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Operator of The Future. Curtis L. Truss Jr., Executive Director OTCO.

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operator of the future

Operator of The Future

Curtis L. Truss Jr., Executive Director OTCO


SPUG Mission Statement The mission of the Sewer Pipe Users Group of Northeast Ohio is to advocate for technology transfer of information and to share knowledge about effective ways to install, operate and maintain municipal sanitary and storm sewer systems. OTCO Mission StatementThe primary focus of the Operator Training Committee of Ohio, Inc. is to design, develop, and deliver various types of training programs for individuals in water and wastewater utility occupation, in business, industrial, and government.


SPUG HISTORYThe Sewer Pipe Users Group (SPUG) is a non-profit organization (501c3 status) created in 1996. SPUG was formed as a group whose goals are to educate and solve sewer maintenance, rehabilitation, and operation problems. SPUG is governed by a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer and terms are one year in duration. OTCO HISTORYOperator Training Committee of Ohio, Inc. is a non-profit (501(c)(3) created in 1964. Govern by a Board of Trustees and functions day-to-day under the direction of an Executive Director and staff. “The purpose or purposes for which said corporation is formed are training of water & wastewater works operators; collecting and disseminating information on water and wastewater works operation; and doing any and all things necessary or incident thereto.”


Documentation found on the walls of Egyptian Pharaohs tombs of 1500-1300 BCAmenophis II and Rameses II


Sanskrit writings and Egyptian inscriptions The ancient Egyptian “operators” allowed impurities to settle out of the liquid, siphoned off the clarified fluid using wick siphons and, finally, stored it for later use.


Beginning of The First

Municipal Operators.

After Great Depression
  • Work Project Administration (WPA)
    • Dams
    • Bridges & Roads
    • Water & Wastewater Plant
In Ohio, The Following Occurred
    • Public Health Council
    • Sanitary Code
    • July 15, 1937 Regulation #236 - #240 adopted
    • August 1, 1937 effective
Operator Certification
  • Grandfathered
    • 127 water works,
    • 114 sewage works
  • Class A, B, C, & D
November 1939 first exams
    • held in 5 cities
    • suspended examinations in 1942
    • resumed examinations 1946
    • Grandfathering Removed From Regulation
  • 1947
    • Operator Training Group Formed
  • 1984
    • Wastewater Collection Certification
1988 Operator Certification renewal
    • Initiated Examination Fees
    • No Accurate Account For # Of Certified Operators
    • No Continuing Education Required
1996 Safe Drinking Water Act
    • Operator Certification
    • Operator Renewal
    • Operator Continuing Education
1998 OEPA Stakeholders Workgroup
    • Operator Continuing Education
    • Class IV
    • Guidelines Not OAC
  • January 1, 2001
    • Operator Continuing Education Began
Four Major issued discussed
    • Class IV
    • Plant reclassifications
    • Duties of Certified Operator
    • Minimum staffing requirements
Wastewater Collections Systems
  • Water Distribution



Greatest Generation 1925-1942
  • Depression Babies
  • The Establishment
  • Deferred Gratification
  • Self Sacrificed
Baby Boomers 1945-1959
  • Career Driven:
    • Work then Relax
  • Loyal & Fraternal
  • 50 is the new 30 & 70 is the new 50
  • Personal Accountability
Generation X 1960-1985
  • Multitaskers
  • Overshadowed by Boomers
  • Latch Key Kids
  • Current transitioning workforce
    • Age 47 yrs – 22 yrs
Generation Y 1986-1998
  • Millennials (Internet)
  • Inventive & Individualistic
  • Assume Technology
  • Job Loyalty?
  • Beginning Transition
    • Age 21 yrs – 9 yrs
Generation Z 1999- 2???
  • War On Terrorism
  • Increase Security
  • Technology Boom
During the next 15 years, approximately 78 million (29% of the population) “Baby Boomers” will leave the workforce.
  • Generation X (1960-1985) makes up only 16% of the population, thus causing a severe employee shortage.
  • The new generations will bring difference values to the workplace.
Historical knowledge of equipment, design, and systems
  • Lessons learned from previous events or projects
  • System engineering knowledge
  • Troubleshooting skills
  • Challenges Training
    • Operator Shortage
      • 60,000 operators by 2012
      • attractive profession
    • Distance Learning
      • Remote area challenge
    • Funding Shortage
3745-7-01 Definitions.

(G)(2) The following types of experience related to a public water system, a treatment works, a water distribution system, or a wastewater collection system shall not qualify: clerical duties, commercial laboratory work; sludge hauling if not part of a treatment works; academic research; meter reading only; experience as a laborer, if only responsible for mowing grass, painting tanks, etc.; construction inspections; engineering design; off-site work on operation and maintenance manuals; off-site monitoring of SCADA; and septage hauling.

3745-7-01 Definitions.
  • (L) “Operator of record In Responsible Charge” means an individual identified as being the on-site certified operator or one of the on-site certified operators responsible for the management and supervision of technical operation of
    • 1) Public Water System, or
    • 2) A Treatment Facility, if a public water systems has more than one treatment facility, or
    • 3) A Distribution Systems, or
    • 4) A Sewage Systems, or
    • 5) A Treatment Works, or
    • 6) A Treatment Facility, if a treatment works has more than one treatment facility
3745-7-09 Recordkeeping requirements and responsibilities of a certified operator.

(B) A certified operator shall:

(1) Perform their duties in a responsible and professional manner consistent with standard operating procedures and best management practices;

(2) Operate and maintain public water systems, sewerage systems, treatment works, and appurtenances so as not to endanger the health or safety of persons working in or around the facility, the public at large, or the environment due to negligence or incompetence; and …..

3745-7-09 Recordkeeping requirements and responsibilities of a certified operator.

(3) Report all instances of noncompliance with applicable regulations to the operator of record or facility supervisor.

3745-7-06 Certification of operators

CertificationEducation Operating experience required

Class A See paragraph (B)(5)(C)

Class I High school diploma 12 months

Class II High school diploma 36 months

Class III High school diploma 60 months 12 months experience as a Class II certified operator in the same field

Class IV (See paragraph (C)(2)of of his rule

3745-7-06 Certification of operators

Did you know operating experience in Wastewater Collection Systems CAN be applied toward Wastewater Treatment Plant operator experience?

(4) WW IV

(3) WW III {Collection Systems Does Not

(2) WW II Supersede Treatment but…}


(1) WW I

(1) WWCS I

Generation X 1960-1985
  • Generation Y 1986-1998
  • Generation Z 1999- 2???
  • Multi Disciplined
  • Knowledgeable on both sides of the faucet
  • Technically Savvy
training the education instruction or discipline of a person or thing that is being trained

“The education, instruction, or discipline of a person or thing that is being trained.”

educating to develop the faculties and powers of a person by teaching instruction or schooling

“To develop the faculties and powers of (a person) by teaching, instruction, or schooling”

certification validating the authenticity of something or someone


“Validating the authenticity of something or someone”. 


Curtis L. Truss Jr.

3972 Indianola Avenue

Columbus OH 43214

(614) 268-6826

(614) 268-3244 fax

(937) 215-6554 cell

Your thoughts?

    • American Water Works Association
      • “The Human Crisis”
    • Susan Nagel, Esq.
      • Ohio Department of Administrative Services Human Resources Division
    • Tom Brokaw, Journalist
      • “The Greatest Generation”
    • Ohio Administrative Code 3745-7