Streamline - Spring 2013 - (Page 17)

BY KENNY REYNOLDS, VRWA WATER CIRCUIT RIDER I As employers, we need to furnish the necessary study material recommended by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). Water and Wastewater Certification Exam Test Taking Tips utilities are starting to face a problem that was predicted several years ago – the retirement or loss of operation personnel at their water and wastewater facilities. Utilities not only have lost the valuable years of experience and knowledge of these employees, but have lost the state required license that these personnel had for the required treatment and operation at their facilities. Utilities have often found difficulty in finding qualified licensed employees to fill these vacant positions, or finding people who can come into the field as a trainee and pass the state certification examinations without great difficulty. Over the years, most of our present Water and Wastewater Systems Operations Specialists have been able to develop professionally as new rules, regulations, and treatment technologies became necessary. For new hires to our industry, the amount of information to learn often seems very intimidating and difficult to comprehend. The goal of this article is to give the utility and the candidate preparing for certification examinations tips to help them be successful. MANY OF OUR Let’s start with how the water or wastewater utility can help its employees prepare to sit for the certification examinations. As employers, we need to furnish the necessary study material recommended by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). These study materials are listed on DPOR’s website. Click on the Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals, then click on the tab for Education and Exams, then click on the appropriate tab for Candidate Information Bulletin for Water or Wastewater. For example, listed on page two of the Waterworks Candidate Information Bulletin is the Examination Study Material. It is a list of possible study material for the examinations. Utilities must also encourage their employees to attend training classes offered by organizations such as Virginia Rural Water Association to better prepare them to understand basic water and wastewater system operation, new technologies, and upcoming new rules and regulations. This may require the utility to make a commitment to set aside more funds in their training budget for employee development. The current certification examinations are more diverse and often require that the candidates understand more complex treatment than the treatment used at the system in which they work. Even though these certification examinations in Virginia are open book, students have found them difficult because of various treatment technologies they are unfamiliar with, thus making training classes a must for success. As utilities we hire a new employee, invest time in onsite training, and find a really good employee for the position, but sometimes lose him/her if he/ she is unable to pass the certification examination. We, as utilities, must make sure we are doing our 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2013

From the President
From the Executive Director
What If?
Stormwater Management
Soapbox Farewell
Water and Wastewater Certifi cation Exam Test Taking Tips
Past 25 Years of VRWA
Proactive vs. Reactive
Asset Management and Drought Management
Is the Tank Contaminating the Water?
Committed to the Future of Rural Communities
Standard Operating Procedure For Leak Detection Using the Pressure Hold Method
The Virginia RATES Program is at Your Service
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
Employee Introductions
VRWA 25th Annual Exposition Agenda
Wastewater Math
eLearning Benefits
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
Membership Application
Throwing My Loop
VRWA Mailbag
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board Of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index To Advertisers/

Streamline - Spring 2013