Water Utility Training & Assistance During COVID-19

NATIONAL TRIBAL WATER AND WASTEWATER OPERATOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

ANNOUNCEMENT ON NOVEL CORONA VIRUS COVID-19 

POSTPONEMENT OF IN-PERSON TRAINING AND

CONTINUATION OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND OPERATOR CERTIFICATION SERVICES

March 19, 2020  Updated: March 29, 2021

The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) is a tribally-controlled non-profit organization that serves on behalf of Indian Country.  ITCA’s Board of Directors consists of the elected officials that have the sworn duty to protect and serve each of their respective tribal nations.  As a tribal consortium of 21 tribal nations, we work in tandem with tribal communities in Arizona and beyond.  As a tribally-controlled non-profit organization, we put the safety and health of tribal members as our highest priority.

In order to respond to the ever changing COVID-19 situation, the Executive Managers of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. have made the decision to postpone all In-Person program services. The postponement of all In-Person program services has been extended through December 31, 2021. ITCA is acting on behalf of concern for the safety of all community members, attendees, tribal leaders, and our staff as the ongoing concern of COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to emerge with updates daily.  ITCA will continue to monitor the situation and in time, when conditions improve, will begin the rescheduling process for the postponed events.  The following services will continue as much as possible through a staffing succession and continuity plan that  continues to be implemented by the ITCA Tribal Water Systems Department. Please note that during this time period, our staff continue to be working from home.

TECHINCAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES WILL CONTINUE BY VIRTUAL MEANS
The existing network of ITCA consultant subject-matter experts that provides free technical assistance to Tribal water and wastewater utilities throughout the Midwest and Western U.S. remains available through virtual means. ITCA continues to offer free “Virtual-Technical Assistance” services for Tribal water and wastewater utilities. Use your phones, portable devices, and computers to directly connect with ITCA consultant subject-matter experts on technical, managerial, and financial matters of operating and maintaining water utilities. Please see the TWS Technical Assistance webpage for more information or contact Bruce Robinson at bruce.robinson@itcaonline.com.

Click Here: Technical Assistance

TRAINING ALTERNATIVES
ITCA developed highly successful alternative training pathways for Tribal water and wastewater utilities. During 2021, ITCA will continue to offer web-based, live online training options in lieu of in-person trainings. Please see the TWS 2021 Training Calendar webpage for more information.

Click Here: 2021 Training Calendar

OPERATOR CERTIFICATION SERVICES
ITCA maintains continued operator certification services and water utility workforce development services through virtual interaction. Please see the TWS Certification website for more information, application forms, and instructions.

Click Here: Certification

  • Renewal of Expiring Tribal Operator Certification – ITCA continues to accept and process applications for the renewal of expiring operator certifications.  ITCA has always assisted Tribal operators who timely submit renewal applications prior to certification expiration and has worked with such operators to extend expiration deadlines in concert with an approved continuing education plan.  In response to the COVID-19 situation, ITCA allowed for an automatic 10-months extension to certifications that were originally set to expire during the 2020 calendar year. On a case-by-case basis, ITCA will allow for extensions to certification that are originally set to expire during the 2021 calendar year (and had not received an extension in 2020) For more information, please contact Michelle Ragsdale at michelle.ragsdale@itcaonline.com.
  • Computer-Based Testing – For several years, ITCA has offered year-round Computer-Based Testing for Tribal operator certification through a third-party arrangement with PSI, which maintains a network of over 300 testing centers nationwide.  ITCA will continue to accept and process registrations and applications for Tribal operator certification through Computer-Based Testing.  However, please understand that specific computer-based testing center locations may have exam appointment scheduling limitations in response to Covid-19 conditions. For more information, please contact Harrenson Gorman at harrenson.gorman@itcaonline.com.
  • Reciprocity – ITCA will continue to accept and process applications for reciprocity of water and wastewater operator certifications. For more information please contact Brian Bennon at brian.bennon@itcaonline.com.

 

In case of water related emergency, contact your primacy agency and follow local emergency response procedures.  If you need further assistance, contact ITCA.

