The journey of drinking water includes a source, perhaps treatment, and distribution. Treatment might be needed to correct issues with the source, and distribution can sometimes undo the accomplishments of treatment. It is a bit like the game of rocks, paper, scissors. The point being that distribution systems are a very important, integral part of the water supply system that need to be designed, operated and maintained well to ensure that water will be delivered in an acceptable form. Several water quality parameters, including odors, tastes, corrosion by-products, pathogens, and turbidity, can be affected in the distribution system.

The course is primarily designed for the following groups of people:

  • Waterworks operators
  • Distribution system workers and inspectors
  • Water utility weld technicians
  • Veterans and others interested in a career in the drinking water industry
  • Wastewater operators, if working towards water certification

Course enrollment will be limited to 18 people, so that the various hands-on exercises can be conducted in small groups. People participating in the program should bring their own PPE; i.e., gloves, safety glasses, ear plugs, steel-toed shoes, hard hats, trac control vests/pants. Some of these items may be available at the site, but it is best that you bring your own equipment. You need not bring your own SCBA or harnesses, but if you do, site personnel will be willing to evaluate your SCBA and harnesses as a part of the course.

The short course will consist of classroom lectures, demonstrations and various hands-on exercises over a 4.5 day period. Included among the course topics and activities are:

  • Many aspects of safe practices - personal protective equipment (PPE), proper lifting, preventing falls/trips, excavation, confined space and much more.
  • O&M offire hydrants, tanks, meters and other components of a distribution system.
  • Pipe repair.
  • Flushing programs and procedures.
  • Leak detection procedures.
  • Proper sampling procedures (e.g., for disinfection by-products, TCR, plate counts) and relating results to the O&M of the distribution system.
  • Water quality control, using methods such as pushing, modifications to tank operation, and re-chlorination.
  • Use of equipment, including that used for trenching, trailering, and excavation
  • Tour of pumping station and storage tank

Location Information

This program will take place at various facilities in and around the Roanoke and Salem area including Spring Hollow Water Treatment Plant, Smith Mountain Lake Water Treatment Plant, Roanoke Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Salem Water Treatment Plant.

Lodging is included in registration fees for those selecting the lodging package. Lodging dates are Sunday, October 27-November 1, 2024.
Hampton Inn Roanoke Airport/Valley View
5033 Valley View Blvd
Roanoke, VA 24012


Monday - Spring Hollow Water Treatment Plant
7:45 AM-6:00PM - Safety (Lectures, Practical Demonstrations & Certifications for flagging & work zones

Tuesday - Smith Mountain Lake Water Treatment Plant (Tentative)
7:45AM-5PM - Meters, Flushing, Fire Hydrants, Leak Detection, Pipes, Valves & Trenches (Lectures & Hands On Demonstrations)

Wednesday - Roanoke Water Pollution Control Plant
7:45AM-5PM - Customer Service, Water Main Breaks,  Service & Meter Installation, Pipe Repairs, Confined Space, & Lock Out/Tag Out (Lectures & Hands On Demonstrations)

Thursday - Salem Water Treatment Plant
7:45AM-5PM - Distribution, Backflow/Disinfection, Sampling & Monitoring, Trench Rescue, Pump Stations, SCADA, Water Modeling, Firefighting and Water Utilities (Lectures & Hands On Demonstrations)

Friday - Roanoke Wastewater Treatment Plant
7:45AM-1PM - Hands On Demonstrations with Directional Drilling, Excavation, Valve Machines, & Vacuum Excavation

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Operation and Maintenance of Distribution Systems - Southwest
7:45AM to 6:00PM
Oct 28, 2024
T, W, Th
7:45AM to 5:00PM
Oct 29, 2024 to Oct 31, 2024
7:45AM to 1:00PM
Nov 01, 2024
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Off Campus
Fees starting at $100.00
Section Notes

For the most up-to-date information related to this program, please visit: www.cpe.vt.edu/waww/

Refund and Cancellation Policy:
Refund requests must be received 14 calendar days prior to the program start date. A $30 administrative fee will be deducted from all refunds. Requests should be sent by email or by initiating a drop request through the student portal in our online registration system. As an alternative to a refund, you may send a substitute at no additional cost. Please contact us at 540-231-5182 or e-mail cpeinfo@vt.edu to request a substitution. Please note: refunds will not be issued for no-shows or for cancellations received on or after the program start date. In the unlikely event that this program is cancelled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, the university will fully refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, including cancellation or change charges assessed by airlines, hotels, travel agencies, or other organizations.

Anyone requesting special requirements for this program should contact cpeinfo@vt.edu.

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