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Course Directory

Training Environmental Professionals

These courses have been offered in the past and may not be offered this year. Please refer to the training calendar for current course offerings.

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Advanced Activated Sludge Process Control & Optimization


The objective of this class is to give activated sludge front-line supervisors and operators, and process control operators and engineers, a more in-depth understanding of the activated sludge process. With this understanding, effluent quality variability and process energy usage can be reduced. Topics to be presented include: wastewater characterization, biological N & P removal, the importance of sludge quality, measuring and controlling sludge quality, WAS flow control, BOD conversion vs. removal, RAS flow optimization, secondary clarifier performance diagnostic testing, and a state point analysis.

Advanced Activated Sludge Process Control with Nitrification and Denitrification

Part 1: The course will provide the student with an understanding of advanced process control techniques for the activated sludge process. It will include an overview of the activated sludge process, control of the microbiology through various WAS techniques such as constant MLSS or SRT, the settle ability and secondary clarification of the mixed liquor, and the basic nitrification and denitrification processes.

The instructor will provide an in-depth explanation of biological nitrogen removal (BNR) for suspended growth systems. Students will also learn how to apply an understanding of advanced process control techniques to the nitrification and denitrification processes and will have an opportunity to troubleshoot the BNR process.

Note: To benefit fully from this course, students should already possess an intermediate understanding of the activated sludge process.

*This course applies to the MA Wastewater Management Training Program.

Advanced Biological Nutrient Removal

Any treatment beyond BOD and TSS removal is considered tertiary or advanced treatment. In New England and many other parts of the country, ammonia oxidation, nitrogen removal, and biological phosphorus removal are being implemented to meet effluent nutrient requirements. This course presents and explains the science behind these advanced treatment technologies. As nutrient removal requirements loom over almost all municipal and industrial WWTPs, all activated sludge managers and operators will benefit from the knowledge gained from this course.

Advanced Industrial Wastewater Treatment

This three-session course has been designed for individuals taking the Industrial Grades 3I & 4I certification exams.

Topics include:

  • Neutralization and metals removal
  • Ion exchange
  • Math calculations for industrial wastewater treatment
  • Membrane filtration
  • Reverse osmosis and associated O&M

Individuals must take the Basic Industrial Wastewater Treatment course or hold an industrial wastewater certificate as a prerequisite.

Students must bring a basic calculator.

Advanced Nitrogen Removal

The course will present an in-depth understanding of biological nitrogen removal for suspended growth systems including pre- and post-anoxic zones, supplemental carbon, and various process configurations such as the MLE process. The student will apply their understanding of advanced process control techniques to the nitrification and denitrification processes including an opportunity to troubleshoot.

Note: Students should have an intermediate understanding of the activated sludge process to benefit from the course. Normally Parts 1 and 2 are taken in sequence. Part 2 can be taken alone if students have the proper background.

*This course applies to the MA Wastewater Management Training Program.

Advanced Treatment Technology Operation and Maintenance for Onsite Systems

Many advanced treatment technologies are approved for use in Massachusetts because they provide enhanced wastewater treatment beyond that of a Title 5 system. These systems incorporate processing steps in the treatment train that remove specific contaminants before the soil absorption phase. The system components require operation and maintenance (O&M) in order to consistently meet treatment goals and assure system longevity. Without routine and proper O&M, these technologies will ultimately fail, which costs owners additional funds and poses risks to the health of the public and environment.

If you take this class, you will learn about the O&M measures needed to ensure the durability of commonly-used innovative and alternative technologies in Massachusetts. George Loomis and David Kalen, from the New England Onsite Wastewater Training Program at the University of Rhode Island, will discuss O&M practices for primary, processing, and recirculation tanks, ATUs, media filters, pumps and controls, and pressurized drainfields.

Advanced Wastewater Math Review

This class is designed to assist students who are proficient at basic wastewater math but struggle with process control calculations such as Food/Microorganism, Mean Cell Residence Time, Wasting Rates, Solution Mixtures, etc. The instructor will review the formulas presented on the ABC Formula Sheet along with example problems. A step-by-step approach to problem solving will be presented. This course may be of help to those taking higher level exams.

Students must bring a basic calculator.

Application, Troubleshooting, and Maintenance of Water and Wastewater Pumps and Valves

To guarantee long-term, successful installations, pumps and valving must be applied properly taking into account system hydraulics. This course will review two pump technologies; dual disc diaphragm and self-priming centrifugal pumps with associated valve applications commonly used in water and wastewater treatment. Topics to be covered include:

  • Application of double disc and suction lift pumps for water and wastewater
  • Proper system design
  • Troubleshooting
  • Valve application for water and wastewater treatment
  • Maintenance/ Preventive Maintenance

This course will include in-class disassembly and assembly of both pumps.

Application and Preventive Maintenance for Pumps and Bearings

Pumps, motors, and drives used in water and wastewater treatment plants require proper application, operation, and maintenance. This one-day seminar reviews the principal characteristics of electric motors and bearings used in water and wastewater treatment plants and the proper maintenance procedures. Topics to be covered include:

  • Types of motors and enclosures; the difference between motor horsepower and torque; and service factor, soft starts, and solid-state starters.
  • Bearing applications, handling, lubrication, and inspection.
  • Damage characteristics and how to identify them.
  • Internal bearing clearances and calculation of bearing life and run-to-failure.

Basic Wastewater Math Review


This two-day basic wastewater math review has been designed to provide a review of basic math concepts and computations used in wastewater treatment. It will help students master the basic math skills that are used when taking certification exams in municipal wastewater treatment. The instructor will review unit analysis and provide an introduction to problem solving. The importance of working with conversion factors will be covered in detail, with a particular focus on their use in calculations for volume, detention time, loadings, and process control.

Students must bring a basic calculator.

