Operators of small wastewater treatment plants frequently live in remote areas where operator training is not readily available. A training program has been prepared using the techniques of self-instruction, wherein an operator reads a short section of the training material, writes the answers to questions in a notebook, and compares the written answers with suggested answers. The training materials were developed by experienced operators following extensive field studies. First, operators (subject matter experts) for each treatment process prepared an outline of what knowledge and skills (need-to-know criteria) they expected their operators to possess to safely operate and maintain each treatment process in the training manual. Draft chapters were then field tested using operators with varying levels of education and experience to determine the effectiveness of the training materials. Studies conducted on the performance of operators who had participated in the training program and those who had not received the training revealed that trained operators produced a better quality effluent at the same treatment plant over a one-year period. Effective training materials and programs can help operators safely and efficiently operate and maintain small wastewater treatment plants.

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