Northern Idaho Operators Section of PNCWA Hosts Annual Operators Conference

The Northern Idaho Section (NIOS) of PNCWA is gearing up to host the annual Idaho Operators Conference. Operators from all over the state—from Twin Falls up to Bonner’s Ferry (and even some from Eastern Washington)—will be arriving in Moscow, Idaho, on May 21st for three days of classes and activities. 

“We really try to get a diverse class schedule  to make sure everybody’s got something they’re going to be interested in,” says Mike Taylor, who is NIOS vice president and works for the City of Coeur d’Alene Wastewater Department. The classes offered at this year’s conference are especially varied in content material. Instrumentation, drinking water, irrigation, water reuse, biosolids and energy-efficient dewatering machines are just some of the topics that operators can attend classes on. You can view an entire roster of the conference here

One class of particular interest to Idaho and Northern Idaho operators is NPDES permits. “A lot of people are dealing with tightening of our NPDES permits—some nutrient removal limits are getting smaller and smaller,” says Taylor. “At the conference, attendees can get a rundown on what limits are permitted in Idaho and how their permit works at their plant.”

Attendees who take a full-track schedule will earn 1.2 CEUs, which in Idaho will cover your annual requirements for the next two years.

But there’s more than just classes. Attendees will also get to take part in a golf scramble, a jet boat ride and an awards banquet. “We try to keep everybody entertained around the clock and give them some fun things to do,” says Taylor. Plus, all events are included in your registration ticket. Keeping costs low and accessible is a priority for organizers.

Taylor also hopes to grow interest and membership in regional PNCWA groups. Since many Idaho operators are PNCWA members already, Taylor hopes that regional groups can grow ranks as well, as NIOS fosters networking opportunities, industry specific technical training and career advancement for operators.

“There’s perks and benefits to being involved in our section: Not just the conference, but we also  put on free training year-round. This way, if a municipality or small system isn’t able to send an operator to our conference, they can still send them to our free training year-round without having to pay a dime other than letting an employee leave for the day to come down to our classes.” NIOS typically puts on one training per quarter; if you attend all four you’ll have your .6 CEUs for the year.  

"We like to think of our section as an asset for operators. With member input, we can put on training events that directly apply to what the operators in our section want to learn," says Taylor. "The best way to take full advantage of this asset is to try become involved with the section and have your voice heard." To learn more about the Norther Idaho Operator Section of PNCWA, visit their website at

The conference is taking registration right up to the start date, so there's still time to attend. Learn more here. 

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