Votes for including industrial operators

I was delighted to read your blog post concerning industrial wastewater treatment plant operators. Biological wastewater treatment is not that different, whether municipal or industrial. I have been in the wastewater field since 1974. I received my Pennsylvania license in 1976 and my New Jersey industrial license in 1982. I was inducted into the Water Environment Federation Quarter Century Operators Club in 2003. I still maintain both wastewater licenses.

The biological processes are the same, although the industrial wastewater may be a bit more potent. I operated a municipal 8.8 mgd Unox/trickling filter plant for four years and a high-strength carbohydrate waste (10,000 mg/L to 125,000 mg/L BOD) aerobic/anaerobic system for more than 20 years.

I am also a member of the New Jersey Water Environment Association (since 1982) and a member of the Industrial Environmental Quality Committee, where we present technical training seminars three times per year. Many municipal operators attend our sessions because the topics are relevant to municipal as well as industrial operators. Not to mention, they need the training hours for recertification of their licenses.

I would wholeheartedly support including articles about industrial wastewater treatment operations in TPO magazine.

Tom Eckhoff, CHMM, REM
Arrigetch Environmental Consulting
Revere, Pa.

I have been receiving TPO magazine for a couple years now. It is interesting. I would definitely like to see more information on industrial wastewater treatment. I have been a wastewater treatment plant operator at a stainless steel mill in Kentucky for 22 years. The state does not have any certification specifically for industry, so industrial operators have gone to classes for municipal wastewater, which has nothing to do with our processes. They talk about BOD and MLVSS and such, and we deal with pH and polymers. Training new operators is difficult due to the lack of information on our field.

Forrest Poland
North American Stainless
Ghent, Ky.

I just read your “Are We Missing Something?” discussion on whether to include industrial operators in TPO.  My response is: absolutely! I have been in the environmental field since 1983, and for most of that time highly involved in the wastewater treatment arena. Now, 30 years later, with experience (in this order) as a regulator, environmental engineer in industry, and an engineer in municipal public works, I see tremendous areas of overlap between the industrial and municipal wastewater treatment arenas. I enjoy reading TPO every month, and I think it will become even better if you choose to include the industrial wastewater sector in your coverage.

Jim Parsons
Chief Deputy Director of Public Works
Ocean City, Md.


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