September 2008, Vol. 20, No.9

From the Editors

Operations Forum Editor’s Note

Personnel Maintenance

Pumps wear out. Concrete basins crack and decay. Metal structures rust and pit. Only one thing around a treatment plant improves with a little seasoning: the people who make everything work together.

OK, so biological processes can improve with age, too, but we’re not entering an era with a shortage of microorganisms. But during the next decade or so we might find ourselves with a shortage of qualified and seasoned operators and managers.

Automation and technology will help somewhat. What this really means is finding the right people to operate these systems becomes even more important.

To address this essential issue, this month Operations Forum begins a new column on succession planning. The articles "A Looming Crisis" and "Philly's Old Answer to a New Problem" as well as those in upcoming issues will share how various utilities have begun the job of ensuring their futures.

In addition, check out the Utility Management focus area in the WEFTEC section in the back of the magazine for more opportunities to learn about this topic.

Steve Spicer, editor

Going to WEFTEC?

Operations Forum needs your help with a special WEFTEC project. We’re looking for utility personnel who are going to WEFTEC and are willing to share their opinions. Time commitments will be about 30 minutes. Interested? Send an e-mail to to learn more.