2018 “Wastewater Olympics” Regional Results
If you were one of the 3,850 attendees at the Florida Water Resources Conference last week, you may have had the privilege of checking out the some of the Ops Challenge events. Known as the “Olympics of the Wastewater Industry,” the Ops Challenge follows teams of four as they compete in a series of events, including Process Control, Laboratory, Maintenance, Collections, and Safety in order to secure a spot at the national competition at WEFTEC.
This year, seven teams competed in the overall Ops Challenge, with clever team names such as Destin’s Positive Influents, JEA’s Fecal Matters, St. Petersburg’s Dirty Birds, GRU’s True Grit, St. Cloud’s Methane Madness, and Orange County’s Treatment Outlaws.
Team Positive Influents from Destin Water Users, Inc. (DWU) was one of the smallest and only private organization competing in the 2018 Ops Challenge, representing a total of 65 employees. Lead by Logan Law, Destin’s Wastewater Operations Specialist, all members were Class A Operators, and this was their second year competing. Positive Influents came in first in Process Control and placed second in Collections, having won both events last year in their first year competing.
During the Safety event, teams must respond to a worker that has collapsed inside a manhole while judges time the event and keep score of how the team performs. Destin’s Positive Influents was able to improve their Safety time by more than two minutes compared to last year’s score.
“At DWU, we try to do things the right way and our Operators carried that attitude into this year’s Ops Challenge,” said Logan. “It’s a great way for Operators to keep up their training and we have a great bunch of guys in the group.”
Positive Influents ended up placing 3rd overall with a score of 408.02 in this year’s Ops Challenge at FWRC.
“We did leave some points on the table that we should have gotten, but overall I think [we] did an outstanding job,’ said Logan. “While [we] did not win, we are very proud of the way [we] competed.”
Orange County’s Treatment Outlaws took first, while JEA’s Fecal Matters took second. Both teams will be moving on to represent Florida in the national competition at WEFTEC later this year.