Basic Wastewater Treatment Overview

This overview of the wastewater field covers basic aspects of wastewater operations, maintenance, and laboratory testing, including advanced treatment technologies such as nutrient removal. It is geared toward individuals who are new to the field as well as those seeking to be up-to-date on the latest technologies. The course also works well for those who work exclusively in a specific area, such as operations, maintenance, or lab, and would benefit from a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of the entirety of the treatment process.

Biological Nutrient Removal Wikipedia

Workshop Description

As nutrient limits are ratcheted down, wastewater treatment facilities are faced with an increasingly more difficult challenge. It is imperative that treatment plants remove nitrogen and phosphorus in order to maintain the integrity of our nations waters. The BNR Wikipedia training will focus on the various removal methods for both nitrogen and phosphorus from the waste stream. This is an interactive workshop that participants will partake in active learning through sharing their experience, critical thinking, group discussion, and problem solving. In the first part of this workshop, the wastewater characterization, nitrification, denitrification, chemical phosphorus removal and enhanced biological phosphorus removal subjects will be discussed. After a break, different process configurations and the design parameters will be reviewed with their application. The process control parameters in wastewater treatment facilities is the next topic that will be covered in this workshop and will be followed with real-world examples and design calculations. Upon conclusion of the workshop, participants will be challenged to troubleshoot 3 cases (High effluent ammonia, High effluent nitrate, and Foaming).


This workshop is designed and intended for mid to high level wastewater operators and engineers. All participants must have at least one-year working experience in the wastewater treatment field, as well as have a basic familiarity with biological nutrient removal (BNR).

Care of Emergency Generators

Regulations require water and wastewater treatment plants to provide emergency power to keep all essential facilities functional during an outage. This one-day seminar is designed as an in-depth instructional course in the operation and maintenance of emergency generator systems in water and wastewater facilities.

Topics to be covered include the application and operation of emergency generators and how they interface with a treatment plant, safe operation and repair of emergency generators, proper Lockout/Tagout procedures and OSHA regulations, requirements for fuel use including testing and handling, battery replacement and charging techniques, identification of safe environments for emergency generators, heater use, effective inspection, and preventive maintenance.

Chemical Metering: Pump Alternatives and Smart Technology

Chemical feed systems are an integral part of wastewater treatment. Wastewater plants need proper chemical dosing to optimize treatment, save money, and meet discharge requirements. This course covers the use of diaphragm and peristaltic pumps; chemical feed skids using liquid and dry feed systems; pH theory and instrumentation; and progressing cavity pumps for thickened solids pumping. Demonstrations and pump cutaways will be used to show equipment characteristics and technologies.

CMOM Components and Managing Collection Systems

A sanitary sewer collection system is a vital element of a community’s infrastructure and a critical component of the wastewater treatment process. CMOM (Capacity, Management, Operations, and Maintenance) is a predictive tool and a dynamic framework that provides an active approach to wastewater collection. The program incorporates wastewater industry practices to investigate capacity constraints, respond to sanitary overflow events, and develop capital-improvement plans for future sustainability.

This course covers the following topics:

  • Inventory and capacity assessment
  • Sewer use ordinance and satellite communities
  • Budget development and Capital Improvement Plans (CIP)
  • Equipment and collection maintenance
  • Mapping and internal inspection
  • Overflow Emergency Response Plans (OERP)

Computer Use in WWTFs

This course covers the application and control of instrumentation and computers in the operation of wastewater treatment plants. Computer software can be an invaluable tool for report writing, data management, operation of maintenance systems, and laboratory analysis. Electronic reporting along with the use of SCADA systems for system monitoring and control will be covered.

Concepts in Chemistry for Wastewater Operators

While we generally think of wastewater treatment as a strictly biological process, chemistry plays a big part in the operations. Without the proper water chemistry, the biological process will not function as desired. Chemistry plays an important role in solids handling, biological and chemical nutrient removal. Wastewater operators should have an understanding of basic chemistry in order to properly implement the chemical phases of treatment, including, including coagulation, sedimentation, and disinfection. The instructor will provide easy-to-understand explanations of chemical concepts that operators will encounter in their daily routines.

Confined Space Entry

Working in confined spaces can expose employees to potentially lethal conditions. Too often, employees do not follow proper management and rescue procedures to safeguard against the hazards of confined spaces. Understanding the risks and how to manage them could save lives.

This workshop includes:

  • Discussion and instruction in OSHA regulations and NIOSH recommendations.
  • Identification of those areas considered confined spaces as per the regulation.
  • In-field, hands-on use of atmospheric monitoring equipment, retrieval equipment, and the OSHA permit system.
  • Discussion of written program reviews, retrieval vs. entry rescue, training programs, violations, and citations.
  • In-field confined space entry demonstration with volunteer participants.

Connecticut Managers’ Forum

This is the 17th Annual Connecticut WWTP Managers Forum. It provides an opportunity for wastewater treatment plant managers, representatives from CT DEEP and U.S. EPA, and other water quality professionals to meet and communicate on timely topics.

Subjects suggested by plant managers for discussion at this year’s forum include:

  • Priority list development
  • Connecticut WW Management Leadership Program
  • Operator training and certification discussion
  • Regional BNR initiatives

Engineering Design and Blueprint Reading

This class introduces participants to the concepts of facility planning and design. Students will be instructed in process and instrumentation diagrams as well as preliminary and final design. The instructor will provide hands-on training in blueprint reading. Understanding these concepts is a valuable asset when working with engineering firms during upgrades and new equipment installation.

Extreme Weather in the Forecast: Is Your Facility Prepared?

Throughout the world, extreme storm events are growing in both frequency and intensity. These extreme weather events threaten the operation of wastewater infrastructure and in some cases the infrastructure itself. Consequently, wastewater facilities must be made more resilient through preparedness planning and physical upgrades.

