How do operators and technicians overcome flooding, a sewer collapse, process failure and other emergencies?

Do you ever wonder what transpires behind the scenes during the operation of a water resource recovery facility? Instead of continuing to take these unsung specialists for granted, leran how the best wastewater collection and treatment personnel in the world display their skills at Operations Challenge.

In the competition, teams compete to earn the highest score in five different events. Each team includes four members and often a coach as well. Each event is designed to test the diverse skills required for the operation and maintenance of water resource recovery facilities, collection systems, and laboratories. The five event are collections systems, laboratory, process control, maintenance and safety. Winners are determined by a weighted points system.

In 2019, Elevated Ops from the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association earned the Division 1 first place trophy. The North Texas Rangers from the Water Environment Association of Texas clinched first place in Division 2.

In 2020, we took Operations Challenge and reshaped it for our virtual experience. Two- and four-person teams competed remotely in three categories: process control, laboratory, and collections. Check out the final results of the competition and view the recordings of all the teams competing as well as the judges feedback. 


Operations Challenge Sponsors



Teledyne ISCO:


Woodard & Curran:


Interested in being a sponsor for, or a partner of, Operations Challenge? Email [email protected]

How you will benefit from Operations Challenge

Watch Operations Challenge 2020

2020 Operations Challenge teams competed on the GoToWebinar platform. The recordings will remain available to watch for free

Operations Challenge Team Resource Page

The Operations Challenge Team Resource page, hosted by the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association can be found here. The most up to date event descriptions and event FAQs can be found on this page.

Operations Challenge E-Signatures

We all love Operations Challenge. Show your love by including Operations Challenge in your email signature. Identify your affiliation, Competitor, Volunteer, or Supporter, or use just the Operations Challange logo. 

Ops Challenge Competitor E-sig

Ops Challenge Volunteer E-sig

Ops Challenge Supporter E-sig

Ops Challenge E-sig




WEF Professional Operator Membership

An active WEF membership and membership in your local WEF Member Association is required to participate in Operations Challenge. 

The Professional Operator membership is designed for operators and technicians directly involved in water reuse, wastewater treatment, collection systems, or laboratory operations. The cost is $75/year, plus local WEF Member Association dues for U.S. and Canada.

Additional details about member benefits and how to join can be found here. The membership fees can also be included when you pay for your Operations Challenge registration, however, please also include a copy of the completed WEF PO Member Application with your registration form.

If you are currently a member but do not know your member number, please contact WEF Customer Service at 1-800-666-0206 (toll-free) or 1-571-830-1545 (globally).

Operations Challenge History

Find out the full history of Operations Challenge. Since the event's inception in 1988, WEF's magazines have chronicled the details of each competition. The links below connect to PDF articles of the full coverage. Each entry is marked by the year, city of the competition, and the Division 1 winning team.


Operations Challenge History