Local agencies celebrate California Water Professional Appreciation Week
Truckee Donner Public Utility District is celebrating California Water Professional Appreciation Week.
“Water is considered a health and safety issue,” said Brian Wright, water superintendent of the Truckee Donner Public Utility District. “With that in mind our operators must be licensed and demonstrate they understand how they can have an impact on health and safety.”
Truckee Donner PUD serves about 12,500 water customers and employees 15 certified and licensed water operators.
“We’re a well-licensed and certified staff,” said Wright.
Water professionals require various certifications depending on their job including Water Distribution Operator, Water Treatment and Cross Connection Control and Survey manager certifications. All certifications require extensive education and training to carry out their job responsibilities, Wright said.
“Under our permit from the state, our operators must maintain those licenses. We spend a lot of time and effort in training and education to keep them updated,” said Wright.
Within each certification are several levels, each requiring a higher level of training and responsibility than the last. In the last 10 years, Wright said there has not been an incident that has caused any of their operators to lose time on the job because of an injury.
“We attribute that to the fact that our crews our trained and motivated to do their job in an efficient but safe manor,” he said.
Whenever jobs become available they focus on hiring local workers first, according to Steven Poncelet of the Truckee Donner PUD
“We try to make this a great place to work and we seek people who are interested in water resources and want to make a difference,” said Poncelet.
Other agencies responsible for managing the local urban water cycle include the Truckee Sanitary District, Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency, and Northstar Community Services District.
“We all have a really important role to play in resource stewardship and public health and safety,” said Poncelet.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.