ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Teams from Colorado and Texas bested the rest during the 32nd annual Operations Challenge competition. The Rocky Mountain Water Environment Federation’s Elevated Ops from Denver won Division 1 and the Water Environment Association of Texas’ South Mesquite Rangers from Mesquite placed first in Division 2. The exciting, high-energy event happened at WEFTEC 2019—the Water Environment Federation’s 92nd annual technical exhibition and conference—in Chicago.

Elevated Ops team members are Matthew Duncan, Kelsey Gedge, Joshua Mallorey, Travis Sargent, Lance Wenholz, and coach Orren West. North Texas Rangers team members are Caeleb Butler, Joshua Deaver, Zachary Jackson, Jeremy Thompson, and coach Rey Davila.

One of the most anticipated events during WEFTEC, Operations Challenge is a unique and fast-paced test of the essential skills needed to operate and maintain wastewater treatment facilities, their collection systems, and laboratories—all vital to the protection of public health and the environment.

Over the past 32 years, Operations Challenge has steadily grown from the original 22-team event to this year’s record-breaking 46-team, two-division format that showcased competitors from as far away as Denmark. Teams are judged on the best combination of precision, speed, and safety. The winners are determined by a weighted point system for five events over two days including laboratory and process control and collections, safety, and KSB maintenance.

Winners in both divisions include:

Division 1
First Place: Elevated Ops
Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association
Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, Denver, Colo.

Second Place: TRA CReWSers
Water Environment Association of Texas
Trinity River Authority, Dallas, Texas

Third Place: L.A. Wrecking Crew
California Water Environment Association
Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Carson, Calif.

Division 2
First Place: South Mesquite Rangers
Water Environment Association of Texas
North Texas Municipal Water District, Mesquite, Texas

Second Place: Double Duty
Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association
Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, Denver, Colo.

Third Place: Lethal Concentration
Water Environment Association of South Carolina
Greenwood Metropolitan District, Greenwood, S.C.