In the past five years here in the Northeast, hurricanes and blizzards have produced widespread economic harm. Hurricane Sandy caused nearly 11 billion gallons of sewage to be released into coastal waters and rivers. Power outages and powerful storm surge overwhelmed wastewater-treatment plants. This training will help ensure that operators throughout the region are prepared for extreme weather events like Sandy. Once these storms do hit, damages are assessed and repairs or replacement of equipment must commence. It is important to know the various avenues of funding your utility may seek for such repairs.

Fundamentals of Wastewater Treatment Operation, Maintenance & Management (Preparing for Class III & IV Certification Exams)


This three-session course helps students move beyond the basics to a deeper understanding of the operation of wastewater treatment plants and provides invaluable instruction for those preparing for the Class III and IV exams. To enroll, you should have an understanding of the principles in CSU Sacramento’s Operation of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (Volumes 1 and 2) and Advanced Waste Treatment. You must also be prepared to develop advanced wastewater math skills.

Students must bring a calculator.

Hands-On Microbiology for Process Control and Troubleshooting


This course provides an introduction to activated sludge microbiology and the theory behind the predominance of certain indicator microorganisms such as protozoans, metazoans, and filamentous bacteria. Troubleshooting techniques for foam control, bulking sludge, and other microbiological problems encountered in an activated sludge process will be discussed.

The instructor will provide hands-on training in the use and care of a phase contrast microscope. She will explain slide preparation and microscopic techniques used in assessing the quality of mixed liquor as well as in identifying protozoan, metazoan, and filamentous bacteria. Several phase contrast microscopes will be available for use by participants, but if your WWTP has a phase contrast microscope, you are encouraged to bring it for use during this course.

This two-day class will benefit wastewater operators and lab personnel who are involved in or wish to understand process control decisions. Please bring samples of activated sludge MLSS and/or foam for microscopic examination.

Please bring samples of activated sludge MLSS and/or foam for microscopic examination.

Hands-On Tour of the Billerica Wastewater Treatment Facility

This course provides an opportunity to learn about and closely observe the daily operations of the widely admired Billerica Wastewater Treatment Facility. In addition to a tour of the plant and an overview of its innovative CoMag system for phosphorus removal, the course features a hands-on lab component where the instructors will lead attendees through basic calibrations and tests and explain operation and maintenance checklists and forms. Attendees will learn how these lab tests and checklists are used in optimizing the operation and maintenance of the Billerica facility.

Hands-On Wastewater Nutrient Removal Using Process Control Simulators

The class will combine lectures with computer simulations to explore the theoretical and practical aspects of nutrient removal. Classwork includes small teams troubleshooting simulated plant operating scenarios.

The lectures will cover the fundamentals of biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal and approaches to chemical phosphorus removal. Students will investigate various process configurations. The class will present materials on both established and new technologies. Attendees will then work in small groups under the guidance of the instructor with computerized models of the treatment process to troubleshoot different plant configurations and operating conditions.

The state-of-the-art software used in the class is based on the GPS-X program developed by Hydromantis. This program is commonly used for treatment-process evaluation and design; it has been enhanced to serve as a platform for plant O&M manuals and operator training.

How to Handle the Media in Good Times and Bad

Public and media relations as well as crisis communications are often overlooked at the utility setting. However, by being proactive with both public and media relations and all facets of communications, a utility can establish positive and productive relationships with their customers, the media, city/town officials and the general public. This course will provide the background necessary to start a utility off on the right foot with establishing a PR and media relations program, diving into the world of social media, planning ahead for a crisis, and responding properly when one hits.

*This course applies to the MA Wastewater Management Training Program.

Identification and Control of Filamentous Bacteria

Participants will learn a simplified method to identify filamentous bacteria and determine the conditions that favor their growth. The instructor will also discuss methods to control and eliminate bulking and foaming caused by these microorganisms.

Improving Energy Efficiency at a WWTP

As ratepayers express increasing concern over the cost of wastewater treatment, operations professionals seek ways to improve on cost effectiveness. Energy costs typically rank second from the top in WWTP expenditures. While some of the processes used to treat wastewater are inherently energy intensive, opportunities abound for energy conservation, even energy self-sufficiency.

Understanding the cost of electrical energy is the first step in energy conservation. This class will teach managers and operators of WWTPs how to decipher electrical bills. With that as a starting point, opportunities for process energy conservation, specifically the activated sludge process, will be presented. Students will learn the cost impacts of optimizing aeration system flow and pressure. Considered by many to be “free,” energy conservation related to in-plant service water use will be discussed as will mixing throughout the plant, which is another area where much more energy is typically used than is needed. Several in-class exercises will be conducted to accentuate the learning process.

All WWTP personnel—operators, process control engineers, laboratory technicians, and managers—will benefit from the knowledge and skills obtained from this class. The presenters’ focus is on reducing the energy footprint of your current facility, not through buying new equipment and costly upgrades, but through using what the facility has more efficiently.

Industrial Measurement and Control

Instrumentation control systems in water and wastewater treatment plants must operate accurately and dependably for successful process operation. This two-day course will present the theory and practice of open and closed loop controllers for industrial measurement and examine how various sensing and measuring transducers function while monitoring industrial variables of pressure, temperature, level and flow. The course combines videos from the International Society of Automation with hardware demonstrations on each topic.

Five ISA training manuals are included in the cost for the course

*Awaiting MA Drinking Water TCH approval

Industrial Wastewater Treatment Technologies

Many industry discharges have wastewater characteristics that necessitate treatment to prevent contamination of receiving streams. Proper treatment is required to remove objectionable toxins and prevent damage to collection systems and POTW biological processes.

This course covers the need for treatment, neutralization-flocculation –sedimentation, biological industrial treatment, membrane technologies and pumping and mathematical calculations for hydraulics and chemical dosing.

Students must bring a basic calculator.

