Water Management: Key to Healthy Communities
The need for adequate water/wastewater services holds one of the highest priorities for communities, yet most residents aren’t aware of the constant efforts needed to maintain clean water that is critical in our everyday lives. Ensuring these services are delivered adequately requires a state certified water/wastewater operator. While not all communities have the population or the resources to support a full-time certified water/wastewater operator, there are options for city leaders to consider when deciding how to meet state licensing requirements.
Managing Responsibilities Without Compromising Quality
When the City of Pierson, Iowa—a town with a population under 500—was left without an operator, they hired an interim operator while training in new staff. In such a small town, it is difficult to keep a certified operator position staffed. Jeanette Beekman, Pierson’s City Clerk, became certified so she is now able to manage the responsibilities during the one-year training process for new staff.
“My certification helps ensure that the City doesn’t go into crisis mode if the operator position isn’t filled or they are still in training to become certified,” notes Jeanette.
No City Operator? No Problem
So how do rural communities or those with staff constraints bridge the gap between the need for a water/wastewater operator while managing current budgets? When staffing isn’t available or if training is needed, contracting for affidavit water/wastewater operator services is another way for communities to meet regulations. An affidavit agreement between a certified operator and the city places the certified operator in direct responsibility for the ongoing facility operation even though they may not be on-site daily. Together, this saves staff time and money.
“Affidavit operators also ensure that city staff are aware of, and prepared for, upcoming regulatory changes or potential issues,” notes Tom Grafft, certified water/wastewater operator.
The Right Water/Wastewater Solutions
Affidavit certified water/wastewater operators can help city leaders through the process of determining the best strategy for their community, providing support as needed. While many residents unintentionally give little thought to city wastewater practices, or the availability of safe, clean drinking water, our communities are greatly impacted by the services provided by certified water/wastewater operators that protect human health and prevent significant environmental damage.