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Council: Conferences Coodinating: Operations Challenge Committee


Operations Challenge Committee

Held at the NC AWWA-WEA November Annual Conference, the Operations Challenge events, four person teams, along with their coach, compete in events that challenge their skills in various wastewater related activities. The winner is determined by a weighted point system. At the National WEFTEC level, there are five events in the Operations Challenge: Collection System, Laboratory, Process Control, Pump Maintenance, and Safety. The 2014 NC AWWA-WEA Operations Challenge Competition will be the first NC AWWA-WEA competition to include all five events.

The Collection System Event simulates the connecting of a 4-inch PVC lateral sewer to an existing 8-inch PVC sewer pipe while in service and the simulated Closed Circuit TV Inspection of a gravity sewer line using NASSCO standards.

The Pump Maintenance Event features a submersible pump and submersible mixer that will have to be serviced, have the mechanical seals replaced, and be “placed back into service”.

During the Laboratory Event teams will setup and perform a simulated BOD analysis using YSI instruments.

The Process Control Event is a timed event giving teams the opportunity to demonstrate their accumulated knowledge and skill in the areas of wastewater treatment plant process control, collections system operation, maintenance, safety, and troubleshooting through a written test including multiple choice questions and short math questions.

In the Safety Event team members must work together to simultaneously complete two simulated work-site rescues. The first rescue includes a confined space entry to rescue a co-worker who has collapsed in a manhole. The second rescue is for a different worker who has a heart attack at the work site.

Overall winners from the Operations Challenge will be eligible to compete in the National WEF competition at WEFTEC.

Equipment donations are usually needed to make the annual competition possible. A list of needed equipment is typically available in the summer before the Annual Conference. Equipment donors are recognized as sponsors of the Operations Challenge events.


Past Recipients

 Operational Hazards (Charlotte Water)

Flow Motion (MSD Buncombe County)


Sewer Rats (Union County)

2016 Operations Challenge Results

Overall Results
1st: Charlotte Water
2nd: Union County Sewer Rats
3rd: MSD Flow Motion

Collections Event
1st Sewer Rats (Union County)
2nd Operational Hazards (Charlotte Water)
3rd Flow Motion (MSD Buncombe County)

Maintenance Event
1st Operational Hazards (Charlotte Water)
2nd Sewer Rats (Union County)
3rd Flow Motion (MSD Buncombe County)

First Place Results from Previous Years


2015 Operational Hazards (Flow Motion)

2014 Operational Hazards (Charlotte Water)
2013 Sewer Rats (Union County)
2012 Flow Motion (MSD Buncombe County)

Pipe Repair Event
2011 Flow Motion – MSD Buncombe County
2010 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities – Weirwolves
2009 Union County Sewer Rats
2008 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities – Weirwolves
2007 Union County – Sewer Rats
2006 City of Charlotte – Sludge Cats
2005 Charlotte – Crack Attack II
2004 Charlotte – Red-Headed Step-Child
2003 Charlotte – Crack Attack II

Collection System Event

2015 Operation Hazard
2014 Sewer Rats (Union County)
2013 Sewer Rats (Union County)
2012 Flow Motion (MSD Buncombe County)
2011 Flow Motion – MSD Buncombe County
2010 Sewer Rats

Laboratory Event

2015 Operational Hazard
2014 Operational Hazards (Charlotte Water)
2013 Sewer Rats (Union County)
2012 Slayers (CMUD/Union County Public Works)
2011 Grease Lightening – Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities

Process Control Event
2014 Flow Motion (MSD Buncombe County)
2013 Flow Motion (MSD Buncombe County)
2012 City of Rocky Mount
2005 Mary Knosby & Jackie Jarrell – Bob’s Favorites
2004 Charlotte – Irwin Side Show

Pump Maintenance

2014 Operational Hazards (Charlotte Water)
2013 Flow Motion (MSD Buncombe County)
2012 Flow Motion (MSD Buncombe County)


Safety Event
2014 Flow Motion (MSD Buncombe County)



Board Liaison
Anthony Martin
Committee Chair
William Allen Jr
Committee Vice Chair
Gregory Morgan
Council Chair
Tina Whitfield
Erin Bowers
Jennifer Port Picarella

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