewer to
an existing 8-inch PVC sewer pipe while in service.
Lab: Teams must
perform all the steps
to Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) analysis, an indicator of pollution in water by following
a standard method as outlined in the reference manual.
test their skills at responding to an emergency pump.
Teams answer multiple choice questions to demonstrate their knowledge of wastewater
treatment and process control at a wastewater treatment plant.
rescue a dummy in
a confined space. This involves meters to check the air quality, using safety devices,
placement of air blower, recording oxygen, and decontamination procedures.
This year’s competing teams are from the Bowery Bay,
Wards Island, and Tallman Island (two teams) wastewater treatment plants. The
two highest scoring teams will go on to compete in the statewide competition in
June. From there, winners of the State contest will participate in a national
competition in Orlando, Florida, in October. This event is sponsored by the
Water Environment Federation WEF, local chapter and
the DEP. The WEF
is the largest professional organization representing the wastewater industry. Its membership includes national and
international wastewater professionals from the public and private sector.
DEP manages the City's water supply, providing more than
1.1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents
throughout New York State through a complex network of nineteen reservoirs,
three controlled lakes and 6,200 miles of water pipes, tunnels and aqueducts.
DEP is also responsible for managing storm water throughout the City and
treating wastewater at 14 in-City wastewater treatment plants. DEP carries out
federal Clean Water Act rules and regulations, handles hazardous materials
emergencies and toxic site remediation, oversees asbestos monitoring and
removal, enforces the City’s air and noise codes, bills and collects on City
water and sewer accounts, and manages city-wide water conservation