Friday, 8/29/2014, Barbara Smith, owner of Wastewater 101, LLC was honored to be asked to speak at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s monthly Office of Wastewater Field Inspector’s Staff meeting. The topic chosen was The Simple Things in Life or the basic tools an operator has (or should have) at their disposal and how to use them to make strategic changes in the operation of the plant. This is one of my favorite sessions because it deals with more than interpreting the standard lab test results – it allows the operator to use and hone their skills.
The tools I talked about were use of the operator’s own senses – touch, hearing, smell and yes even taste. Another tool you might not think of is communication, it can’t be overlooked as an operational tool, both written and verbal. Understanding the settle-o-meter – how to use it and how to understand what it is telling you. Uses of the sludge judge (core taker) – again different uses for it than normal and most important the correct place to use and as well as the proper method of lowering it. The sludge judge and settle-o-meter are two of the most versatile pieces of plastic in an operator’s arsenal. The DO meter, and the colorimeter were also covered.
I even spotted some of the inspectors taking notes, for me I really enjoyed being there sharing my experiences.
To top it off, on a happy/sad note, Friday was Wastewater Field Inspector’s Section Chief, Don Daily’s retirement. Don started with IDEM in the 1970’s so he has certainly earned a wonderful retirement and I just want to personally Thank him for his work toward making the environment a better place for us.