New Orleans to host wastewater 'Olympics'

This year's Operation Challenge competition to feature revised safety event as part of Water Environment Federation's WEFTEC.04 exhibition Oct. 2-6. Forty teams and more than 200 people to vie for top honors...

ALEXANDRIA, VA, Sept. 20, 2004 -- Do you ever wonder what happens behind the scenes at a wastewater treatment facility or how operators and technicians overcome flooding, a sewer collapse and other emergencies? Well, wonder no more. Over 200 of the world's best and brightest wastewater treatment professionals will compete in Operations Challenge 2004, a unique, fast-paced skills competition for wastewater operations and maintenance professionals.

Now in its 17th year, the one-of-a-kind "Wastewater Olympics" will take place Tue., Oct. 5 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La. Growing from an original 22-team event to its current 40-team, two division format, each four-member team will be judged on the best combination of precision, speed and safety. Winners are determined by a weighted point system for five events including collection systems, laboratory, process control, maintenance and safety. Each event is designed to test the diverse skills required for the operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment facilities, their collection systems and laboratories � all vital to the protection of public health and the environment. (Please see below for the complete list of teams.)

This year's competition will feature a revised safety event. Teams will rescue an unconscious colleague from a confined space. After testing the atmosphere, they will assemble entry rescue equipment, ventilate the space and descend from a training platform to perform the rescue. The platforms were manufactured and donated by Fibergrate Composite Structures, Inc. (Dallas, TX). Fibergate Composite Structures, Inc., manufacturer of the Chemgrate® and Fibergrate® brands, is the inventor and world's leader in molded fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) grating.

Operations Challenge 2004 will take place during WEFTEC®.04, the Water Environment Federation's 77th annual technical conference and exhibition (Oct. 2-6). WEFTEC.04 will feature over 15,000 of the world's leading water quality experts and over 800 exhibiting companies for five days of technical education, information exchange and networking opportunities. For more information, visit www.weftec.org.

Operations Challenge 2004 Teams
Arkansas Water Environment Association LRWU Connection
British Columbia Water and Waste Association Canadian Cross Connection
California Water Environment Association L.A. Wrecking Crew
California Water Environment Association SRCSD Interceptors
Central States Water Environment Association Pumpers
Central States Water Environment Association Shovelers
Chesapeake Water Environment Association Capital Flow
Chesapeake Water Environment Association Centrifugal Force
Florida Water Environment Association Lauderdale Knights
Florida Water Environment Association Orange Crush
Hawaii Water Environment Association Maui Bad Boys
Indiana Water Environment Association Fort Wayne Freedom
Michigan Water Environment Association Midland Microbes
Missouri Water Environment Association Effluent Blues
Nevada Water Environment Association Totally Chaotic
New England Water Environment Association Caustic Solution
New England Water Environment Association Pump Fiction
New England Water Environment Association Seacoast Sewer Snakes
New Jersey Water Environment Association Cape Shore Workers
New York Water Environment Association Brown Tide
New York Water Environment Association Jamaica Bay Hackleheads
Water Environment Association of Ontario Flush in the Pan
Water Environment Association of Ontario Highlanders
Ohio Water Environment Association Outhouse Commandos
Ohio Water Environment Association S.C.R.A.P.P.E.R.S.
Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association River Rangers
Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association Toxic Force
Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association Commode Commandos
Water Environment Association of South Carolina Single Digits
Water Environment Association of Texas TRA CReWSers
Water Environment Association of Texas Team Austin
Virginia Water Environment Association Fluid Dynamics
Virginia Water Environment Association HRSD Bio-Force
Virginia Water Environment Association Virginia Beach Collectors

About WEF
Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with members from varied disciplines who work toward the WEF vision of preservation and enhancement of the global water environment. The WEF network includes water quality professionals from 79 Member Associations in over 30 countries.

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