Streamline - Spring 2012 - (Page 17)

CPEs and YOU BY FRANK NADEAU WASTEWATER TECHNICIAN I NOW THAT WE wastewater operators have finished our first license period requiring CPEs and the water operators are halfway through their cycle, I thought it would be a good time to look at CPEs. What are they and why do we need or want them? It is a good idea to keep a file of CPE certificates and also make a copy to be kept in your personnel file at the Town Office or Service Authority Office. Continuing Professional Education units are a measurement of our continuing education to ensure that we, as professional water and wastewater operators, are keeping our standards up to provide the most responsible treatment and job performance possible. The one thing that we operators can NEVER lose sight of is that we are dealing with public health and can severely damage the lives of the people we serve. Virginia Rural Water Association has recently lost Environmental Protection Agency f und ing for ou r Tr a i n i ng a nd Technical Assistance billet, so training for water operators has taken a direct hit. Our two water circuit riders are not contractually required to provide training, while our two wastewater technicians are now tasked with providing training. Donna Lawson and I are attempting to develop classes that will be pertinent to both Water and Wastewater Operator requirements. VRWA classes are posted on the VRWA website,, under the “Training” header. Class I, II, and III operators are required to acquire 20 hours of professional training per license cycle and Class IV operators need 16 hours. Operators who hold both Water and Wastewater licenses can use those classes which pertain to both for both licenses; however, Safety classes can only account for one-half of the required number. The required number of CPEs required is the number required by the license we hold at the beginning of the license cycle. License cycles for water operators expire on February 28 of odd numbered years and wastewater operators on February 28 of even numbered years. During the last months of the past Wastewater license cycle, I was surprised to find numerous operators who did not have sufficient CPE hours. The time to get the training requirements fulfilled is as soon after license renewal as possible. The Department of Professional Occupation Regulation audited water operators a few years back, and I expect wastewater operators are going to be audited in the near future, maybe not this, our first license cycle, but soon. When I was audited, I copied my CPE forms and mailed them to DPOR. Apparently this fulfilled the requirements as I heard nothing further. It is a good idea to keep a file of CPE certificates and also make a copy to be kept in your personnel file at the Town Office or Service Authority Office. If you cannot get away from the plant to attend classes, how do you meet the CPE requirements? Virginia Rural Water Association also has online courses available. Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Department of Health-Office of Water Programs conduct classes through four of the Commonwealth’s Community Colleges. Virginia Tech conducts the short courses for Water and Wastewater each summer as well as monthly satellite-location classes. The National Rural Water Assoc. also conducts a Water University, information about which can be found at 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2012

From the President
From the Executive Director
Where is Virginia’s Groundwater?
Basic Management Skills
Planning or Piecemeal?
CPEs and YOU
The Sludge Bag
Fracking Rapidly Becoming Unpopular
Amazing We All Learned English!
Springtime Safety – Outdoor Hazards
Spotlight on Western Virginia Water Authority’s Blue Ridge Brawler
Wastewater Math
VRWA’S 24th Annual Exposition Agenda
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
Rural Water Review
VRWA Mailbag
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board Of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index To Advertisers/Ad.Com

Streamline - Spring 2012