Virginia Tech and Virginia Deparatment of Health Present Water and Wastewater Training Courses
Virginia Tech and Virginia Deparatment of Health Present Water and Wastewater Training Courses

Operation and Maintenance of Distribution Systems

May 22-26, 2023 - Southwest - Western VA Water Authority or
October 16-20, 2023 - Virginia Beach - Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities


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:

  1. Waterworks operators
  2. Distribution system workers and inspectors
  3. Water utility field technicians
  4. Veterans and others interested in a career in the drinking water industry
  5. 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, traffic 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:

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

Thanks to funding provided by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Virginia Tech (VT), the Western Virginia Water Authority, and the City of Virginia Beach are able to partner to offer a week-long course devoted to all aspects of the operation and maintenance (O&M) of distribution systems (DS). The funding from VDH covers most of the program expenses, which greatly reduces the cost to participants.

Western Virginia Water Authority Logo and City of Salem seal

The Western Virginia Water Authority, Salem Water Department, and the City of Virginia Beach graciously offered to host the course and provide instructors from their staff who have many years of on-the-job experience. Instructors from VDH, the Virginia Rural Water Association, and VT will also participate.

Participant Funding

Virginia Tech has been awarded grant monies from VDH for participant funding for this course.Funding covers most of your registration fee, which includes lodging (for those who select lodging), refreshment breaks, lunch, flashdrive with course materials, and dinner on night one. Register early to ensure your seat in the course, as space is limited.

Continuing Education Units
Participants will receive 3.7 CEUs (equal to 37 contact hours) for successful completion of the course. A digital certificate of completion will be awarded at the conclusion of the course.

water streaming from a red fire hydrant

See Water & Wastewater Training Courses for more courses and to sign up for our mailing list.

More Information

Questions about the course:
Please feel free to contact Cary Hoge, Program Coordinator, Continuing and Professional Education at Virginia Tech, if you have any questions about the content of the course, Cary can be reached by e-mail: or phone: 540-231-5182.

Information about registration:
Please contact Continuing and Professional Education by email: or phone: 540-231-5182.

Virginia Tech - Invent the Future  Continuing & Professional Education @ Virginia Tech  
Virginia Tech's Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement:

See Water & Wastewater Training Courses for more courses and to sign up for our mailing list.

Share this site.