How to Contact the ITCA Tribal Water Department during the COVID-19 situation.

Brian Bennon, ITCA Tribal Water Department Director, brian.bennon@itcaonline.com, direct office line (602) 307-1537

Bruce Robinson, ITCA Technical Assistance Project Manager, bruce.robinson@itcaonline.com

Lionel Puhuyesva, ITCA Utilities Development  Program Manager, lionel.puhuyesva@itcaonline.com, cell phone: (602) 316-2961

Marguerite Sheehan, Certification Specialist II, marguerite.sheehan@itcaonline.com

Michelle Ragsdale, Certification Specialist II, michelle.ragsdale@itcaonline.com

Harrenson Gorman, Certification Specialist, harrenson.gorman@itcaonline.com

Craig Lewis, Certification Specialist, craig.lewis@itcaonline.com

Amara Kamara, Certification Specialist, amara.kamara@itcaonline.com

John Miller, Certification Specialist, john.miller@itcaonline.com

Matthew Pickert, Certification Specialist, matthew.pickert@itcaonline.com

 

ITCA automated phone directory, (602) 258-4822

Tribal Water Systems Department email address: TWSInfo@itcaonline.com

Nominations Request for Tribal Operator of the Year

Attention Tribal Water and Wastewater Professionals:

Have you noticed a water/wastewater operator working in Indian Country…

• Going above and beyond their assigned job duties?
• Lending support to a co-worker or staff member?
• Providing assistance to another utility?
• Volunteering in the community?
• Going the extra mile in any form?

Here is your chance to acknowledge and celebrate their efforts and hard work. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) is requesting nominations for the 2020 Tribal Water/Wastewater Operator of the Year Award.

Anyone is welcome to submit a nomination to show appreciation for the quality and integrity of the work done by an operator of a Tribal water or wastewater system that is located within the ITCA National Tribal Water & Wastewater Operator Certification Program service area, which includes USEPA Regions 5 through 10. Nominations should be submitted by those who have personally witnessed the great work of the operator being nominated.

The Virtual Awards Ceremony will be on June 10, 2021 during the Tribal Operator Workgroup Meeting

Nomination Deadline: MAY 7, 2021

How to Nominate an Operator
Complete the attached Nomination Form and return it to ITCA either by:
o Email: harrenson.gorman@itcaonline.com
o Fax: (602) 258-4825, or
o Mail: Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
TRIBAL WATER DEPARTMENT
Attention: Harrenson Gorman
2214 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Click Here: 2020 Operator of the Year Nomination Packet

Click Here: USEPA Regional Map

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2021 Training Calendar

2021 Training Course Catalog for Tribal Water and Wastewater Operator Certification

The ITCA National Tribal Water & Wastewater Operator Certification Program is pleased to provide this updated listing of free operator training and certification events. Please note: due to public health and safety concerns, ITCA Tribal operator certification training events are currently provided in a high-quality, student-focused online learning format. A detailed listing of all online training courses in 2021 will be provided in this downloadable Online Course Catalog (Coming Soon).

Each course consists of sequential lessons that are provided in a series of live online class meeting sessions that are each 2-or 3-hours in duration. Some courses are offered more than once to provide operators with options. Instructors may vary from one course offering to another.

The terms “lesson”, “class”, and “course” are defined in the ITCA Standards for Contact Hour Credit from Virtual Training Events document.

Click here: ITCA Standards for Online Training Contact Hours.

 

Table of Events
The table below provides a summarized listing of all ITCA Program training and certification events (past and upcoming) for 2021, through December 2021. When a course opens for registration, you can Click on the individual course listing in the table for details and registration instructions. Events that have already occurred are shown in gray and the links are no longer active.

