ASPA tops water/wastewater certification list
The American Samoa Power Authority can be proud of their water and wastewater personnel certification passing rate, as they prepare another group of water and wastewater employees for upcoming operator certification examinations.
According to ASPA Operations Staff Training and Development Coordinator Misirita Matagi, the examinations cover a wide range of technical, managerial and financial aspects of the system.
“The examination is not easy, as the national passing average is less than 40% and we are proud to say that ASPA employees average passing rate is over 50%,” she said.
A recent training began on June 10, where ASPA had over 40 water and wastewater personnel participate in several days of intense training conducted on their behalf by the Hawai’i Rural Water Association.
“This training pertained to the drinking water distribution system and sanitary sewer system,” said Matagi. She explained that some of the training was designed to help prepare individuals for their operator certification examinations.
“On another day, ASPA water and wastewater employees spent several hours studying the operations and maintenance of various pumps and motors. During the class, an actual pump was disassembled and the different parts and their functions were discussed,” she said.
Twelve of ASPA’s drinking water operators took their examinations this past Saturday (June 22), one day after the classes ended, according to Matagi.
“Other drinking water operators and waste water operators will be scheduled to take the examination later this year. For a water or wastewater operator wishing to obtain a nationally recognized operator certification, the individual must have many months, even years of hands-on experience in the field,” Matagi said.
She explained that the person must also have many hours of classroom study before they are even allowed to take the certification examination.
Matagi further noted that “On Monday June 17, the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA), joined ASPA employees for a full day of training regarding Sanitary Surveys.”
She said, “A Sanitary Survey includes an extensive inspection of the physical water system, and an examination of all monitoring, reporting and record keeping done by ASPA. It also includes ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations.”
According to the coordinator, the inspection, which is conducted on all drinking water systems throughout the nation, is intended to help prevent future compliance issues as well as help ensure safe, dependable drinking for the future. The survey is conducted by AS-EPA and is required every three years.