The Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) has taken proactive steps to prepare for a potential water and wastewater operator shortage. The agency’s Operator Shortage Action Plan has three elements:
- A Water and Wastewater Operator – Mutual Aid Survey distributed to all certified operators regarding their availability to assist other facilities experience workforce shortages. The survey was distributed widely throughout the state, and on the first day alone, 375 volunteers covering all certification levels responded.
- A current listing of all Certified Operators with contact information, available through the Fleming Training Center section of TDEC’s Dataviewer application.
- A new inventory of certified operators leading to the identification of 13 employees within TDEC.
TDEC has also issued operations guidance during COVID-19, which is posted to the ECOS COVID-19 webpage.