2020 Operations Challenge

2020 Virtual Operations Challenge

Competition Schedule

2020 Competition Results





 Mass Balance
Procedure  Updated 10/3/2020Rules and Suggestions for Virtual Process
Score SheetsProcedure Update Changed 10/3/2020
  1. The camera locations moved and the notes were clarified that the Proctor/Camera locations will be set up at the beginning of the event to get the best views of the simulator.  We will want to see the dry table, the 30 x 30 square, the tool box, and the start/finish line.
  2. The dimensions should be close to what is shown and called out. 
Procedure Update Changes 9/28/2020
  1. The walk-through will be three minutes.
  2. The start and stop of the event has been moved back to the Team Start and Stop line shown on the simulator layout.  This matches with previous events.
  3. The cut piece must be placed in the 30-inch x 30-inch square with the repair piece.
  4. The volunteers with the cameras will be called Proctors.
  5. The camera locations have changed.  The intent is to be able to see the entire simulator, including the start/stop line.
Please go to the following link to download the required materials for the process control event:


Download the installation program and pre-competition handout and fill out the form to receive an activation key code.  The installation program will install both the simulator and multiple choice quiz programs for both the practice and competition versions.
Can you clarify "Lab event will be just the instrument table"? Does that mean there is no TSS measurement? Just TDS and the mass balance?
Yes.  That is correct.  The table that will be used in the TDS and mass balance table.
-If you do not set the sample bottle down, do samples need to be remixed after rinsing the beaker and graduated cylinder?
-Does the TDS probe need to be rinsed with DI and blotted dry between the EFF and EFF DUP samples?
-Does the TDS probe need to be rinsed/blotted after the final sample?
  1. After rinsing of each cylinder or beaker, if the sample is not immediately poured off or drawn up for analysis, the sample container should be mixed again.  It is not acceptable to mix samples or standard and allow them to sit on the counter for any period of time.  For the purposes of this event immediately shall mean within 5 seconds. 
  2. Yes.  The probe should be rinsed and blotted between each sample.
  3. Yes.  The TDS probe should be rinsed and blotted dry after the last sample as it is proper laboratory procedure not to leave a dirty probe.

As far as labeling of the lab ware. Can we write directly on the labware or do you have to use the stick on labels and then write on them?

You may write directly on the glassware or use labels since it is your equipment to use / clean.
On the MASS Balance test, do we need to show all math? If in one question we calculate the pounds loading on the primary clarifier can we use the answer from this question to put in the formula for another question? Or do you want all formulas written out even though the calculation was completed in a previous question?

You need to show all of the math at least the first time it is performed.  If there is an answer from a previous question that ties into the formula for a subsequent section, you do not need to show that portion of the math; however, it must be clear that you understand how the formula works and where the numbers came from.
Mix all samples and the calibration solution by inverting 5 times. NOTE: A single inversion consists of taking a bottle from the upright position (12 o’clock) and turning it 90° (3 o’clock), then back to the upright position again. The intent of mixing the samples it to produce a homogenous sample for TDS/conductivity analysis. The intent is that the sample be mixed immediately prior to rinsing of the beaker and measuring of the sample. It is NOT acceptable to mix samples and allow them to sit on the counter for any period of time. For the purposes of this event immediately shall mean within 5 seconds.

Our question is in reference to

to rinsing of the beaker and measuring of the sample. It is NOT acceptable to mix samples and allow them to sit on the counter for any period of time.

If we follow this procedure and rinse and measure the sample within 5 seconds can the sample then sit on the table? Or does it also need to be tested within 5 seconds?

Yes.  The sample once poured can sit on the counter until it is measured.

The camera for the probe, is that only looking at the meter? If it's a foot from the table the carboy blocks the camera. Does it just have to show the numbers on the screen and the operator's hand touching the buttons?

On the worksheet when showing the math do we need to write units throughout the math?

Is there a minimum length the 3rd cut piece should be? And where is that piece supposed to end after it drops to the floor?

Thank you for the question.  No, there is not a minimum length.  It just needs to be a full cut across the pipe somewhere in that 14 inches that extends outside the table.  We are in the process of updating the rules, which will require that cut piece to be placed in the 30-inch x 30-inch square.
Instructions say “latch the padlock”. Does that mean unlock with key or will it just be dummy locked?

This was updated in the latest event rules.  Do not close the lock.  Put the lock the hasp and place the lock shackle so that it is over the lock body. 
Instructions give an event order and say it must be performed in a “similar” order. Can end of the pipe cut be made after the insert-T is cut out?

This was updated in the latest event rules.  The order is not dictated.  All the steps must be completed.
Can one team member hold the stainless steel band in place while the other tightens it (on the Inserta Tee)?

Yes.  It is when cutting or drilling is occurring, that only 1 person can be working on a table.
Our toolbox is not made of plywood (similar to this: https://www.stanleytools.com/NA/product/images/3000x3000x96/037025H/037025H_1.jpg). Will this be an issue?

For this 2020 event, the tool box as you have shown will be acceptable.  It does have a lid and a hasp for a lock
In this step: "Cut out and remove a measured length of pipe from dry PVC pipe", does measured mean that it
to be measured with a tape measure and marked
or is it sufficient to cut a length that can sit inside the 30"x30" square?

In the previous events, the measured length of pipe on the dry table was cut out to fit into the space cut out of the pipe on the wet table.  The measuring may be done with your saw or just by estimating.  Yes, it should sit inside the 30-inch x 30-inch square. 
Do proctors need stop watches? or will all time be recorded by virtual judges?

If proctors had stop watches, that would be great as a back up.  However, the virtual judges will have the official time.
Other than the inserta-tee being completely put together, how should tools be set up in the toolbox BEFORE teams go to rearrange for their 3 minute setup?

Tools may be set up any way they like.  We would assume that it is setup ready to go.
Can you mark the pipe during setup?
When will the simulator be sent out to download? Some teams will need a bit of time to get the permissions to download this to their work computers.

See below.
Can the two team members be working on the same questions and consulting one another?

The event will consist of 2 components, the Hydromantis Simulator and the computer-based multiple choice event.
Both of these components will be completed on a single computer.  It is expected that both team members will work together to answer questions in the two components of the event although only one of the team members need to operate the computer.

How does the hydromantis work? Do we need to download different software other than the practice software?

There will be a single download that includes 4 components:
Simulator – practice version
Multiple Choice – practice version
Simulator – WEFTEC competition version
Multiple Choice – WEFTEC competition version
The two practice event components will be used during an optional practice event (tentatively scheduled for Friday, October 2nd) to confirm the software download process works for each team and allows each team to experience the logistics of the event.  A password for accessing the practice event components will be provided during the practice event.
The two WEFTEC competition event components will be used for the WEFTEC competition.  The password for the two components of the WEFTEC competition event will be provided at the start of the WEFTEC Competition on Monday, October 5th.

Is there any advantage to finishing the simulator and/or multiple choice questions before the allowed time?
There will be no bonus points awarded for finishing either the simulator or multiple choice portions of the event before the time for each expires.  The simulator and multiple choice portions of the event have time allotments of 15 and 10 minutes, respectively.