As elite teams of water professionals wrap up their final practice sessions before convening at WEFTEC 2019 for the 32nd annual Operations Challenge competition, the stage is set for the most action-packed test of professional skills in the competition’s history.

Forty-six teams – an Operations Challenge record – will meet in Chicago to test their mettle during five events that mimic water professionals’ real-world job responsibilities.

Competitors must work together to

  • perform maintenance on simulated collection systems and other equipment,
  • demonstrate their familiarity with laboratory procedures,
  • bring an impaired pump station back to working condition,
  • answer process control questions and successfully troubleshoot problems in a water resource recovery facility simulation, and
  • rescue a co-worker (represented by a mannequin) from the bottom of a manhole.

Winners are determined by a weighted point system for the five events. Each team races against the clock to complete each event faster than their opponents.

Each team is sponsored by a WEF Member Association or recognized Operator Association (links below). Operations Challenge 2019 welcomes the following teams:


  • Aarhus Great Danes

British Columbia (Canada) Water & Waste Association

  • Wet Well Warriors

Water Environment Association of Ontario (Canada)

  • Ashbridges High Levels
  • Sludge Hogs
  • Sludgehammers

AZ Water Association

  • AWA Surprise

California Water Environment Association

  • LA Wrecking Crew
  • Technicians

Florida Water Environment Association

  • Fecal Matters
  • Positive Influents

Indiana Water Environment Association

  • Sewer Rats
  • SIOA Columbus

Louisiana Water Environment Association

  • Water Dogz

North Carolina AWWA-WEA

  • Predaturds
  • Women of Wastewater

New Jersey Water Environment Association

  • Jersey Devils
  • Riptide

New York Water Environment Association

  • Brown Tide
  • Rockaway Sludge Hustlers
  • Watershed Warriors

Ohio Water Environment Association

  • Columbus Outfalls
  • Dirty Deeds

Pennsylvania Water Environment Assocation

  • Deuce Busters
  • Motley CReW

Water Environment Association of South Carolina

  • 50 Shades of Grey Water
  • Controlled Chaos
  • Lethal Concentration

Water Environment Association of Texas

  • Aqua Techs
  • Drip Squad
  • Pooseidons
  • North Texas Rangers
  • TRA CReWSers
  • Waste Warriors

Water Environment Association of Utah

  • Wasatch All-Stars
  • Wasted Gas

Virginia Water Environment Association

  • Blue Ridge Brawlers
  • Team HRSD

New England Water Environment Association
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)

  • Force Maine
  • Franken Foggers
  • Ocean State Alliance

Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association
(Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming)

  • Double Duty
  • Elevated Ops
  • Sewerside Squad

Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association
(Idaho, Oregon, and Washington)

  • Poo Fighters

Central States Water Environment Association
(Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin)

  • Pumpers
  • Shovelers

WTN - ops challenge 1 - sept'19.jpg

Operations Challenge will take place at
Booth 7007 in North Hall B at McCormick Place.


Laboratory and Process Control events

Mon., Sept. 23; 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Collection Systems, KSB Maintenance, and Safety events

Tues., Sept. 24; 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


WTN - ops challenge 2 - sept'19.jpg

Ops Challenge 2018.png



Want more Operations Challenge coverage? Check out the archive of every Operations Challenge competition.

Operations Challenge History

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