South Carolina hosts one of the largest Operations Challenge invitationals

March 25, 2024
WEFTEC champions Controlled Chaos take first place at local competition.

Another Operations Challenge Competition wrapped up at the South Carolina Environmental Conference Brawl at the Beach, which occurred March 11 & 12 in Myrtle Beach, SC. The competition hosted 11 teams, of which three teams were from South Carolina and the remaining eight came from Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and New York. That makes this Operations Challenge event not only one of the largest in the country but the largest invitational with so many out-of-state teams.

As usual, the competition was tough, and the winners fought hard to come out on top. The home state heroes, Controlled Chaos of Mount Pleasant, SC, won first place overall. This was a great way to kick off their follow up year to a first-place win in Division 1 at nationals. They’re the team to look out for!

When asked how they approached the first competition of the year, coming in as the reigning champions, Team Captain Patrick Ross of Controlled Chaos had this to say.

“We may be the reigning champions but the first event of the year for all of the MA’s is our event, so we are conditioned to quickly recalibrate our egos," Ross said. "We view the score as 0-0. Every year, more teams compete, and every team gets better. That means we must always find ways to get better to give ourselves the best shot at the title.”

But they’re not the only team deserving of recognition. The following teams put forth a valiant effort and made Controlled Chaos fight for the win.

  • Smooth Operators, Greenville, NC – 2nd overall
  • Double Duty, Denver Metro, CO – 3rd overall
  • Lethal Concentration, Greenwood Metropolitan District, SC – 4th overall
Mount Pleasant Water Works
Controlled Chaos WEF Operations Challenge Team
Utility Management

How WEF Operations Challenge champs Controlled Chaos developed a winning team

March 11, 2024
Teamwork and cohesion are critical to the success of Controlled Chaos, WEF Operations Challenge champions, who are looking to take their skills to Munich, Germany at the world...

These four teams were consistent across the five main events and were well matched. As a result, the five events each had one of these four teams walk the stage as the winner. It shows the level of skill and competition between these teams that no one overtly dominated the five individual events.

It’s also important to note the level of accomplishment these operators receive. Many of them have received awards and recognition for their achievements within the industry, and the Operations Challenge is their opportunity to showcase those skills.

The South Carolina Environmental Conference Brawl at the Beach also debuted the new collections event for the Operations Challenge – the Victaulic coupling tree assembly. This brand-new event was run for the first time in competition by the Florida Bio-Wizards’ Mandi Hebert. We look forward to seeing more of this new event as part of the Operations Challenge.

The process control event continues to be the Achilles heel to most competing teams. The key to winning first place overall is consistently placing in the top of all five events, not just dominating the physical events and letting the mental events fall to the wayside. This trend continues with teams placing first in the tough physical events but much lower in the process event, which can be grueling with its GPS-X Simulator and multiple scenarios. Who will be the team to break the streak and dominate both the process control event and the physical events?

Up next for the Operations Challenge is the Florida Water Resources Conference in Kissimmee, FL, from April 2 – 6 and Texas Water in Fort Worth, TX, from April 9 – 11. We look forward to seeing more amazing teams competing, especially the all-female team the TRA Trailblazers at Texas Water. I look forward to seeing you there!

About the Author

Jeff Sober

Jeff Sober is director of water services for Garver and serves as the chair of the WEF Operations Challenge. Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn.

Sponsored Recommendations

Blower Package Integration

March 20, 2024
See how an integrated blower package can save you time, money, and energy, in a wastewater treatment system. With package integration, you have a completely integrated blower ...

Strut Comparison Chart

March 12, 2024
Conduit support systems are an integral part of construction infrastructure. Compare steel, aluminum and fiberglass strut support systems.

Energy Efficient System Design for WWTPs

Feb. 7, 2024
System splitting with adaptive control reduces electrical, maintenance, and initial investment costs.

Blower Isentropic Efficiency Explained

Feb. 7, 2024
Learn more about isentropic efficiency and specific performance as they relate to blowers.