In-Field Operation & Maintenance of Wastewater Collection Systems

Communities must properly operate and maintain collection systems to prevent contamination of groundwater and prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has placed special emphasis on capacity, management, operation, and maintenance (CMOM) of wastewater collection systems to prevent sanitary sewer overflows. SSOs not only degrade public health but also destroy public and private property and add exorbitant costs to communities’ typically tight budgets for infrastructure maintenance and improvement.

This in-field training session will demonstrate the principles of high-velocity cleaning of small- to large-diameter sewers, pipeline and manhole inspection using MACP and PACP coding, smoke and dye testing, and pipeline rehabilitation and renewal techniques.

Instrumentation/Cyber Security

Water and wastewater treatment plants rely on SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems for optimum process control to meet effluents limits and to comply with permit requirements. SCADA technology allows real-time data transmission via Ethernet networks and cloud storage. These systems are vulnerable to hacking and outside intrusion. Recently, municipal and other government agencies have reported cyber intrusions that shut down infrastructure networks.

The morning session covers the theory, components and application of SCADA. The afternoon session will discuss cybersecurity as it relates to water and wastewater treatment plants.

Topics include:

  • SCADA architecture
  • Use of remote terminal units and programmable logic controllers for data acquisition
  • Communication mediums including FM radio, fiber optics, Ethernet, and satellite and cellular data plans
  • Cybersecurity basics
  • How regulations and compliance are driving cyber strategy
  • Why the water and wastewater industries have additional requirements for security


Instrumentation, Measurement & Control with Use of SCADA for Process Efficiency

Producing high-quality water and wastewater effluents requires O&M personnel to have a thorough knowledge of in-line instrumentation and SCADA for process efficiency. The morning session covers the theory, application, and control of instrumentation using SCADA in the operation of wastewater treatment plants. The afternoon will cover the networking of sensors using a single cable system for continuous monitoring of DO, pH, ORP, nitrate, ammonia, TSS, BOD and COD.

Topics to be covered include:

  • SCADA architecture and system security
  • Use of RTUs and PLCs for data acquisition
  • Communication mediums including FM, fiber optics, radio, Ethernet, satellite and cellular
  • Networking of sensors across an entire plant
  • Sensor stability, reliability and repeatability

Introduction to Management for Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators

This course highlights the skills that wastewater operators need to develop to be successful WWTP managers. The instructor will discuss how to motivate staff and promote equitable treatment, how to ensure quality operation of the wastewater utility, and how to function as a leader rather than a commander. He will present strategies for understanding an ever-increasing set of regulatory requirements and boundaries, for using public funds and resources efficiently and economically, and for adapting to new technologies.

Introduction to Predictive Maintenance and Machinery Health

New, innovative technologies are being applied to pumps and other mechanical equipment used in water and wastewater treatment plants. These new systems allow operators to conduct infrared electrical imaging and lubrication analysis and to take initial baseline readings for vibration. The systems also allow for the monitoring of a piece of equipment throughout its life cycle.

This one-day course is intended for those who operate or maintain pumps, electrical equipment, and other process machinery. Case studies and equipment demonstrations will be presented and will cover the following topics:

  • Condition monitoring and machinery health from a maintenance perspective.
  • Vibration analysis: understanding vibration signatures of moving equipment to identify misalignment, damaged components, and defective bearings.
  • Thermal imaging: a guide to infrared cameras and reading thermal images.

Lubrication analysis: developing an effective lubrication program and identifying contaminants in lubricant samples.

Introduction to Wastewater Treatment Facility Operation and Maintenance (Preparing for Class I & II Certification Exams)


Anyone preparing for a state WWTP operator certification exam will benefit from this structured overview of the wastewater field. The content of the course is based on the well-known California State University, Sacramento home-study course manuals on WWTP operations.

During the five-session program, the instructor will review wastewater laws and regulations, the pretreatment process, sedimentation and flotation, secondary biological treatment, secondary treatment processes, disinfection, and other pertinent topics. Participants will receive instruction in the mathematical calculations used in wastewater treatment operation that likely will be encountered in the Class I and II exams.

Students must bring a calculator.

Laboratory Management

This class is designed for laboratory managers that are responsible for policies and procedures in the lab. The instructors will guide you through setting up a quality assurance program, with an emphasis on quality control and quality assessment. The topics that will be discussed include SOPs, documentation procedures, and chemical hygiene programs. The instructor will also provide you with information on how to work with outside commercial laboratories, calibrate equipment, and identify “red flags” or outliers during data analyses.

Laboratory Procedures


Followed by optional NEWEA Exam

Requirements for Wastewater facility operators are increasing. Training resources are limited while enforcement regulations seem to be expanding. This one-and-a-half day course provides WWTP personnel with the opportunity to learn the PROPER methods for laboratory analyses of NPDES required parameters. It prepares participants for the optional NEWEA Voluntary Laboratory Analyst Certification Exam that takes place after the course.

Topics to be covered include proper sampling techniques; analyses, meter calibrations, and general QA for pH; total residual chlorine; total suspended solids; biochemical oxygen demand; E-coli; total phosphorous and turbidity; secondary treatment processes; lab management; and chemical hygiene.

Managers’ Forum

It provides an opportunity for wastewater treatment plant managers, representatives from CT DEEP and U.S. EPA, and other water quality professionals to meet and communicate on timely topics. Subjects suggested by plant managers for discussion at this year’s forum include:

  • Priority list development
  • Connecticut WW Management Leadership Program
  • Operator training and certification discussion
  • Regional BNR initiatives

Mechanical Power Transmission Basics

Most equipment in water and wastewater treatment plants is driven by an electric motor coupled or driven by a timing belt or gear box. This course is meant for mechanics and operators who operate and repair equipment at their plants. The course will demonstrate the principle of machine operation and the relationship between speed, horsepower and torque.

The morning session will cover transmission basics followed by break-out sessions with hands-on demonstrations of motors, belts, couplings and chains.

