WRRF Operators as Public Health Care Providers

 

By John Seldon
Posted July 21, 2014
 
 

 

Wastewater treatment is a unique field of public health care. Operators of wastewater resource recovery facilities (WRRF) must be skilled activated sludge (AS) process specialists. Operator-technologists up to date with current innovations on AS treatment take direct responsibility for their plant’s performance and the quality of downstream municipal water supplies. An essential, honorable career, it is distinct from a complementary position that addresses the mechanics and maintenance of a WRRF. 

 

The process specialist will quantify a WRRF’s daily operating realities - flow rate, percent nutrient removal, micro-contaminant levels - against the system’s Basis of Design parameters established by the plant’s design engineers. These academically trained experts will have sophistication in math and basic descriptive statistics in order to properly record and summarize the tremendous amount of process data gathered daily at a WRRF. By frequently transmitting this information back to those who designed the plant, an iterative process is established that will ensure effective design of future plants. 

 

But plant operation is not all math. Operators must have comparable skills in organic chemistry and microbiology in order to optimize plant performance. A wastewater plant is, after all, a microbiological powerhouse incorporating organic waste and nutrients into new cellular material. Keep the bugs happy and you have clean water for the receiving stream. Still this is not enough. 

 

A WRRF Technologist–Operator must have the skills to translate their process findings into summary reports and the ability to deliver this information through public presentations and formal journals as well as regular summaries for local municipal consumption. Activated sludge process specialists are public health professionals and their training and formal certification must reflect this enormous responsibility.



This blog is excerpted from John’s column in the latest WEF Highlights. Read the complete piece at http://news.wef.org/loss-of-operators-to-environmental-management-positions/. 


 

Training  Maximum Dynamic Head 

 

 

 07/21/2014Permanent link

WRRF Operators as Public Health Care Providers  ()
 

This blog is based on the latest in an eight-part serialization in WEF Highlights of “Wastewater Treatment Plant Technologist-Operators: The Future”, a paper by John Seldonaddressing operator certification. 

 

Comments (0)


WRRF Operators as Public Health Care Providers

 Permanent link

WRRF Operators as Public Health Care Providers

 

By John Seldon
Posted July 21, 2014
 
 

 

Wastewater treatment is a unique field of public health care. Operators of wastewater resource recovery facilities (WRRF) must be skilled activated sludge (AS) process specialists. Operator-technologists up to date with current innovations on AS treatment take direct responsibility for their plant’s performance and the quality of downstream municipal water supplies. An essential, honorable career, it is distinct from a complementary position that addresses the mechanics and maintenance of a WRRF. 

 

The process specialist will quantify a WRRF’s daily operating realities - flow rate, percent nutrient removal, micro-contaminant levels - against the system’s Basis of Design parameters established by the plant’s design engineers. These academically trained experts will have sophistication in math and basic descriptive statistics in order to properly record and summarize the tremendous amount of process data gathered daily at a WRRF. By frequently transmitting this information back to those who designed the plant, an iterative process is established that will ensure effective design of future plants. 

 

But plant operation is not all math. Operators must have comparable skills in organic chemistry and microbiology in order to optimize plant performance. A wastewater plant is, after all, a microbiological powerhouse incorporating organic waste and nutrients into new cellular material. Keep the bugs happy and you have clean water for the receiving stream. Still this is not enough. 

 

A WRRF Technologist–Operator must have the skills to translate their process findings into summary reports and the ability to deliver this information through public presentations and formal journals as well as regular summaries for local municipal consumption. Activated sludge process specialists are public health professionals and their training and formal certification must reflect this enormous responsibility.



This blog is excerpted from John’s column in the latest WEF Highlights. Read the complete piece at http://news.wef.org/loss-of-operators-to-environmental-management-positions/. 


 

Training  Maximum Dynamic Head 

 

 

Posted by Blaine Menelik at 07/21/2014 03:45:00 PM | 


Comments


John Seldon

Posted by:
John Seldon, M.A., C.E.T.
Founder & President of Temporary Operations and Maintenance Inc.
 

John’s wastewater working career began in 1972 with Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment in its Toronto Research & Development group. In 1975 he became Superintendent of the City of Barrie’s municipal wastewater treatment plant and later joined the Regional Municipality of York as its Technical Support Superintendent.

In 1979 John began selling wastewater treatment equipment for Dorcan, and by 1981 he had joined Rupke & Associates, an engineering firm that contract-operated industrial-based wastewater plants. In 1983 he began specializing in mobile sludge dewatering as the operator/manager of the Big Bear dewatering group in Waterloo, ON.

He returned to the University of Waterloo in 1991 to take a Master’s degree in Planning (Environmental Studies) addressing contract management of municipal wastewater systems and later worked for both the Wastewater Technology Centre in Burlington, ON and subsequently Conestoga Rovers in Waterloo.

By 1996, John had formed his own firm, Temporary Operations & Maintenance Inc., focusing on optimizing sludge collection and dewatering systems; he is also a principal in Envir-o-Site Inc, a mobile dewatering group processing both biosolids and industrial sludges.

John is contracted to teach wastewater training courses to Ontario wastewater operators. He has also written two training courses and is currently developing two “hands on” courses, one on primary clarification and the second on dewatering sludges.


<< December 2014 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

Blog Roll

Archive

Recent Posts