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Mount Pleasant Waterworks Takes 1st Place in National Water Operators Competition

October 22, 2021

Pictured left to right: Seth Duncan, Troy Newton, Tyler Waterhouse, Kevin Ganley, Patrick Ross


Mount Pleasant, S.C. – Football players have the Super Bowl. Basketball pros compete in the Finals. For wastewater operators across the country, it’s all about the annual Operations Challenge. On October 20, 2021, five Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) water resource operators, competing as “Controlled Chaos”, were crowned National Champions in the 34th annual Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Operations Challenge. The competition took place during the 2021 WEFTEC conference in Chicago.

In existence since 1988, the Operations Challenge event allows the best wastewater professionals in the country to display their skills in front of their peers. Five-person teams, one coach and four members, compete in five events over two days: collection systems, laboratory, process control, maintenance, and safety. From analyzing water samples in the laboratory event to cutting through an 8-inch PVC pipe with a handsaw in the collection systems event, both brains and brawn are called on to compete in the rigorous program.

Controlled Chaos team members Seth Duncan, Patrick Ross, and Tyler Waterhouse (pictured left to right) work together during the Collections Systems event.


A total of 32 teams competed in the 2021 event. MPW team, “Controlled Chaos”, was made up of Troy Newton (team coach), Patrick Ross, Seth Duncan, Kevin Ganley, and Tyler Waterhouse. Although the team had competed and won the same title in the 2020 virtual event, this was their first time showing off their skills in front of a live crowd on the national stage.

“The guys definitely fed off the energy in the room,” shared team coach Troy Newton. “To be cheered on by other water professionals from across the country – people who understand the commitment to the training and education involved – makes the effort rewarding.”

MPW Commission Chairman Rick Crosby shared his excitement about the win, saying: “This national achievement validates what we’ve known all along – the best in the industry choose to share their talents at Mount Pleasant Waterworks. Our customers are in good hands!”


About WEFTEC’s Operation Challenge: WEFTEC is the name of the annual conference sponsored by the Water Environment Federation. Since 1988, water operators and technicians have competed in the Operations Challenge. For more information, visit: https://www.weftec.org/attend/operations-challenge/ 


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