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OCWA’s OpExpo 2022 was Our Biggest Ever

Annual Event Returned with a Full Slate of Training Sessions,
Multiple Teams in Competition, and the Largest Crowd Ever

As with past year’s events before the pandemic, this year’s Operator Expo had everything the Orange County water community has come to expect from OCWA: a strong slate of training sessions, a wide array of spirited competitions, and a delicious barbecue lunch. Everyone had a great time as they earned Certified CE training units, interacted with dozens of vendors, and enjoyed watching or partici­pating in the contests. Plans are already underway for next year’s event.

Special thanks are due to the many Sponsors and Exhibitors who participated in this year’s event. Twenty-two Vendors joined us to display their products, demonstrate their uses, and answer all the operator’s questions. In addition, eleven Sponsors stepped forward to help ensure the success of the day. The names of all our Sponsors and the Vendors are listed here. Without the generous support of our Sponsors, and the dedicated attention of the Exhibitors, our event would have been nowhere near the success we all enjoyed. We are especially indebted to Irvine Ranch Water District, for once again generously hosting our event at Rattlesnake Reservoir.

Photos of all the days events,
and a listing of all the Sponsors and Vendors,
are available on the OCWA website.
Click here for the photos
and click here for Sponsors and Vendors.

There was lot to learn and even more fun to be had at this year’s annual event. We had a record number of participants sign up for this year’s event, with 229 operators, representing 27 water agencies from Orange and Los Angeles counties sign-up for the event, and the training sessions were well-attended. Each participant earned 1 contact hour for each training session attended.

In the first hour, Stephen Bradbury of Advanced Valve Technologies, led the group through a wide-ranging discussion of Why Insertion Valve Technology is the Future of Installing Distribution System Control Points.

This presentation was followed by a thorough overview of Why Mix? The Key Benefits and Technology behind Reservoir Mixing: How Active Mixing and Disinfectant Boosting Can Improve Water Quality in Your Distribution System. Led by Clint Freeman, with D&H Water Systems, attendees were given a comprehensive overview of the technology.

At the conclusion of the Continuing Education classes, it was time for the day’s competitions.

With the pandemic receding, the Pipe Tapping Contest was back to full participation. Five teams were prepped and ready to go. And two scored high enough to earn a place on the OpExpo’s list of all-time Championship Rankings.

The winning team, the Huntington Beach Tappers, came in First Place with remarkable time of 1:23.8. Close behind them, in Second Place with a time of 1:36.7, was the Santa Ana West Coast Tappers.

Both of these teams scored well enough for inclusion on the all-time Championship Rankings for OCWA’s annual Pipe Tapping Contest. The Huntington Beach Tappers moved into Second Place on the all-time list, while the Santa Ana West Coast Tappers took over Sixth Place on the all-time list.

Other teams that competed included the L.A. Tappers, the Anaheim Tappers, and the Irvine Tappers.

It was a very spirited games this year, with all teams happy to be back in competition.

Special thanks to Boyd Schultz with Laguna Beach County Water District who organized and ran the Pipe Tapping Contest. Set up for the event was done the day before by crews from both IRWD and LBCWD. Afterwards, teams from the City of Santa Ana, City of Anaheim, and Irvine Ranch Water District assisted with dismantling and the final cleanup of the event.

In the morning’s other event, 16 teams signed up for what turned into a spirited Horseshoe Competi­tion. Ably organized and run by Fred Ojeda from Yorba Linda Water District, the event was a real crowd pleaser, with many close matches. First Place was taken by a team from Irvine Ranch Water District, while Second Place went to a team from El Toro Water District.

The women’s team competition was smaller — only two teams — but no less exciting. First Place went to a team from Leighton Engineering, while Second Place was captured by a team from Huntington Beach Water.

The morning’s educational sessions and competi­tions were capped off with a delicious lunch catered by Blake’s Place of Anaheim, followed by an opportunity drawing with a great range of prizes donated by the sponsors and vendors, every­thing from tools to gift cards.

All agreed it was a great day of education and compe­ti­tion, and every­one left look­ing forward to 2023’s event. Should you have suggestions for improving next year’s event, contact anyone on the OCWA Board. And make plans now to attend next year’s event!

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