As part of a continuing effort to train wastewater treatment operators, the DEQ Operator Training program, independently and in co-operation with other organizations, develops and conducts specialized training for presentation throughout the State. Course locations, topics and frequency of presentation are determined based on the identified need and the availability of suitable training facilities and necessary resources. Complete descriptions of all training programs developed by the Operator Training Program are provided in the course catalog. Current training program brochures can be viewed and downloaded from the Wastewater Treatment homepage.
The Operator Training program offers workshops on a variety of topics. Program fees range from $50 - $150 depending on course length and complexity. Workshops include lectures, hands on activities such as simulations, laboratory exercises and site visits. Every effort is made to provide participants with hands on experience.
Process Control Training
Process control training is available for many of the more widely used treatment processes. Workshops generally range from 1-3 days in length and focus on information the operator “needs to know” to effectively operate the treatment process.
Currently, workshops are available on the following topics:
Sampling & Testing
Laboratory testing workshops cover a specific parameter or a group of related test methods. The 1-3 day workshops provide in-depth, hands-on training on sample collection, preservation, commonly used testing procedures, calculations and quality assurance/quality control. Programs consist of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on exercises.
Currently, workshops are available covering the following topics:
- Basic Lab Skills,
- pH & Total Residual Chlorine
- Dissolved Oxygen & Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
- Wastewater Solids
- Chemical Oxygen Demand
- Ammonia Nitrogen and Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN)
- Sampling & Testing For Small Treatment Plants
Courses are typically presented using the facilities of the Department’s seven Regional Offices. Programs are also scheduled for presentation at other locations (i.e. local treatment plants or municipal offices) when sufficient interest is identified and appropriate facilities can be found. If you have suggestions for a location or would like to volunteer your treatment plant to host an Operator Training workshop, please contact program staff to explore the possibilities.
Unless otherwise noted, all workshops offered by the Department’s Operator Training and Assistance program are approved by the State Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals and can be used as substitution for required operational experience where regulations permit.
Course schedules are normally published on a quarterly basis. To automatically receive training announcements, go to DEQcast and register under “Wastewater Operations and Training”.
Workshops dealing with additional sampling and testing topics and/or advanced process control techniques are being considered. If you have any suggestions of topics for future training programs, contact program staff.
Wastewater License Examination Review
The Department’s Basic and Advanced Licensure Review programs provide the exam candidates with an opportunity to learn about technologies that were not present in the plant they work in and “polish” skills (laboratory testing or process control calculations) that may not have been part of their current job responsibilities. The programs are a co-operative effort between the Department and several community colleges. The programs consist of lecture and class exercises and are typically 3-5 days in length.
Program costs are established by the host community college and follow the standard tuition and fee structure of the host institution. For more information on dates and locations, consult the host college’s website.
John Tyler Community College, Chester Campus
Northern Virginia Community College, Manassas Campus
Tidewater Community College, Portsmouth Campus
Wytheville Community College, Wytheville Campus
Annual Virginia Tech Wastewater Operator Short School
The Annual Wastewater Operator Short School is presented each summer at the Skelton Conference Center on the Virginia Tech Campus in Blacksburg Virginia. The program is a cooperative effort involving the Virginia Tech Department’s of Continuing Education and Civil Engineering and the Departments Operator Training and Assistance Program. The short school is normally conducted in August and each offers participants four (4) levels of training ranging from introductory to advanced management considerations. The programs are instructed by experienced members of the profession recruited from the Department of Environmental Quality and from treatment systems throughout the state. The programs consist of lectures, exercises and demonstrations. Fees are established by the Continuing Education Department and include lodging, breakfast, lunch and break refreshments. For dates, costs, or additional information on the Annual Wastewater Operator Short School contact the Virginia Tech Continuing Education Department.
Special Interest Workshops
From time to time, the Operator Training and Assistance program develops and presents workshops and seminars on topics of current interest to the plant operators and facility managers. These programs are normally short term (one day or less) and focus on a problem, new technology or a change in regulatory requirements. Recent programs include wastewater plant security and VPDES permit required recordkeeping and reporting.
Partnering To Expand Training Availability
The Operator Training and Assistance Program is interested in partnering with other organizations and/or treatment facilities to develop and present wastewater treatment operator training workshops throughout the state. If you would be interested in exploring the possibilities for working together on development or presentation of training, download the Cooperative Training Program Brochure and/or contact program staff.