RCAP Network Releases High Quality Drinking Water Operator Training Materials that are Well Received by Operators throughout Northeastern United States
Sukhwindar Singh, Director of Education and Training, RCAP Solutions
Just under seventeen months ago, the RCAP Network was fortunate to be funded through the US EPA to develop materials and train small systems on compliance related topics including content that supported Operator Continuing Education credits.
After a systematic review of the ABC (Association of Boards of Certification) Drinking Water Treatment Need-to-Know criteria, it became evident that RCAP curricula would focus on Distribution System Water Quality Management for small systems as well as basic math and chemistry for water operators. This goal was set at the National RCAP level for all the regional RCAPs to follow.
We will highlight some of the goals and content of the curricula and explain how it is organized to engage operator attendees. We will also discuss the extensive Training Contact Hours (TCH) application process and results we have achieved as well as highlighting some upcoming trainings.
The RCAP Distribution Water Quality Management Training Module is designed as a one-day, 8 hour class with small group activities and RCAP videos that emphasize chlorine residual management and distribution system best practices. The modules that make up the 8 hour course highlight the following: distribution as a barrier to protect public health, regulations and factors that impact water quality in the distribution system, distribution system components and monitoring practices, how to take a good bacteria sample, chlorine residual management, flushing and pressure management. Expected learning outcomes for attendees are that they will be able to: 1) Describe the importance of maintaining the distribution system as a barrier to protect public health, 2) Monitor chlorine residual and recognize problems that may lead to low residuals, 3) Manage water age in the distribution system and 4) Recognize issues that may lead to water quality degradation in the distribution system. The 8 hour course features pre-and post-assessment key concepts which are a hallmark of the RCAP Curriculum Design. RCAP Solutions has applied for and received course approval for 8.0 TCH credits for water operators in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. We are securing course approval with the other state primacies in our region as well. We have successfully completed two trainings for over 25 operators in Massachusetts and New Hampshire with upcoming events scheduled in October in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
Concepts covered in the Basics of Operator Math module include setting up word problems, working with fractions, conversion factors for common units in water treatment and distribution, percentages, area and volume, manipulating an equation to solve for the desired parameter, chemical dosing problems, and using the ABC Formula/Conversion Table or state-specific formula sheet. While the module’s target audience is water operators, most concepts are also applicable to wastewater operations. RCAP Solutions has applied for and received course approval for 4.0 TCH credits for The Basics of Operator Math in both water and wastewater in Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, and again we are working with a number of other primacies in our network to secure this accreditation. In the meantime, RCAP Solutions staff has successfully trained over 100 operators on this content in New York and Maine. RCAP Solutions has upcoming trainings in this topic scheduled in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New Hampshire for October and November.
Chemistry is a very wide ranging subject that can take many years of study. The Chemistry for Water Operators curriculum covers some very basic concepts in chemistry such as how to use the periodic table, the chemistry of water, and how to calculate dosage. These are basic skills that can assist students in understanding more advanced classes on water treatment chemistry. The target audience is small system water operators that have had some basic chemistry instruction in high school or college.
The training module is designed to fit in a half-day session and can be combined with other modules at the discretion of the trainer. As a result of this training, participants will be able to: use the periodic table, understand the basic chemical properties of water, and be able to calculate concentrations in a solution. The course will accomplish this through modules that cover basic chemistry principles from the importance of chemistry for operators to the chemistry of water as well as concentrations and various calculations. RCAP Solutions has received course approval for 3.5 TCH credits in both water and
Wastewater in Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. RCAP Solutions has upcoming trainings on this topic scheduled in New Jersey in October and New Hampshire in November. We are also submitting this material for course approval in many other states of our region.
A successful training event requires quality material, skilled and versatile trainers, engaged participants, sponsors, suitable training locations, and the cooperation of the dedicated Primacy personnel that we have worked with in many of our states to obtain course approval.
We acknowledge and thank the staff of the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, Drinking Water Section, the New York State Department of Health, Drinking Water, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Drinking Water and Wastewater Sections, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Water Resources Division, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Water Division, the State of Rhode Island Department of Health, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Safe Drinking Water for all their assistance in this extraordinary year of training program development and delivery at RCAP Solutions. We are also most appreciative of Hanna Instruments for their participation and sponsorship of trainings in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Upcoming Continuing Education Trainings for Operators
Please Contact Sukh Singh directly at (412) 554-2572 for registration, information and additional training opportunities.
- October 7, 2015 – Distribution and Water Quality Management in Millbrook, New York. Registration is closed.
- October 13, 2015 – Math and Chemistry for Water Operators in Egg Harbor New Jersey. Registration is open.
- October 14, 2015 – Distribution and Water Quality Management in Egg Harbor New Jersey. Registration is open.
- October 20, 2015 – Basic Math for Water Operators & Distribution System Water Quality Management in Providence Rhode Island. Registration is about to close.
- November 9, 2015 – Math and Chemistry for Water Operators in Franklin, New Hampshire. Registration is open.
- December 2, 2015 – Asset Management for Small Water Systems in Connecticut. Location in Connecticut is TBD. Contact Sukh or Mia McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.