Wastewater 101 was asked to provide certification training for employees at Chicago Steel in Gary, Indiana. The classes were set up ½ day a week over a four-week span instead of the normal two-day session because most of the attendees were employees who had line work to do and were not to be the certified operator. The reason the other employees were brought into the course was so they could understand what could happen if they allowed excessive releases to occur in their section that could affect the industrial plant that could in-turn affect the municipal facility or they might have to assist in their plant for a day or two, but would not be there full time.
When setting up the course my main request prior to starting the course was to ask the attendees to tour the Gary Sanitary District Water Pollution Control Facility to see a municipal plant. Chicago Steel’s wastewater plant is a typical industrial plant that only has one or two processes that has nothing to do with biological treatment, leading to the reason for the tour. An industrial operator in the state of Indiana must learn about all forms of wastewater treatment, just as the municipal operator, which means most of what I was going to talk about was going to be Greek to them. I was very happy with the results of the tour, from day one it was easier for them to understand the process when I showed them pictures, reminded them what they saw at the plant. I could tell they understood the concepts much better and were able to retain the information better. (I would recommend this for any industrial operator taking the certification exam – contact your nearest municipal plant and take a tour)
It never ceases to delight me when students not only understand, but are able to retain the information from week to week. After four weeks of sessions I feel that they have the knowledge to understand the consequences of inadequate treatment, improper releases and have the ability to pass the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Industrial Operator Certification Exam.
I wish them all the luck on their exams and hope to see them again in the future for continuing education as they decide to take the next level exam or just want CEUs.