As we begin a new year it is always helpful to reflect on where we’ve been, where we’re going, and what steps we can take along the way to get there. Our utility is constantly evaluating and planning how to best provide reliable service to our customers. You can help us, too.
As a new commissioner, I have been so pleased to meet the staff and work with the utility leadership this past year. They amazingly tackled the Covid-19 crisis and, as essential workers, continued seamlessly providing water and sewer service while protecting themselves and the public. Our utility workers don’t often get remembered along with nurses and grocery clerks as essential personnel, but they need to be recognized for their sacrifice and contribution to our lives during this crisis. Please thank a utility worker!
Despite managing a crisis, we have been continuing normal operations. In addition, we are updating our water meters to be read remotely and have upgraded our UV disinfection at our wastewater treatment plants. We are excited about progress on the new administration building, which will provide long overdue needed space for our staff. The water and sewer industry all over the country is experiencing challenges: aging infrastructure, tightening regulations, and an aging workforce. Our treatment plants are over 30 years old, and are in need of expansion to meet both the needs of the population over the next 30 years and anticipated additional discharge regulations. The Board and utility leadership have had the foresight to plan for these future needs that are coming at us sooner than expected.
Every day our staff takes the steps to continue to provide clean water and reliable sewer service. But you can help us, too. Please only put the three P’s down the drain: pee, poop and paper. Please, no fats, oils, grease, garbage, medications, harsh chemicals, paint, solvents, wipes, personal hygiene products, or excess food waste. If you put these down the drain, we have to take it out. Please also keep extra water out of the drains by not piping rainwater into the sewer system.
You can also help by encouraging jobs seekers to consider our industry. We’d love to talk to school groups and colleges and can provide educational materials and tours. Our industry is very STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) and environmentally engaging, and has great benefits and opportunities for advancement.
I am grateful for the privilege of serving as a commissioner this year and for the hard work, dedication and foresight of those in our essential utility. Together, we all can ensure clean water and reliable sewer service well into our future.