We, the members of the Professional Wastewater Operations Division, are dedicated to the task of conserving a healthy environment for terrestrial and aquatic life.

We, are obligated by duty, conscience and personal power to meet at a minimum permit limits as set forth by this state, province, or country.

We, as operations professionals, will fulfill our responsibility to protect the interest and investment in the facility by maintaining safe,attractive,economical, and efficient wastewater treatment facilities to the best of our ability.

We, will endeavor to increase our knowledge and skills in modern technology in the science of water pollution control to advance to the point of returning water back to its natural state upon which all forms of life depend.

Created 1986 By
Rayburn Casey Hall
Moccasin Bend Waste Water Treatment Plant
Chattanooga, TN.
KY-TN PWOD Representative
Adopted by the WEF 1992

Saturday, October 23, 2010


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Saturday, October 16, 2010


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Friday, October 1, 2010

Debbie memorable Moments.mpg

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spence Memorable Moments.mpg

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Casey MBWWTP 50 Yr Celeb.mpg

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Leary Jones

Mr. Jones was a personal hero of mine. I first met him after I was selected as Ky-Tn WEA Professional Wasterwater Operation Division (PWOD) back in the 1980's. We became friends and he became a mentor to me.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010


I wrote this in 1996 for the Ky-Tn Wea newsletter.

I reached my 25th wedding anniversary  and my 25th year as  a wastewater treatment plant operator  last year. Being a sentimental type person I pondered over the  decisions that I made a quarter of a century ago and wondered why I stayed  married and continued as  an operator. Figuring out why I stayed married was easy with a loving wife, a wonderful daughter , and two of the sweetest grandchildren around. But how I became a wastewater treatment plant operator and stayed at it for 25 years took just a little more  thinking.

I truly believe America is a land of opportunity where you can choose to do what you want to do for a living. Well I chose what I wanted to do the old fashioned way  and that is by the process of elimination. Following are some careers that I considered and the reasons I turned them down. My dad was a truck driver but I couldn't sit for a long time staring out a window. My Uncle was an iron worker but I could never master the wolf whistle that  construction workers have to learn. I considered being an auto mechanic but I was always sober and on the job. All of these jobs are great jobs for the right people but I wanted something that would get me away from the farm in North East Alabama.

I thought of being  a fireman but I can't sit around and watch TV all day while waiting for something to happen. I  couldn't be  a policeman because I can't pronounce the word Cop the way they spit it out. I thought being a lawyer would be great but I couldn't  hold a poker face while I lied. My Mama wanted me to be a preacher but I was the kind of person that had to be living what I preached. Mama would have really been proud if I had studied medicine. But I just couldn't handle the pressure of making a million dollars a year and playing golf every day while a bunch of sick people sit in my office waiting on me to help them.

I think I would have been a natural born engineer because I like designing things and solving problems. But Engineers have to go through a mind forming class before they can receive their degrees and graduate. There are several thoughts that has to be etched into their subconscious before they can become Professional Engineers.    One, they are always right and never make mistakes. Two, common sense is an old wives tale. Three, they are smarter than any wastewater treatment plant operator.

For a time I considered the career of a writer. But I lost interest when I found out that all sentences and paragraphs had to be structured by using  correct grammar. And when  they said I  couldn't write it the way I  said it, I knew I could never be another Mark Twain . I did write some poetry but I didn't have a Raven and I wasn't insane. I learned to play the guitar and thought about a career in Country Music, but once I got out of those cotton fields, life was too good to  sing sad songs. I eliminated being a Rock star because I was not physically able to scream loud enough. I didn't become a movie star because I'm too shy to use their type of artistic expressions of cursing and going nude in public.

While eliminating the job I didn't want,  I was working on an assembly line in a factory at very low wages.  One day I was at my Uncle's house  and he told me about a place called the treatment plant that had expanded and was hiring some people. I didn't even know what a treatment plant was but I was interested. It meant a raise in pay  and he said all you did was push buttons. I went to work at the Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1971.

When I'm asked why I stayed in this business for 25 years many cliche answers come to mine and they are all true in my case. But actually, I stayed because it is a non-traditional unique job. No, the product we deal with is not what makes the job different. It's the perspectives of the people that sends you the product and the people that works with it that makes it unique. Below are some examples of what I'm talking about and  these cases are the rule of thumb. As in any observation or opinion there is always an exeption.

I have never seen  an operator that said  he was going to be a wastewater treatment plant operator on career day in grammar school. I never met an operator who intended to stay in the wastewater field.  I've seen operators come in our plant and swear they are not going to stay and they are still saying it 20 years later. A few do end up leaving after getting a few years experience - for other wastewater plants. When they reach retirement age they are always going to retire next year . I wonder sometimes if there is something in the wastewater that causes people to act that way.

Most operators would be good candidates for the CIA because they are so secretive about their occupation. A conversation between an operator and his neighbor goes something like this:
"What do you do for a living?"
"I work for the government."
"Which branch of government?"
"The city."
"Which department?"
"Public Works."
"Which division?"
"Waste Resources."
"Oh, your a garbage man."
"No! Hey man I gotta go, my wife is calling me."

I was at dinner one night on a cruise ship and all of us at the table began introducing ourselves and telling what we did for a living. There  was  a retired deputy sheriff, a salesman, a business man and a career vacationer that had sold his business and retired.  I was going to introduce myelf  next but the guy next to me announced his name and said he was an Engineer. I told them my name and  that I work for the government.

In order to educate the public and improve our public relations we conduct tours through our plant. Some times they can pose some really tough questions. Like, how can you stand to work here and do you take a bath before you go home and do you ever   get used to the smell. I have a hard time understanding some of them because they have their hands over their mouth and are pinching their nose. Some of them want to know about a secret valve we open after dark to by-pass the plant.

