NEW ORLEANS, La. – For the second consecutive year, teams from Texas took first place in both divisions of the 31st annual Operations Challenge competition.

TRA CReWSers of the Trinity River Authority in Dallas won Division 1, and Pooseidons of North Richland Hills Water placed first in Division 2. Both teams represent the Water Environment Association of Texas. The exciting, high-energy event happened at WEFTEC 2018—the Water Environment Federation’s 91st annual technical exhibition and conference—in New Orleans.

Members of TRA CReWSers are Jacob Burwell, Raudel Juarez, Mark Reeves, Quintin Winters and Steve Price is the coach. The members of Pooseidons are Justin Dean, Chris Dunlop, Bennie Frazier, Chris Legg and Robert Burgess is the coach.

One of the most anticipated events during WEFTEC, Operations Challenge is a unique and fast-paced test of the essential skills needed to operate and maintain wastewater treatment facilities, their collection systems, and laboratories—all vital to the protection of public health and the environment. This year’s competition also featured the first time comprised entirely of women. Charlie’s Angels, and representing the Water Environment Association of South Carolina. The event also broadened its international scope with the introduction of Acueducto de Bogota, the first team from Colombia to compete.

Over the past 31 years, Operations Challenge has steadily grown from the original 22-team event to this year’s 44-team, two-division format. Teams are judged on the best combination of precision, speed, and safety. The winners are determined by a weighted point system for five events including collection systems, laboratory, maintenance, safety, and process control. This year's maintenance event tested teams' ability to perform routine maintenance on a submersible pump-- provided by KSB-- following a trouble alarm caused by a non-flushable wipe.

Winners in both divisions include:

Division 1
First Place: TRA CReWSers
Water Environment Association of Texas
Trinity River Authority, Dallas, Texas

Second Place: OCWA Jets
Water Environment Association of Ontario
Ontario Clean Water Agency, Toronto, Ontario

Third Place: Elevated Ops
Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association
Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, Denver, Colo.

Division 2
First Place: Pooseidons
Water Environment Association of Texas
North Richland Hills Water, North Richland Hills, Texas

Second Place: Waste Warriors
Water Environment Association of Texas
Trinity River Authority, Dallas, Texas

Third Place: Wasatch All Stars
Water Environment Association of Utah
Various Utilities in Utah


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