So the testing in Indiana has come and gone for the spring. Both the wastewater operator and collection system operator exams have been given and scored. I do want to say congratulations to those who passed and give a word of encouragement to those who didn’t (don’t give up). Now is the time to start studying for the next round of testing.
Hopefully for the wastewater side the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) will be able to work out the computerized testing with Ivy Tech that will allow you to take anytime of the year instead of only twice a year.
The wastewater operator test had an overall pass rate of only 53% which shows that waiting until the last minute to start studying is NOT the way to pass a test. It takes time to understand and delve through all of the information available for study. It can be confusing and daunting when you try to take the test based on what you do at your facility, what you call the equipment, how you troubleshoot maintenance or plant problems. The test will ask specific questions about equipment and processes you may not have seen. It doesn’t take long to discover the test is written straight from a set of manuals from Sacramento. The reason this is done is NOT to drive you crazy or to be tricky. It is to test your overall knowledge of what you may work with at any given facility in the state because once you are certified that means you can be the certified operator for any facility with the same level as your certification. Another reason for using the Sacramento books (other than they are one of the greatest resource tools there is) allows IDEM to have a reference for any questions asked on the tests.
So with all this said I want to encourage everyone in the field or considering the field of wastewater to get certified to study and get the highest certification possible and keep it up to date. Seek out any and all training you can find so that your knowledge continues to grow.
If you are now or thinking of studying for an exam (wastewater or collection system) you can find questions to help you study on Wastewater 101’s Facebook page. Just “Like” it and when the quizzes are posted they will come across your home page. There will be collection system, wastewater and math quizzes along with a safety tip about each week or so. If you are from out of state – the questions will be the same type of questions, the main differences will be when there is state specific questions that will be called out so you don’t get confused.