October 2019 O&M Newsletter

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October 2019

In this issue:

A Few Events to Note

It’s back-to-school season with a full line-up of wastewater training opportunities.

MRWA starts it off with classes on cyber security, Grade I & 2 Math Prep, and for wastewater managers, they will offer a class on the legal aspects of hiring new employees. Then on December 10-12, MRWA will host their popular 39th Annual Technical Conference & Trade Show at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

JETCC will once again offer the Wastewater Operator School (WOS) at locations in and around Southern Maine. WOS meets every other Thursday for 12 sessions over a 6-month period for entry- and intermediate-level operators, technicians, and other personnel seeking to increase their understanding of biological wastewater treatment concepts. And JETCC is now accepting applications for the Management Candidate School that will held at the York Sewer District beginning November 20th.

NEWEA’s 2020 Annual Conference & Exhibit, “Inspiring the Water Evolution” will take place on January 26-29 at the Marriot Copley Place in Boston.

And it’s not too early to add to your calendar MWUA’s 94th Annual Meeting & Trade Show, which see a new venue at the Augusta Convention Center on February 5-6, 2020.

Check out the Calendar section below for more details and additional training opportunities.


Oct. 1, 3, 8, & 10 - MRWA - Class I Water Treatment Certification Exam Prep Course (4 day Course), Richmond, BLWSO 20 TCH, DEP 10 TCH

Oct. 3 - JETCC - Chemistry Basics for Operators, Ellsworth, BLWSO 6 TCH, DEP 6 TCH

Oct. 4 - NEWEA - Poo & Brew Networking Event, Storrs CT., Variable TCH

Oct. 9 - JETCC - Pipe Locating for Water & Sewer Utilities, Presque Isle, BLWSO 6 TCH, DEP 6 TCH

Oct. 9 - MRWA - Taking the "Dark & Mysterious" out of Cybersecurity for Water & Wastewater Systems, Gorham, BLWSO 4 TCH, DEP 4 TCH

Oct. 10 - JETCC - Pipe Locating for Water & Sewer Utilities, Hampden, BLWSO 6 TCH, DEP 6 TCH

OCT. 11 - MRWA - Taking the "Dark & Mysterious" out of Cybersecurity for Water & Wastewater Systems, Farmington, BLWSO 4 TCH, DEP 4 TCH

Oct. 15 - MRWA - Taking the "Dark & Mysterious" out of Cybersecurity for Water & Wastewater Systems, Caribou, BLWSO 4 TCH, DEP 4 TCH

Oct. 16 - MRWA - Practical Legal Guide for Hiring Employees: Manage Your Risk While Hiring the Best Employees, Richmond, BLWSO 3 TCH, DEP 3 TCH

Oct. 16 - JETCC - What Every Wastewater Operator Should Know, Bridgton, DEP 6 TCH

Oct. 16 - NEWEA - Poo & Brew Networking Event, Westfield MA., Variable TCH

Oct. 16 Thru 18 - NEWEA - Northeast Residuals & Biosolids Conference & Exhibit, Springfield MA., Variable TCH

Oct. 22, 24, 29, & 31 - MRWA - Class I & II Distribution Certification Exam Prep Course (4 Day Course), Hampden, BLWSO 20 TCH, DEP 10 TCH

Oct. 23 & 24 - JETCC - Wastewater 101, Brunswick, DEP 12 TCH

Oct. 31 - JETCC - Introduction to Microscopes, Waterville, BLWSO 6 TCH, DEP 6 TCH

Nov. 5 - NEWEA/NEWWA - Information Technology & Asset Management Fair, Holliston MA., Variable TCH

Nov. 5 & 6 - JETCC - Activated Sludge Process Control, Brewer, DEP 12 TCH

Nov. 5 & 7 - MRWA - Class/Grade I & II Math Review (2 Day Course), Hampden, BLWSO 10 TCH, DEP 10 TCH

Nov. 7 - JETCC - Instrumentation, Control Networks, SCADA Review, Orono, BLWSO 6 TCH, DEP 6 TCH

Nov. 14 - NEWEA - Utility Management Workforce Conference, Cromwell CT., Variable TCH

Nov. 14 - JETCC - Electrical Safety W/Pump Station Controls & Troubleshooting, Westbrook, DEP 6 Safety TCH

Nov. 18 & 19 - JETCC - Train-the-Trainer, Portland, BLWSO 12 TCH, DEP 6 Management TCH

Nov. 20 - JETCC - Management Candidate School (11 Month Program), York BLWSO 63 TCH, DEP 63 TCH

Monthly Problem Set / For Practice, October

1. Which statement is true regarding algae in a facultative pond?

a. During the day, algae uses oxygen to produce carbon dioxide
b. In the afternoon, algae uses oxygen to lower the pH
c. In the presence of sunlight, algae uses carbon dioxide to lower the pH
d. During the day, algae uses carbon dioxide in the wastewater to release oxygen.

