per 5 days or 2 shifts per 7 days). Appendix A contains a sample computation
illustrating the 5/3 Rule.
Scheduling Personnel. Work schedules for treatment plant operators are
a matter of local preference for length of shift (8 or 12 hours) and for fixed or rotating
shifts. Studies have shown that constantly rotating shifts can be harmful to employees'
physical and mental well-being. Rotating shifts on a 6- to 8-week cycle is better.
Except in emergency situations, maintenance crews typically do not work
around the clock. A 10-hour shift for maintenance personnel has been shown to offer
the most productivity as well as provide the most efficient use of equipment.
Certification. Virtually all regulatory jurisdictions require that a certified
operator be in charge of an installation's water supply and treatment facilities. The
numbers and grade level of certified operators required at a given installation are
determined by the size and complexity of the treatment facilities. To qualify for higher
levels of certification, greater combinations of education and experience are required.
To become certified at any level, the operator must pass an examination based on what
he or she needs to know to work at a plant. Higher certification entails more extensive
examination. For more information on certification, contact the Association of Boards of
Certification for Operating Personnel in Water Utilities and Pollution Control Systems
Executive Director, ABC
P.O. Box 786
Ames, Iowa 50010-0786
Phone (515) 232-3623
Training. Training may be obtained by attending technical schools,
community colleges, short courses, workshops, and by successfully completing home
study courses. After an operator is certified, continual training is essential to maintain
high standards of service, ensure safe, efficient operation, and keep personnel
informed of all current technical developments. Additional information on training can
be obtained either from ABC (par. 3.4.3) or from par. 2.2.42.
Information Management. In general, good records promote efficient
operation of the water system. Specifically, records are essential to an effective
maintenance program, are required to comply with certain water quality regulations,
and are necessary for planning purposes. The information management system is
most efficient when tailored to the particular needs of the installation. Only those
records known to be useful should be kept, and records should be readily accessible to