Helping set the standards: WithersRavenel’s Keith Carpenter leads NASSCO training sessions

Helping set the standards: WithersRavenel’s Keith Carpenter leads NASSCO training sessions

For Keith Carpenter, PE, being a water and wastewater engineer is more than just a job at WithersRavenel. It’s also an opportunity to give back to the industry through contributing to quality standards and sharing his expertise by training professionals.

The National Association of Sewer Service Companies, better known as NASSCO, are the standard for pipeline defect identification and assessment, providing standardization and consistency to the methods with which pipeline conditions are identified, evaluated, and managed. These standards are vital to a universal understanding of how to perform pipeline, manhole and lateral condition assessments.

Keith has more than 15 years of experience as a NASSCO-certified engineer and operator, even contributing his expertise to the NASSCO PACP 7 training manual. But he takes his interest in the standards even further than that by leading NASSCO training sessions and sharing his knowledge to help municipal employees and other water & sewer professionals become NASSCO-certified.

“It’s an opportunity to be a part of something to contribute to our profession,” he said. “NASSCO is always looking for input from its members.”

Benefits of NASSCO training

Keith’s NASSCO training focuses on the Pipeline Assessment Certificate Program (PACP) including NASSCO’s Manhole Assessment Certification Program (MACP) and Lateral Assessment Certification Program (LACP), which are also taught as extensions to most PACP classes. Professionals completing this program understand the standardized and consistent method of inspecting pipelines, identifying and recording defects, and providing the best rehabilitation/repair/replacement methods to clients.

NASSCO training and certification holds great value in many ways, Keith said. The training certainly benefits communities as trained professionals can better assess pipelines for infrastructure, whether it is sanitary sewer or storm sewer.

“We need to protect our infrastructure,” Keith said. “These are our assets, and the harder we look at our assets on the front end, the less money we will be spending overall. These assessments can help to increase the lifespan of our utilities.”

Keith said the training not only gives professionals tools to use to extend the lifespan of their wastewater systems, it also makes engineers better designers on the front end, contributing to systems that hopefully require less maintenance down the road.

Advocates for industry

NASSCO is about even more than training, Keith said. The organization also advocates for wastewater professionals and their interests through state and federal governments. Related to that, as municipalities better understand and adhere to NASSCO standards, they are less likely to run afoul of the federal government, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its regulations.

And while much of the training recently has been virtual due to COVID, Keith is resuming in-person NASSCO training. He believes these sessions have great benefits, particularly to be able to see and hold the pipe and lining samples he brings as visual aids.

Keith has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee. His more than 15 years of professional experience includes work with municipalities in Virginia and Tennessee prior to joining WithersRavenel.

In his free time, which Keith admits there is not much of, he enjoys photography and hiking. He has been married 12 years and has three young children, ages 9, 5, and 3.

Would you like to join Keith for future NASSCO training, or is your municipality interested in a group session? You can reach out to Keith at (828) 255-0313 or kcarpenter@withersravenel.com.