2.  When would you expect the lowest concentration of dissolved oxygen (DO) in a facultative pond?

a. Noon
b. 3 PM
c. Sunrise
d. Sunset

3.  Why is the volatile acid/alkalinity ratio important at a wastewater treatment plant?

a. Helps maintain proper operation of the sedimentation process.
b. Used to control the pH of the influent in the pretreatment facility.
c. It is an important indicator of a problem developing in the digester.
d. It is commonly used to adjust the acidity in the chlorination facility.

4. The Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) of a sample is based on –

a. pH readings
b. Measuring Total Suspended Solids (TSS) of a sample
c. Measuring the Dissolved Oxygen (DO) used
d. Measuring the anaerobic decomposition
e. Measuring total detention time

5. What is the most important role of aerobic bacteria in the treatment of

a. Enhance organic matter
b. Decompose organic matter
c. Introduce workers to dangerous diseases
d. Enhance oxygen production
e. Produces Odor and Offensive Smells

6. Which of the following are dangerous gases that are likely to be present in lift
stations and/or manholes?

a. Methane gas and Petroleum fumes
b. Hydrogen Sulfide and Carbon Dioxide
c. Hydrogen, Sulfur, and Argon
d. Oxygen, Nitrogen and Helium
e. Both a & b

7. Point source discharges are –

a. Discharges that show up in the system and at the plant from an
unidentified or explained source.
b. Discharges that come from pipes or ditches that are monitored,
controlled and inspected.
c. Discharges that have Intermittent, dispersed flows having little or no
d. Discharges that contribute greatly to the BOD and COD and typically
come from dairies and farm related activities.
e. None of the above

8. Which of the following would contribute to infiltration in a collection system?

a. Breaks in the main lines
b. High ground water levels
c. Heavy rains
d. Hydro jet cleaning plugged mains
e. a, b, & c

9. An operator’s flow meter at the plant indicates there was 2.6 MGD flow
through the plant. What is the GPM?

a. 1805
b. 18,055
c. 1083
d. 10,833
e. None of the above

DMR-QA Study 39 Update

DMR-QA results were due to the DEP on September 13, 2019. If you have not submitted your results to DEP, do so as soon as possible by emailing to Brett.A.Goodrich@maine.gov, Maine DMR-QA coordinator.

Your submittal must include your completed NPDES Permittee Data Report Form and Analyte Checklist. These forms can be found on EPA’s DMR-QA website using this link. In addition, please include the results you received from the PT provider showing whether your results were Acceptable.

For those of you that received a Not Acceptable result for one or more tests you will need to submit a corrective action report, including retest results, to the DMR-QA Coordinator by November 8th, 2019.

Next month’s DMR-QA update will provide a more detailed look at trends from the 2019 study result. The analysis we have done so far indicates a higher overall Acceptable rate for participating facilities in 2019 compared to 2018. This is a credit to the hard work and conscientious nature of Maine’s wastewater operators and laboratory workers.

It is important to remember that DMR-QA reported values must be produced from a single analytical run using the same analytical system routinely used, and by the same analysts who routinely perform these analyses to produce compliance monitoring data required under the MEDPES permit.

Facilities must NEVER compare their results with the results from independent analyses conducted at the facility or by any other laboratory before reporting results to the DEP. Facilities should be aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment for knowing violations.

Please contact Brett Goodrich, DMR-QA coordinator, if you have any questions. He can be reached at Brett.A.Goodrich or 207-287-9034.

Certification Update

Every two years operators must obtain 18 Training Contact Hours (TCHs) of DEP-approved continuing education training. Typically, training topics include equipment O&M, lab work, process control, instrumentation, wastewater regulations, asset management, emergency preparedness, etc. As an option, up to six Safety TCHs are allowed for each biennial renewal cycle. Safety courses are designated by an” S” in the approval number. Safety topics include confined space entry, Hazardous Communications, Lockout/tagout, lab safety, PPE, fork lift safety, etc.

Wastewater personnel who find themselves in management positions have expressed a need for learning skills to manage operational staff. To meet this need, DEP will accept TCHs for Management training courses as part of the optional six safety hours. Training topics must be relevant to the management of wastewater treatment systems.

Acceptable management training topics include planning, organizing, staffing, communication, conducting meetings, and public relations. Management training will be designated by an “M” in the course approval number. Human Resources (HR), workplace policy, and general office training are not accepted for Management TCHs.

For more information, contact Judy Bruenjes at judy.k.bruenjes@maine.gov or call 207-287-7806.

Monthly Problem Set / For Practice Answers, October

1. d.
2. c.
3. c.
4. c.
5. b.
6. e.
7. b.
8. e
9. a.