Entering its fourth decade, Operations Challenge continues to up the ante with a newly redesigned event and the addition of running water.

As in past years, the 2018 Operations Challenge features five events: Laboratory Event, Process Control Event, Safety Event, Collection Systems Event, and the KSB Maintenance Event.

Teams will compete in the Laboratory and Process Control events today and return tomorrow to tackle the Safety, Collection Systems, and KSB Maintenance events.

However, one significant change for 2018 involves the introduction of running water in to the KSB Maintenance Event. While past year’s competitions witnessed teams speeding to repair a pump during the maintenance event, this year teams will work with a different pump while it is pumping water. For spectators, the change will add to an already exciting competition and more closely imitate the actions that operators perform daily.

The new submersible pump, provided by KSB Inc. (Frankenthal, Germany), is equipped with an impeller that has been designed to help with ragging issues caused by wipes. The increasing trend of flushable wipes has changed the composition of many sanitary sewer flows and led to significant increases in sanitary sewer overflows and additional system maintenance requirements.

As part of the new event, teams will need to respond to a trouble alarm sent to the operations control center by the pump. The team will troubleshoot the electrical control panel, perform routine maintenance on the submersible pump and wet well, and restore the pump station back to normal operating condition.

Operations Challenge begins, Monday at 11 a.m.  Monday and 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Hall F.

The event also introduces the danger of an arc flash – a rapid release of electrical energy – within the electrical equipment.

Following a pre-competition meeting this morning from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m., the Process Control and Laboratory events will kick off at 11:00 a.m. in Hall F.

Tomorrow the Collection Systems, Safety, and KSB Maintenance events will begin at 9 a.m. The competition will conclude on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The winners will receive their awards at a reception from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday evening in Grand Ballroom Suite A at the Hilton Riverside.

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