Lunch provided by Motion Industries

This course is approved for VT Drinking Water Certification.

Microbiology of Anaerobic Digesters

This is an introductory course to the archaea and bacteria and microbial activity that are responsible for degrading substrate (cBOD) to methane. Bacteria that are reviewed include hydrolytic bacteria, fermentative or acid-forming bacteria, and methanogens. Critical operational conditions that are reviewed include alkalinity/pH; macronutrients and micronutrients; oxidation-reduction potential (ORP); temperature; volatile acids; and volatile acids-to-alkalinity ratio. The instructor will discuss indicators of an upset or “sour” digester and corrective measures. The three major bacterial pathways that are responsible for methane production—acid-splitting, hydrogen gas utilization, and methyl group conversion—will also be discussed.

In the afternoon, the instructors will present real-world applications of anaerobic digesters and case studies on the operation and maintenance of private and municipal anaerobic digesters.

Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Collection Systems


Followed by optional NEWEA Exam

Communities must properly manage, operate, and maintain wastewater collection systems to prevent sanitary sewer overflows, contamination of groundwater, and the spread of waterborne diseases. In this two-and-a-half day course, participants will receive basic to intermediate instruction in all aspects of collection system O&M.

Students must bring a basic calculator.

Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Collection Systems – Preventing SSOs and CSOs

Communities must properly control collection systems to prevent contamination of groundwater and prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. Preventing SSOs and CSOs requires good system performance, significant benchmarking, sound operating procedures and a comprehensive preventive maintenance program. The EPA has placed special emphasis on capacity, management, operation and maintenance (CMOM) of collection systems to protect the public health and prevent destruction of public and private property. This course will consider these elements and topics will include:

  • Overview of wastewater collection
  • Administration and recordkeeping and the use of benchmarking data
  • Pump Station O&M and inspections
  • Collection piping inspection and testing
  • Collection system safety

Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Pump Stations

Pump and lift stations are a major part of a community’s wastewater infrastructure and also comprise a major capital expense. Proper operation and maintenance is necessary to not only preserve equipment life cycle costs but also to maximize the efficiency of the wastewater treatment plant. Pump station failures are a major cause of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs)—accidental discharges of wastewater that pollute groundwater, cause back-ups into homes, and pose a health threat to communities.

This course examines the design features and O&M characteristics of pump stations. The instructors will discuss the defining characteristics of a pump station versus a lift station; types and locations of pump stations; hydraulic properties of pumps, valves, flow meters, and electrical layout and VFD operation.

Operation, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting Wet Well Pumps and Pump Stations

Pumps, motors and blowers used in water and wastewater treatment operations require proper application, operation, and maintenance. Over time the maintenance function of this equipment has moved from “Preventative” to “Predictive” in nature. This one-day seminar reviews the principal characteristics and maintenance of pumps, blowers, and motors (with focus on bearings) as they apply to equipment used in water and wastewater treatment plants. It will also cover the three emerging areas of “predictive” maintenance: Vibration, Infrared and Oil analysis.

Topics to be covered include: Bearing and pump application, handling, lubrication and inspection. How Vibration analysis, infrared thermography and oil analysis can give you predictive insight into potential failures allowing you to run longer and reduce down time.

Lunch will be provided by Motion Industries.

*This class has been approved for NH Drinking Water TCH.

Optimizing Activated Sludge Systems through Solids Flux Analysis

Have you ever wondered what your optimum MLSS concentration would be during a wet weather flow? What is the RAS return rate your plant should operate at? How many clarifiers are needed to ensure proper settling, or the effect of a changing SVI on your system? If you have ever asked yourself any of these questions, then this is the class for you.

This hands-on class will demonstrate an application of the theory behind State-Point Analysis using Solid Flux testing. The expert instructors will explain how to apply this theory to the operation of any treatment plant through settling column testing and by using existing process data and plant information. Using a variety of samples and settling columns, the instructors will demonstrate how this method can be used to better understand optimal process control settings for activated sludge systems under a number of different conditions.

Note: This is an advanced class and is intended for operators and plant managers that possess a solid understanding of the activated sludge process. Class participants should be ready for an intensive training to learn how the application of a strong theoretical tool will help them better understand and optimize treatment plant operation.

Optimizing Clarifier Performance Workshop

In this class, the instructor will review design standards, discuss clarifier configurations and components, the effects of flow control, review clarifier evaluation techniques and strategies for optimizing clarifiers. He will provide case histories and time for discussion of students’ clarifier concerns. There will be an in-field component to this class.

Performance Management (Dealing with Difficult People)

This interactive one-day workshop is a follow-up to our popular “Introduction to Management” class, and will further strengthen the management skills of water and wastewater personnel who direct the work of other employees. Participants will leave the course motivated to implement performance management strategies in the workplace and feel more empowered in dealing with difficult people.

Topics to be covered include roles and responsibilities of supervisors, needs of employees, motivational theory as it relates to performance, bridging the gap between unions and management, and steps to take to more effectively deal with problematic employees and improve performance management. Managers, supervisors, and newly promoted managerial staff are encouraged to attend.

PFAS and Other Current Topics in Biosolids

This workshop addresses current topics in the management of biosolids & residuals, with special focus on poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS – especially PFOA and PFOS – have been used widely for decades and are now concerns for drinking water quality. Wastewater and biosolids convey PFAS, and the implications for water quality are still being determined. In the morning, the workshop will summarize the current state of knowledge on PFAS and how U. S. EPA and states are responding, with an emphasis on what it means for the management of residuals and wastewater.
In the afternoon, the workshop will summarize other hot topics: nutrient management & phosphorus (P), other microconstituents, maximizing resource recovery, and public acceptance & outreach. The workshop will emphasize practical, proactive steps for addressing these current issues and reducing potential risks, helping biosolids and residuals managers and operators ensure their programs are up-to-date and of the highest quality.

