District operator competes at national tourney

In June, one of our newest water treatment plant operators, Kris Cooley, competed in the American Water Works Association’s national “Top Ops” competition in Las Vegas. Top Ops is the “college bowl” of the water industry. Teams of one, two, or three water operators or lab personnel from all AWWA sections compete against each other in a fast-paced question-and-answer tournament. A moderator poses a broad range of technical questions and math problems, and the team scoring the most points in the championship round is awarded the Top Ops Championship.

Kris was part of a team he formed with colleagues from Alameda County Water District. Kris’s team, the Smooth Operators, beat out 11 other teams in the California/Nevada section competition in March, qualifying them for the national competition.

Kris was hired as a temporary employee at Santa Clara Valley Water District in September 2017. A few months later, he was hired full time. Congratulations, Kris, on a remarkable result on your first foray into Top Ops!

The Smooth Operators team in an intense competition in Las Vegas.


The Smooth Operators are (L to R) Kris Cooley of Santa Clara Valley Water District and John Herrick and Luis Cuellar, both of Alameda County Water District.




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