Telling your stories starts with hearing them.


Good conversations lead to good content. I enjoy hearing your thoughts and ideas, and I always appreciate any feedback on the magazine — good or bad.

I got a call from Kent Carlson the other day. Carlson was part of the story we did on the Los Angeles Wastewater Collections Division in 2015. We’ve been in touch several times since, and he always provides some good perspective. This time he wanted to talk about the value hiring military veterans can bring to municipal utilities.

Carlson, himself a U.S. Navy veteran, has seven other veterans working in his current department. He said he was looking around the other day and noticing what a significant contribution they make to the department’s success. He also talked about his own school experience, and the dwindling opportunities for technology education available to today’s high school students, which is taking depth from the pool of potential employees who have basic technical training.

Related: Blog: Numbers tell a dismal tale of U.S. water infrastructure

But there is a large pool of military veterans with significant training, and water and wastewater utilities should be doing more to recruit from that talent pool. It was an interesting point, and I think it’ll make a good story in a future issue.

I also heard recently from Greg Ferguson — and on a separate occasion from Tim Aubrey — at the city of Florence (Kentucky) Public Services Department. Florence is one of only two cities in northern Kentucky that still maintains its own water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer systems.

Ferguson’s wastewater crew reads the magazine. He says they enjoy hearing about how their peers are doing their jobs, and they’re doing some progressive things themselves. On the water side, Aubrey explained how their automated metering and leak detection system has improved efficiency and response time. You’ll probably be hearing more about their operations in a future issue as well.

Related: From the Editor: Utilities Are Working Toward the Future

You’ll also have the opportunity to read about a large sliplining project in Louisville, Kentucky. Kelley Dearing-Smith got in touch to let me know about the project, which covers 6.6 miles of a 48-inch transmission main installed in the 1930s. It’s one of the oldest water mains in the system, and it runs through beautiful, established neighborhoods and a popular shopping district along historic Olmstead Parkway, so digging up the entire stretch wasn’t an option. It’s an interesting project, and with thousands of commuters using the parkway daily, Dearing-Smith says communication has been just as important as the engineering process.  

On my end, good conversations lead to good content. I appreciate when you call or email to tell me about your utilities and the projects you’re tackling.

On your end, good conversations can lead to greater efficiency, improved operations and better systems. I enjoy getting you involved in those conversations and bringing you the perspectives of your peers. I hope it helps.

Related: From the Editor: More Than Pipes

Enjoy this month’s issue.


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