Phosphorus Removal Technologies

In theory, phosphorus removal is easy: just make phosphorus a solid and remove the solid. But in reality, it’s far more complex. There are several ways to approach phosphorus removal, and there are many considerations to take into account when evaluating the impact at a treatment facility. Through a combination of lecture, discussion, and a hands-on jar testing exercise, students will learn about chemical and biological phosphorus removal, the effects on operations, and the lessons gained from case studies and existing installations.

Pollution Prevention at Breweries to Minimize Impacts at Your Facility

The discharge of high strength wastewater from breweries and similar industries can have significant impacts on municipal wastewater treatment facilities.  This class discusses the pollutants associated with these discharges, impacts on wastewater systems, ways to reduce the discharge of pollutants, and how a municipality can oversee and protect itself from the impacts of these discharges.  A tour of a working brewery is planned.

Polymers and Sludge Conditioning

Polymers play an integral part in meeting effluent requirements and reducing sludge volumes. This one-day course covers the make-up, application, and dewatering principals associated with polymers.

Topics covered include:

  • What are polymers?
  • Polymer selection; organic coagulants vs. metal salts
  • Coagulation, flocculation and clarification
  • Jar and laboratory testing (dry, emulsion, and liquid chemistries)
  • Polymer feed system dos and don’ts’
  • Handling and spill prevention
  • Polymer application case studies

Practical Nutrient Removal

This course will integrate classroom presentation of nutrient removal basics and current technologies with demonstrations of process control activities at a plant currently achieving advanced nitrogen and phosphorus removal. Students will acquire a practical understanding of nutrient removal technologies from engineers who are designing the technologies and operators who are using them at their facilities.

Predictive Maintenance: Keep Your Facility Operating Efficiently

Pumps, motors, and drives used in water and wastewater treatment plants require proper application, operation, and maintenance. This one-day seminar reviews the principal characteristics of electric motors and bearings used in water and wastewater treatment plants and the proper maintenance procedures. It will also cover the three emerging areas of “predictive” maintenance: Vibration, Infrared and Oil analysis

Topics to be covered include:

  • Types of motors and enclosures; the difference between motor horsepower and torque; and service factor, soft starts, and solid-state starters.
  • Bearing applications, handling, lubrication, and inspection.
  • Damage characteristics and how to identify them.
  • Internal bearing clearances and calculation of bearing life and run-to-failure.

Principles and Practices of Wastewater Treatment (Grades I & II)


Anyone preparing for a state WWTP operator certification exam will benefit from this structured overview of the wastewater field. The 40 hour course is based on the well-known CSU Sacramento home-study course manuals for WWTP operations. While this course is intended for those seeking Grade 1 licensure, it is also open to those looking to take the II exam.

The instructor will cover a wide range of topics including wastewater laws and regulations, preliminary treatment, sedimentation and flotation, secondary treatment processes, activated sludge, trickling filters, rotating biological contactors, waste treatment ponds, and disinfection.

Note: Passing this course can be equivalent to passing the Grade 1 exam given Rhode Island Board of Certification of Operators of Wastewater Treatment Facilities. While this course can also assist in the preparation of other exams offered by the Board, a passing grade in this course can only be applied toward a Grade 1 application. Because the Board only offers licensure to approved applicants, passing this course is not necessarily a guarantee of securing the Rhode Island Grade 1 license.

Proper Sampling for Process and Reporting

The data obtained from sampling and laboratory procedures provide the foundation for any wastewater treatment plant’s NPDES monitoring program. In this course, the instructors will explain and demonstrate the proper procedures for sampling for pH, DO, TSS, BOD, coliforms, ammonia, TKN, nitrite, total phosphorus, orthophosphorus, aquatic toxicity, sludge, metals, oil and grease, and volatile organics. They will also cover the procedures for taking samples for process control testing. Topics to be discussed include the development of a sampling plan, proper sampling locations, sampling devices and containers, preservation and holding times, and chain-of-custody procedures. Upon completion of the course, participants will understand how to properly perform the required sampling duties at a WWTP.

Pumps & Hydraulics

For proper management of collections systems, operators needs a basic understanding of hydraulic principals. Since pumping is an integral operation in wastewater treatment, a majority of an operator’s duties include using pumps and valves and reading flow measuring devices. This course presents basic hydraulic principals attributed to flows in wastewater collection and treatment in a simple and straightforward manner. It is designed for all individuals involved in the operation or maintenance of wastewater systems. Topics include basic hydraulic principles; use of pump curves; various pumps and valves used in wastewater treatment; and flow meters used in wastewater treatment.

Students must bring a basic calculator.

Safety in WWTPs

Anyone who operates or maintains a wastewater treatment plant, collection system, or wastewater laboratory is exposed to a great many workplace and occupational hazards. This course is designed to increase participants’ recognition of the hazards associated with wastewater systems and laboratories and to illustrate effective ways to develop and implement a work safety program. The instructor will discuss the role of OSHA, NIOSH, and the ACGIH in the safety field; methods for reading and interpreting material safety data sheets (MSDSs); confined space entry procedures; respiratory protection; lockout/tagout procedures; OSHA’s laboratory standard; and other pertinent topics.

*This course applies to the MA Wastewater Management Training Program.

Sampling Procedures and Laboratory Techniques for NPDES Reporting

This course provides WWTP, sample collection, and laboratory personnel an opportunity to learn about sample collection and basic laboratory analyses of conventional NPDES parameters.

Topics include proper sampling locations and techniques; basic lab procedures for process control testing and quality assurance. Conventional NPDES parameters such as BOD, pH, Total Residual Chlorine, Bacteria analyses, oil and grease, and metals and nutrient analyses will be discussed. Chain of custody documentation, sampling containers, preservation and holding times will be addressed.