 

Course ID# Operator Training/Certification Event Start & End Date Days of Week A.M./P.M.
——— 2021 Computer Based Testing  2021 year-around  ——— ———
#20031 National Tribal Operator Workgroup Meeting June 10, 2021 Th A.M.
#21019 National Tribal Operator Workgroup Week September 27-October 1,2021 M,T,W,Th,F A.M./P.M.
#21006 Math for Drinking Water Operators May 11-June 3, 2021 T, Th A.M.
#21002 General Module & Very Small Water System  April 26-May26, 2021  M,W,F A.M.
#21009 General Module & Very Small Water System  June 16-July 19, 2021  M, W, F P.M.
#21011 Water Distribution – Level 1 July 19-August 23, 2021  M,W, F P.M.
#21026 Water Distribution – Level 1 October 4-November 10, 2021  M,W,F A.M.
#21010 Water Distribution – Level 2
Region 7 *
June 16-July 23, 2021  M,W, F A.M.
#21018 Water Distribution – Level 3 September 2-October 28, 2021  T, Th A.M.
#21003 Water Treatment – Level 1 May 4-June 29, 2021  T, Th
A.M.
#20025 Water Treatment – Level 1 July 9-August 13, 2021   M,W,F A.M.
#21028 Water Treatment – Level 1 October 5-November 9, 2021  T, W,Th A.M.
#21012 Water Treatment – Level 2 July 26-August 30, 2021  M,W,F A.M.
#20023 Federal SDWA 101 Regulations for Tribal Water Operators June 22-July 15, 2021 T,W,Th P.M
#21017 Federal SDWA 101 Regulations for Tribal Water Operators August 25-September 22, 2021  M,W,F A.M.
#21031 Federal SDWA 101 Regulations for Tribal Water Operators January 19-Febraury 14, 2022  M,W,F A.M.
#21004 Math for Wastewater Operators May 10-28, 2021  M,T,W,Th,F  A.M.
#21029 Math for Wastewater Operators October 18-November 3, 2021  M,W,F A.M.
#21007 Wastewater Lagoons June 2-8, 2021  M,T,W,Th,F  A.M
#21001 Wastewater Collection – Level 1   April 7-3, 2021  M,W,F A.M.
#21008 Wastewater Collection – Level 1 June 15-July 20, 2021  T,Th
A.M.
#20029 Wastewater Collection – Level 1 August 30-September 24, 2021 M,W,F  P.M.
#21027 Wastewater Collection – Level 2 October 4-November 10, 2021 M,T,W
P.M.
#21014 Wastewater Treatment – Level 1 August 2-September 8, 2021 M,W,F A.M.
#21030 Wastewater Treatment – Level 1 November 8-December 15, 2021 M,T,W P.M.
#21016 Wastewater Treatment – Level 2 August 19-September 23, 2021 T,W,Th P.M.
#21015 Federal Regulations for Tribal Wastewater Operators August 3-19, 2021 T, Th A.M.
#21005 Tribal Utility Management  May 10-June 7, 2021  M,W,F P.M.
#21013 Tribal Utility Management July 27-August 31, 2021 T, Th A.M.
 ——— Region 9 Tribal Drinking Water Conference  May 3-7, 2021 M,T,W,Th,F A.M./P.M.

 

*Specified Regional or Area Designations
Most of the online training courses are listed without any specified region or area and are therefore, open without restriction. However, some training courses are listed for certain regions or areas. Such training courses are made possible by funding agencies for the express purpose of serving certain geographic areas. When a course is listed for a specific region or area, two different registration options are available—Priority Registration, and General Admission Waiting List.

    • Priority Registration

If you work on Tribal lands in the region or area specified for that course, please us the “priority registration” option. Priority registration will be monitored and tracked based on the work address provided during registration.

      • General Admission Waiting List

Online training course size is limited to preserve the high quality of student-focused instruction. A general admission waiting list is available for personnel working on Tribal lands that are outside of the region or area specified for the particular course. Selection for the course will be first come, first served based on seats available after the priority registration seats are filled.

Click Here: USEPA Regional Map

IHS Area Map, below

Click Here: IHS Area Map

Technical Assistance to Tribal Communities

The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA) Tribal Water System Program is dedicated to providing technical assistance to tribes in order to develop technical, managerial, and financial capacity (TMF), as well as water & wastewater utility sustainability through education, access to resources, training, and technical assistance. The program partners with federal agencies and other organizations to ensure these services are available to Tribal Water Utility operators and managers.

Want to Learn more? CLICK HERE