Operations Challenge Winners Announced

Two Texas teams take first place in two divisions for the 30th annual competition
Operations Challenge Winners Announced
Team TRA CReWSers, Water Environment Association of Texas, and Trinity River Authority of Dallas, Texas. (Photo by KiefferPhotography.com courtesy of the Water Environment Federation)

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Two teams from Texas clinched first place in their respective divisions during the 30th annual Operations Challenge competition. Team TRA CReWSers won Division 1, and team Aqua Techs took home the top prize in Division 2. Both teams represent the Water Environment Association of Texas. The fun-filled, high-energy event took place at WEFTEC 2017 in Chicago, which was organized by the Water Environment Federation.

Members of the TRA CReWSers are David Brown, Dale Burrow, Raudel Juarez, Quintin Winters, and coach Jake Burwell. Members of Aqua Techs are coach Edward Burrell, captain Kevin Willey, Ryan Brunette, Christian Mendez and Ernesto Romero. 

One of the most anticipated events during WEFTEC, the Operations Challenge is a unique and fast-paced test of the essential skills needed to operate and maintain wastewater treatment facilities, their collections systems and laboratories — all vital to the protection of public health and the environment. This year’s competition included 44 teams from the U.S., Canada, Argentina and Denmark. 

Over the past 30 years, the Operations Challenge has steadily grown from the original 22-team event to this year’s 44-team, two-division format. Teams are judged on the best combination of precision, speed and safety. The winners are determined by a weighted point system for five events including collections systems, laboratory, maintenance, safety and process control. This year’s process control event was revised to include the installation of an Insetra Tee compression fitting, provided by Advanced Drainage Systems.


Team TRA CReWSers of Texas work to install the Insetra Tee compression fitting provided by Advanced Drainage Systems. (Photo by KiefferPhotography.com courtesy of the Water Environment Federation)


Here’s a full list of the winners:

Division 1

First place — TRA CReWSers, Water Environment Association of Texas, and Trinity River Authority of Dallas, Texas

Second place — L.A. Wrecking Crew, California Water Environment Association, and Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County in Whittier, California.

Third place — OCWA Jets, Water Environment Association of Ontario, and Ontario Clean Water Agency of Stratford, Ontario.

Division 2

First place — Aqua Techs, Water Environment Association of Texas, and Dallas Water Utilities of Dallas, Texas.

Second place — Jamaica Sludge Hustlers, New York Water Environment Association, and New York Department of Environmental Protection of Brooklyn, New York.

Third place — Controlled Chaos, Water Environment Association of South Carolina, and Mount Pleasant Waterworks of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.



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