Operator Need to Know

The Need-to-Know can be simply defined as that knowledge that an operator or those desiring to be operators must possess to be prepared for the duties and challenges he will face as an operator. These Need-to-Know documents were developed to provide those individuals with a listing of subject matter and understanding areas for each operator classification of water treatment, distribution systems, wastewater treatment and collection systems available in Tennessee.

Certifications

Understanding Areas

The following are eleven Understanding Areas and a brief description.  Each understanding area should be applied to each subject area and if applicable, the person, should strive to develop his knowledge and skills in the areas needed:
  • Process - Addresses the biological, chemical and mechanical actions, which may be occurring in any of the subject areas.  It certainly includes all the many biological and chemical actions but it may also include how a piece of machinery or equipment works.
  • Operation - Addresses activities in which an operator has the ability to exercise judgment and take action to affect the processes.  Included within this definition is plant design and plant construction.
  • Maintenance - Includes both routine and emergency maintenance.  Included within this definition is troubleshooting and other problem identification activities.
  • General - Includes any basic knowledge questions which address the subject in a broad nature.  (e.g. What is the purpose of pretreatment?
  • Procedure - Is primarily designed for lab questions but can be used whenever an industry-recognized procedure for accomplishing a task is identified.  (e.g. testing reduced pressure backflow preventers)
  • Data Interpretation - Is used for questions where data is received, analyzed and acted upon
  • Public Health - Includes any questions relating to the subject’s impact on public health.  (e.g. Which of the following diseases is transmitted by inadequately treated water?).  It includes laws, rules and regulations, quality control and compliance.
  • Math - Includes any applicable math activity associated with the subject area.  It includes basic operations, square/cubes, fractions/percents, graphs, tables, formulas, conversion, etc.
  • Science - Includes any basic science, biology, chemistry and microbiology concept or principle which relates to the subject.
  • Safety - Includes any recommended or required safety practices as well a the “common sense” practices (e.g.  What does the beeping sound on the tow motor mean?).  It includes identification and description of categories, procedures and violations.
  • Rules - Includes any applicable state or federal rule or reporting which addresses the subject.