Exam Study Guide: Sampling Rules; and Risk and Resilience Assessments

Maintaining your education is important, especially in a career that demands licensing exams. Prove you’re an expert operator by answering these questions and others from our Exam Study Guide Series.

Welcome back to TPO magazine's Exam Study Guide Series, which offers a pair of water/wastewater study questions with in-depth explanations of the answers. Last time, we covered a set of wastewater and drinking water treatment questions on the topics of Laboratory Compliance Procedures; and Bacteriological Sampling. This time, you can test your knowledge about rules for sampling, and risk and resilience assessments.

Wastewater Treatment Sample Question

In addition to guidance on laboratory analysis, the guidelines in the Standard Methods reference books outline the rules for sampling.

A. True
B. False

Answer: The answer to this question is A, true. Sampling is a task just as important as the laboratory analysis. The NPDES specifies sampling location, type and frequency. It also states that these comply with USEPA’s Methods of Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes or Standard Methods. Understanding proper rules and regulations for laboratory analysis and sampling are cornerstones of proper operations of your treatment facility. Knowledge of these guidelines are also required for certifications in many states.

Water Treatment Sample Question

After completing and submitting a risk and resilience assessment to the USEPA, how long do you have before you must review and submit a recertified risk and resilience assessment to the USEPA?

A. 1 year
B. 3 years
C. 5 years
D. 7 years

Answer: The correct answer is C. The required risk and resilience assessment and emergency response plan stems from section 2013 of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. All community water systems that serve more than 3,300 people are required to submit a certified assessment. The due date for the initial assessment is based on population served, and the required submittal of a reviewed assessment is due five years after the initial date. Community water systems have an additional six months after the risk and resilience assessment due date to complete the emergency response plan to the USEPA. More information on guidance for developing a risk and resilience assessment can be found here.

About the authors: Rick Lallish is the Water Pollution Control program director at the Environmental Resources Training Center (ERTC) of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He provides training for entry-level operators in the wastewater field and operators throughout the state looking to further their education. Lallish was also named the 2017 Illinois Operator of the Year and 2018 president of the Illinois Association of Water Pollution Control Operators.

Drew Hoelscher is the program director of drinking water operations at the Environmental Resources Training Center in Edwardsville, Illinois.


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