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Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Toolbox

Wastewater treatment plant operators require many resources to keep their facility operating within permit requirements. The following is a list of key topics and resources for plant operations and resources for long-term planning, maintenance, and growth.

Sign up for the Wastewater Operators listerve to receive occasional updates and information about training. To subscribe to the Wastewater Operators listserve, first use this link to subscribe to GovDelivery by entering your e-mail address. Fill in and submit the requested information on the "New Subscriber" page. This will take you to the "Quick Subscription" page where you will see all the topics that you can receive email updates on from DEC. Scroll to the "Water" category and check the box next to "Wastewater Operators" You will receive a welcome email from DEC confirming your subscription(s).

WWTP Belt Press for removing solids
Waste solids removed from treatment plants are reported annually

Resources for Plant Operations

Activated Sludge Bulking & Foaming Resources

Biosolids Related Resources

Nitrogen Related Resources

  • Several publications about nitrogen removal are available through the Water Environment Federation and US EPA
  • Training Materials for Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators to evaluate and optimize nitrogen removal. Materials include training modules, practice exercises, and aeration worksheets.


Wet Weather Resources

Frequently Encountered Operational Issues

Many common operational problems are encountered by operators. Answers to many of these operational issues may be found on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Operation page.

Resources for Long-term Planning, Maintenance, and Growth

Asset Management and Sustainability

Asset Management is a process for maintaining a desired level of customer service at the best cost. It is an approach that combines management, financial, economic, engineering, and other practices to physical assets with the objective of providing the required level of service in the most cost-effective manner.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an introduction to the approach and links to more resources (leaves DEC website)
  • CUPSS is a free, easy-to-use, asset management tool for small drinking water and wastewater utilities. CUPSS provides a simple, comprehensive approach based on EPA's Simple Tools for Effective Performance (STEP) Guide series. (leaves DEC website)
Ultra Violet rack of bulbs for disinfection.
NYSERDA has grant programs for energy

Funding Resources

  • Municipalities are eligible to apply for Water Quality Improvement Program (WQIP) funds for municipal wastewater treatment, municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), nonagricultural nonpoint source abatement and control, aquatic habitat restoration, and water quality management.

Green Infrastructure

  • New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual (August, 2010) provides standards and specifications for selection and design of stormwater management practices based on green infrastructure principles to comply with State stormwater management performance standards.

General Information and Links to More Resources

  • Water Environment Federation (WEF) provides online educational training and resources for laboratory techniques, standard methods, safety and health, and ABC certification exam (leaves DEC website)
  • Rural Community Assistance Program provides information and services to rural communities to help them manage, plan, finance, build, and operate drinking water, wastewater, and ground water projects (leaves DEC website)
  • Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (NYWARN) of utilities supports emergency preparedness, disaster response, sharing resources, and developing emergency contacts (leaves DEC website)

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