Sewage Sludge Incinerator Refresher & Exam

New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) and the North East Biosolids & Residuals Association (NEBRA), in coordination with U. S. EPA Region 1, offer this annual training for Sewage Sludge Incinerator (SSI) operators to help meet the operator qualification requirements of EPA’s Federal Plan Requirements for Sewage Sludge Incineration Units.

The full training & qualification exam will cover:

  • Basic combustion principles
  • Combustion controls & monitoring
  • Pollution prevention
  • Operation of air pollution control devices
  • Review & preparation for exam
  • Written exam for achieving operator qualification

The refresher will cover:

  • Update of regulations
  • Environmental concerns
  • Discussion of operating problems(with attendee input)
  • Operations of MHI’s & FBI’s (including startup, feeding, and shutdown)
  • Inspection & maintenance
  • Actions to prevent malfunctions

What you will get:

    • A qualification certificate documenting completion of either the Annual Refresher or the Full Training & Qualification Exam
    • A packet of handouts & guidance that helps you meet the regulatory requirement


    • This training fulfills most of the requirements for operator training of the EPA SSI MACT Rule (Federal Register Vol. 80, No. 80, April 27, 2015, Sections § 62.15920 – § 62.15950). However, to be a “qualified operator,” ADDITIONAL SITE-SPECIFIC TRAINING IS REQUIRED ANNUALLY AT YOUR PARTICULAR FACILITY. THAT ADDITIONAL TRAINING MUST BE DOCUMENTED. That documentation, along with a copy of the class agenda, your training certificate, and course handouts serve as documentation for compliance. To maintain qualification, you must complete an annual refresher course (1/2-day training, plus site-specific, documented refresher training at your facility).

Taking the P Out of Phosphorous

In theory, phosphorus removal is easy: just make phosphorus a solid and remove the solid. But in reality, it’s far more complex. There are several ways to approach phosphorus removal and many considerations that must be taken into account when evaluating the impact at a treatment facility. Through a combination of lecture, discussion, and a hands-on jar testing exercise, students will learn about chemical and biological phosphorus removal, the effects on operations, and the lessons gained from case studies and existing installations.

Teardown, Assembly, and Hydraulic Properties of Centrifugal Pumps

Centrifugal pumps are the major prime movers for water and wastewater treatment. Operators need both hydraulic and mechanical knowledge to successfully operate pumping systems for a number of unit processes. This course will feature a tear down and reassembly of a centrifugal pump, and hydraulic principals and preventive maintenance for centrifugal pumps.

Topics covered will include:

        • Pump tear down and reassembly
        • Troubleshooting pump symptoms
        • Measuring runout and its effect on bearings
        • Setting impeller clearance
        • Operation and application of VFDs
        • Reading and understanding pump curves
        • Calculating horsepower, kilowatt hours and electrical costs

Students must bring a basic calculator.

Sludge Air Sampling and Biosolids Sampling

Are there hazards associated with breathing air in a sludge truck bay? Would a worker sampling this sludge need a respirator? These are two questions NH DES and Hazmateam Inc. recently looked into. Come hear a report on the recent air sampling events in the sludge bay at the Plymouth Village Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The ability to demonstrate acceptable and consistent sludge quality is critical to any biosolids land application program. Demonstration and documentation of sludge quality are contingent on a sound sampling plan.

This training session is given in conjunction with NH DES and will focus on the elements that constitute a sound sampling plan. The provided text for this training is a guidance document published in 2006 by NEIWPCC entitled The Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators Guide to Biosolids Sampling Plans. Fee includes Guide book and 2018 updates to the guide.

Technical Seminar on Massachusetts Title 5 Approved Technologies

This seminar will include presentations on Title 5-approved technologies and nitrogen removal and monitoring. There will also be talks from MassDEP staff on the latest developments related to Title 5 and the most recent Title 5 approvals. The seminar is designed for regulatory officials, design engineers, system installers, inspection officials, and treatment plant operators. The instructors will take into account the wide range of expertise and interests of the participants.

Course is being co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Onsite Wastewater Professionals (MAOWP).

Train the Trainer

With the rapidly changing technology in our field and the ever-present need to prepare operators to qualify for and pass certification exams, quality training for water and wastewater professionals has never been more important. This program is designed for environmental professionals who are responsible for developing and delivering training programs for water and wastewater operators.

Participants will gain an understanding of the basic characteristics of adult learners, the ways to overcome resistance to learning, and the instructor’s role in the success of the training experience. We will look at what the training needs of our workforce are, and what material is available to help create effective training sessions. Participants will learn how to design and develop a training program, present material to an audience, create a learning environment that is conducive to learning, and lead a training session with greater confidence and credibility.

Troubleshooting and Managing Commercial Systems

Commercial onsite wastewater system treatment trains can vary a great deal. This variability is due in part to differences in the way establishments served by the systems use their facilities—and the differences in wastewater quality that result. One-type-fits-all should not be the philosophy of any designer or service provider relative to the design, operation, and management of any commercial onsite wastewater system.

This course will cover some of the most common troubleshooting and management procedures for commercial onsite systems. David Kalen of the New England Onsite Wastewater Training Program at the University of Rhode Island will discuss facilities testing for hydraulic and organic load, common problems with I&A commercial systems, troubleshooting design issues (new construction and repairs) and management measures, and recent data from studies focusing on restaurant wastewater constituents.

Troubleshooting the Sequenced Batch Reactor and Nitrification

The first half of the course will be an in-depth review of the nitrifying bacteria and the nitrification process. The course presents the operational conditions necessary for acceptable nitrification and the forms of nitrification that can be monitored for process control and troubleshooting purposes. Also discussed are the operational conditions, cold wastewater temperature and limiting factors that produce incomplete nitrification. Operational measures to correct for cold wastewater nitrification and limiting factors are provided.

