Operations Challenge Team


In July 2021, the Water Recyclers competed in the NYWEA Ops Challenge Competition and performed so well that the they qualified for the national competition at WEFTEC! Continue below to read about their NYWEA performance. Click here to read about Nationals!


Click here to watch a video (hosted by YouTube) of the team competing, created by team captain Lucas Kasperowicz. 


Please scroll down below the photo for a summary and photos of the July 2021 NYWEA Ops Challenge Competition.


Introducing the 2021 GVC NYWEA Operations Challenge Team, the Water Recyclers! Team members include: Will Monier, Angelo DiNottia, Tony Filer, Lucas Kasperowicz, and Raphael Santiago (left to right in team photo below). 




On July 13, 2021, the team competed with other teams from across New York State in NYWEA Operations Challenge 2021! Team captain Lucas Kasperowicz wrote the following summary and provided the pictures below. We thank you all for participating and making our chapter proud!


We hadn’t even made it out of the greater Rochester area when the tire of the county vehicle started smoking. We pulled over at the first rest stop we encountered on the thruway and waited over an hour for a replacement vehicle to make its way to us. Needless to say, we were all a little wary of what else our Ops Challenge trip might have in store for us. 


Back en route, the rest of the drive to New Rochelle was relatively eventless; we checked into our hotel a couple hours past our original ETA, and went out to grab dinner. Feeling adventurous, I ordered an outlandish sounding IPA I’d never heard of: Ninja vs. Unicorn. When the can arrived, I saw that it was a beer by Pipeworks Brewing, out of Chicago, IL. With a name like Pipeworks and given that Chicago was hosting the WEFTEC conference this year (making it to which was our ultimate goal for the NYWEA conference), I took it as a good omen.


The day of the competition, we came together with our spirits high and did our best. Just like in any year, the competition was fierce. There were some new teams on the block, such as the Watertown Water Bears and Central Chapter Mixed Liquors. We felt we had to prove ourselves a force to be reckoned with, and we did!


A high point of the competition was the collections event, in which we replace a broken section of PVC pipe. We performed better at this event on competition day than we ever had at practice, which does not happen often! We brought home a trophy for coming in 2nd place in the lab event and – drum roll please – 3rd overall, earning our spot at WEFTEC this year!


Being my first year as captain of the team, I am overwhelmed with joy. Leading my team to their first WEF competition is a huge achievement and was my own personal goal. The team was ecstatic over our success this year. I am extremely proud of my team, especially because two of them were new to Ops Challenge this year. This will be my 2nd time going to WEF, the first time having been my first year on the team (2017).


The real cherry on the sundae this year was that Ops Challenge took place in-person. Last year’s virtual ops challenge – while fun – did not come close to the real deal. Nothing compares to seeing the coordinators and members of the other teams, many of whom have grown to become my friends. It may be a competition, but we all support one another no matter what.


Ops Challenge has always invigorated me to further my career in wastewater. It is a great tool for networking and seeing that there is a lot more to this industry than the day-to-day goings-on of a wastewater treatment plant. On behalf of the entire team, I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to our chapter, our sponsors, and Monroe County. The rewarding experiences we have had would not exist if it weren’t for the help and support from everyone involved. Thank you.



Your 2021 GVC Water Recyclers Captain, Lucas Kasperowicz


Keep scrolling for photos of the competition!


2021 Genesee Valley Chapter - Operations Challenge Team Sponsors... THANK YOU for your support!!







 Image result for waste management logo                                         



2021 NYWEA Ops Challenge Team and Competition Photos