The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will host its popular Wastewater Management Boot Camp again this year. The first-of-its-kind program is a model nationally, adapted by a handful of states across the country. The Boot Camp, which is a year-long, free training program, begins this week and will welcome treatment plant operators from communities, facilities across Rhode Island, including Bristol, Cranston, East Providence, Newport, West Warwick, Woonsocket, and the Narragansett Bay Commission’s Bucklin Point and Fields Point treatment plants. In all, 15 communities have participated in the program which is now in its fifth season. Plant operators know firsthand, there is a vital connection between clean water and economic vitality. The goal of this program is to provide expert training and networking opportunities to the next generation of plant leadership in order to be better equipped to preserve the waterways for generations to come. The Wastewater Boot Camp has emerged as an important resource for municipalities and local treatment facilities and has proven to be a valuable means for continued collaborations with Rhode Island communities.
Participants will receive training in plant management as well as technical instruction in engineering basics and process control, emergency preparedness, ethics, and working with regulatory bodies. Lectures on key topics such as aquatic sciences and climate change will also be offered. The boot camp kicks off with a session at the Narragansett Bay Commission Fields Point Treatment Facility in Providence; subsequent sessions will be held monthly at sites across the state, including municipal wastewater treatment facilities, the University of Rhode Island, the RI Emergency Management Command Center, and DEM locations. Development of the Boot Camp was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and training offerings are provided in partnership with the Narragansett Water Pollution Control Association.