Most people don't know where the wastewater leaving their house goes to. We have being trying out a couple of slogans on our visitors to help them remember us. One is "You flush 'em  and we'll crush 'em" and the other one is "Your No.2 business is our No.1 business" . So far we have had mixed reviews on them.

There have been a lot of changes to improve the wastewater plant operators image in the last 25 years. But personally I never thought  anything was wrong with how we looked.  For instance, they said that the word sewage brought forth a bad image to people when it was used in public. So we started using  the word wastewater instead of sewage because it was  more acceptable. The problem is  you have to explain to people what wastewater is. Usually when you do their response is  "Oh, you mean sewage".

Recently there was a campaign to change the word sludge to bio-solids. But the image improvers don't understand that there is a four letter word that perfectly describes the product we work with in our business and wastewater treatment operators  are not going to quit calling it by its proper name.

To get serious for a moment there is no easy answer  why people become operators and continue to be for years. But I am proud to be in an industry that  cleans  and protects one of our most important resources - water. Most operators that I have come in contact with in Tennessee and Kentucky feel the same way.

A note to all Engineers: To be fair, next time we'll  talk about Salesmen and Contractors.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


By Rayburn Casey Hall

Without a thought you flush your Commode

And down the bowl goes your load

As you sit with your hands in your lap

You rid yourself of the paper and crap.

You send it out of sight and mind

To be cleaned and refined for all mankind


If you wonder where your water goes

That you contaminate and dispose

First it has to be collected in a sewer line

Where the sun don’t ever shine

And flow through a maze of pipes

Of which there are many size and types


Do you wonder how waste water is cleaned?

First the debris has to be screened

To remove the rags, cans, and leaves

Of which all sewers receive

To prevent the clogging of the sewers lines

And the sounds of men’s growls and whines


Next you remove the grit, sand and gravel

By slowing down the feet per minute traveled

Leaving the inorganic to descend

And allowing the organics to suspend

Then it’s filtered in a traveling screen

And leaves the sewage partially clean


The next process in the tour

Is primary treatment to be sure

Once again we slow down the flow

Of which the results will show

The heavy solids will descend

And the scum will ascend.


Next treatment resembles a human belly

After this point the sludge is not smelly

Where solids are pumped and warmed

And biological treatment is performed

And class A sludge is produced

And methane gas is made to use


Dilution to pollution used to be the solution

But now secondary treatment is the resolution

Secondary treatment is like magic

If not used it would be tragic

The waste water is highly oxygenated

While it is being mixed and agitated


Microorganisms are used as free drudge

To convert dissolved solids to sludge

While consuming and wasting they form a glue

And the waste and glue form a goo

That’s been named activated sludge

That looks a lot like melted fudge.


The activated sludge is too thin to press

Has to go to a thickening process

Now the digested and activated sludge

Is a thickened and stabilized sludge

That can be pressed and centrifuged

Into a Class A product good for human use


Wastewater technology has been applied

And under oath we certified

That our permit has been complied

If it wasn’t satisfied

It would not be denied

For fear of being crucified


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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Your Friend May Be A Hockeyolgist

I just retired a few months ago from working with the City’s sanitation department. My job was at the waste water treatment plant. And I was a certified class IV hockeylogist. Most of you never heard of a job called hockeyology and you probably don’t personally know any hockeyologist. But your neighbor or friend might be a hockeyologist and I’m going to tell you how to recognize one.

If your friend collects miniature commodes and outhouses he may be a hockeyolgist.

If you cut the cheese and your friend says that smell like bread and butter to me he may be a hockeylogist

If you see a guy look at a pile of poop and says that looks like it could be about 45 % concentration he may be a hockologist

If you drive by a treatment plant and your friend with you says that smells like money to me, he may be a hockologist

If you see a Sanitation Department truck dumping smelly dirt in the yard next door, your neighbor may be a hockeylogist.

If your neighbor’s yard smells like rotten eggs he might be a hockeyologist

If your friend’s vacation slide shows include pictures of a waste water treatment plant he might be a hockeyologist.

If your friend riding with you can point out all the waste water pump stations in town he may be hockologist

If you got a friend that can eat a sandwich while sitting on the john he may be a hockologist.

If your friend sits and talks about the process of treating poop in a crowded restaurant he may be a hockologist.

If your neighbor’s wife tells you that her husband works for the “water company, but he drives a sanitation department truck he may be a hockeyologist.

If your neighbor can distinguish that the odor you smell in your neighborhood is either poop or a paper plant process he may be a hockologist.

If your neighbor is recognized by the city as a hero for pulling someone out of a tank of poop he may be a hockologist

If you see your neighbor at the mall in his uniform and work shoes on Saturday night, he may be a hockeyologist.

If your neighbor’s wife washes her husband’s clothes at the launder mat he may be a hockologist.

If your neighbor can describe the taste of poop being salty he may be a hockologist.

If your neighbor has a saying “You flush-em and we’ll crush em he may be a hockologist.

If your neighbor quotes “Your No.2 business is our No.1 business he may be a hockologist.

If your neighbor changes clothes and shoes on the back porch when he comes home in the afternoon, he may be a hockeyologist.

If your neighbor refuses to discuss his job with the city with you in detail he may be a hockologist.

If your neighbor says that he is immune to stomach virus he may be a hockologist.

If your neighbor’s family car smells like someone cut the cheese all the time he may be a hockologist.

So if you recognize someone as a hockeyologist give them a big hug because they are making your city a better place to live. 

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