Following this is a presentation describing the conditions and bacterial activities that occur during fill phase (static, mixed and aerated), react phase, settle phase and decant phase of an SBR. Nitrification and denitrification in an SBR are described as well as biological and chemical phosphorus removal. The development of aerobic (oxic), anoxic and anaerobic/fermentative conditions are presented, and the techniques for monitoring, troubleshooting and adjusting phase times to improve conditions are offered.

Wastewater Collection Systems Overview

This one-day session is a condensed version of the two-and-a-half day collection systems course that we typically offer. Topics to be covered include components of a CMOM program, pump station O&M and hydraulic principles, collection system inspection and maintenance, CCTV inspection, and smoke and dye testing. Rehabilitation techniques, including slip lining, pipe bursting, and horizontal directional drilling will be discussed.

Wastewater Math


This 3-Day Basic Wastewater Math Course has been designed to help students develop basic math skills and to provide a review of basic math concepts and computations used in wastewater treatment. It will help students with the basic math skills that are used for the certification exams in Municipal Wastewater Treatment. The instructor will quickly review the operation of fractions, will explain unit analysis and the importance of working with conversion factors in details, and will cover percentages, proportions, and concentrations. An introduction to problem solving and basic wastewater treatment formulas will also be presented.

Students must bring a basic calculator.

Wastewater Microbiology and Process Control

Participants will learn the role of bacteria, protozoa and metazoa in the treatment process along with the conditions that allow them the do their best work of removing nutrients from the wastewater. Participants will also learn how to anticipate potential treatment system upsets and to troubleshoot and correct existing treatment system problems. This workshop includes an introduction to filamentous bacteria identification and control.

Wastewater Microbiology ‒ What Every Operator Needs to Know

This basic workshop will present important information intended to help wastewater operators troubleshoot plant performance using microbiology. The instructor will discuss tools, techniques, protozoan identification, and basic filaments. A hands-on, process-control field trip to the treatment plant is an integral part of this class. Topics include:

        • Micro: one tool in the process control tool box
        • Understanding biological treatment processes
        • Scope Basics: seeing the light
        • The Microbes (NOT BUGS!)
        • Those Darn Filaments
        • Putting it all together: sample evaluation and troubleshooting

Wastewater Pumps and Hydraulics

This course covers the operation, maintenance, and hydraulic principles of centrifugal pumps. Topics to be covered include:

        • Pump types
        • Principles of hydraulics
        • Theory of operation
        • Reading and using pump curves
        • Parts of pumps
        • Motor principles of operation
        • Pump packing and adjustments
        • Horsepower and electrical power calculations
        • Mechanical seal failures
        • Operational troubleshooting

Students must bring a basic calculator.

*This class has been approved for NH Drinking Water TCH.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Process Upgrades for Energy Savings

Water and wastewater treatment plants are among a community’s largest energy consumers, accounting for 30-60 percent of a municipal government’s energy usage. Realizing the opportunity for savings, numerous plants have undergone process upgrades to improve treatment and reduce energy costs. This course will describe the energy improvements at various wastewater treatment facilities.

The course will also cover unit processes with high horsepower requirements, variable frequency drives, aeration system modifications including fine bubble diffusion, solar (PV) systems, anaerobic digesters, and microturbine upgrades. Upon completion of the class, students will have a solid understanding of process changes that result in significant energy savings.

Water Words at Work

Make a splash with your communications! Relearn the language that everyday citizens use and you will become more confident and successful as you set out to enlighten the uninformed and persuade the undecided to take a stand or take action on behalf of our rivers, lakes, and oceans.

        • Part 1. The Perils of Preaching to the Choir. Learn how and why most environmental messages miss the mark. After completing this training, you will be able to spot the signs of “preaching to the choir” and recognize when you are sending messages that go over your target audience’s head.
        • Part 2. The Environmental Message Method, Steps 1-4. Learn to transform professional level conservation writing into messages that are suitable for everyday citizens. You will learn steps 1-4 of the “Environmental Message Method:” Begin With Behavior, Foolproof Photos, Swap the Shoptalk, and the Words That Work.
        • Part 3. The Environmental Message Method, Steps 5 and 6. You will learn to incorporate storytelling techniques into your message, and how to measure the reading level of your materials and determine if it is a good fit for your audience.

What Everyone at a WWTF Needs to Know About Lab and Permits

Overview of the NPDES Permit and Effluent Limitations – Designed for wastewater operators, personnel, and laboratory staff, this session will provide an overview of the NPDES permit and the environmental importance of effluent limitations. The guidelines in 40 CFR 136 and reporting requirements will be addressed.

Conventional NPDES Laboratory Parameters – Designed for wastewater operators, personnel, and laboratory staff who have a basic understanding of the NPDES permit, this session will cover specific conventional laboratory parameters. Approved methods, general procedures, and the environmental importance of pH and total residual chlorine, BOD5, solids testing, and bacteria will be addressed.

*This course applies to the MA Wastewater Management Training Program.

What You Need To Know About FOG

FOG has historically been viewed as the enemy of POTWs and collection systems, and in more recent years as an energy-rich resource as well. Whether you need to prevent FOG from entering the collection system, or capture it for beneficial use, the solution is the same; effective pretreatment at the source.

This course will cover the different types of grease interceptors, plumbing codes governing the sizing, selection, installation and O&M of grease interceptors and the ASPE’s nationally recognized design standards. Attendees will learn how to incorporate interceptor standards and best practices into their pretreatment regulations.

Wipes: Why They’re in Your System (and How to Get Them Out!)

This session will describe the phenomenon of “wipes”: non-dispersible consumer products that are clogging wastewater systems all over the country. The speaker will: provide insight into why the problem has grown so quickly; provide operators with tools to identify and understand the materials; share the local, regional, national, and global efforts and outreach campaigns underway; review legislative efforts and active litigation on this issue; and suggest ways to make a meaningful improvement in your system.