Down to the Wire

Forty-one teams competed in the 22nd WEF Operations Challenge. The defending champion TRA CReWSers took the overall trophy again.

Intense faces. Spectators shouting encouragement. Team members high-fiving. No, it wasn’t a sporting event, but it was the toughest competition of the year for 41 teams of wastewater operators from around the nation and beyond.

When it was over, the defending champion TRA CReWSers from the Water Environment Association of Texas and Trinity River Authority took top honors in the 22nd Operations Challenge, held during WEFTEC ‘09, the Water Environment Federation’s 82nd Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, Oct. 10-14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

Coached by Raudel Juarez, the team of Jacob Burwell, Dale Burrow, Steve Price, and David Brown competed against teams from the United States, Canada, and Argentina during the fast-paced, full-day event.

Operations Challenge has grown from an original 22-team event to its 41-team, two-division format. Teams represent WEF member associations. Winners are determined by a weighted point system for five events related to collection systems, laboratory, process control, maintenance, and safety.

“Each year we tend to set a record in number of teams,” notes WEF vice president Jeannette Brown, P.E., BCEE. “Each facility that has a team really gains because their operators are studying and practicing the various processes involved in wastewater treatment. In addition, because the events are timed, the participants have to learn to work as teams, and in our business we need to have that teamwork.

“I think the event is truly valuable to the people involved, as well as to their agencies. While they’re at WEFTEC, they’re able to go to technical sessions to increase their knowledge and spend time on the exhibit floor, talking to equipment suppliers and getting ideas to take back to their treatment plants.”

Here are the overall winners, and the winners of the individual events:

Overall

Division 1

First Place WEA Texas - TRA CReWSers

Second Place Virginia WEA - Terminal Velocity

Third Place Rocky Mountain WEA - Commode Commandos

Division 2

First Place Illinois WEA - Windy City Wizards

Second Place Virginia WEA - Team HRSD

Third Place New England WEA - Seacoast Sewer Snakes

Laboratory

Division 1

First Place Virginia WEA - Terminal Velocity

Second Place WEA Texas - TRA CReWSers

Third Place Rocky Mountain WEA - Commode Commandos

Division 2

First Place Illinois WEA - Windy City Wizards

Second Place Virginia WEA - Team HRSD

Third Place Hawaii WEA - Septic Soljahs

Safety

Division 1

First Place WEA Texas - TRA CReWSers

Second Place Virginia WEA - Terminal Velocity

Third Place New Jersey WEA - Cape Shore Workers

Division 2

First Place Ontario WEA - OCWA Jets

Second Place WEA Texas - Dillo XXpress

Third Place Virginia WEA - Team HRSD

Process Control

Division 1

First Place Virginia WEA - Terminal Velocity

Second Place Rocky Mountain WEA - Commode Commandos

Third Place California WEA - LA Wrecking Crew

Division 2

First Place Illinois WEA - Windy City Wizards

Second Place Rocky Mountain WEA - Aurora’s Ascending Aerobes

Third Place Central States WEA - Pumpers

Maintenance

Division 1

First Place New Jersey WEA - Cape Shore Workers

Second Place Utah WEA - Wasted Gas

Third Place WEA Texas - TRA CReWSers

Division 2

First Place Utah WEA - Wasatch All Stars

Second Place South Carolina WEA - Liquid Force

Third Place New England WEA - Seacoast Sewer Snakes

Collections

Division 1

First Place WEA Texas - TRA CReWSers

Second Place Virginia WEA - Terminal Velocity

Third Place Rocky Mountain WEA - Commode Commandos

Division 2

First Place Illinois WEA - Windy City Wizards

Second Place Virginia WEA - Team HRSD

Third Place New England WEA - Seacoast Sewer Snakes



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