Your Work Is Essential

Serving you and helping you operate your water and wastewater systems is a privilege.

I wrote my column for the May issue of Municipal Sewer & Water in early March. That seems impossibly long ago.

I waited until the last minute to write this June column because everything was changing by the day. After several weeks with much of the population sheltering in place, things are starting to open back up, but many restrictions remain in effect. It’s incredible that it’s only been a few months since all this started.

Early on in its pandemic response, the federal government identified you as essential critical infrastructure workers. At COLE Publishing, we’ve always known you’re essential. That’s why we’re here.

We’re working from home now and a few things have changed, but we’re still mostly putting the magazine together as we always have. You will, however, notice some little changes over the next few months. With the shutdowns, some stories and photos have been harder to get. As a result, our utility profiles will rely more on contributed photos. Starting next month, you’ll also notice that we’re sharing some of our top stories from the past 10 years. It’s a good time to review and reflect, and we feel these stories are worth revisiting. They all rank at or near the top in page views at over the past decade.

I feel privileged to share your stories, old and new. Operating water and wastewater systems is a commitment that goes way beyond the standard workday. You’re not just earning a paycheck; you’re taking care of your community, and that’s never been more evident.

Clean water is essential to life, and proper sanitation is one of the greatest factors in public health. Ensuring we have both is a monumental task that rarely gets the respect it deserves. We take it for granted until suddenly there’s a problem. Most often it’s a water main break that leads to a temporary loss of service or a clogged sewer line backing wastewater up into our basements. Maybe the occasional boil-water advisory or a frozen line. But those are all short term. We act inconvenienced, but only because we’re used to such incredible convenience.

A lot of people were taking a lot of things for granted before this pandemic began shutting down our normal lives. And then suddenly hand sanitizer vanished from shelves. Then toilet paper. And then businesses closed. But our water and wastewater systems kept working as they should, because you stayed on the job.

You still won’t get the appreciation you deserve in most cases, but that’s absolutely not the case here. We, the entire staff at COLE Publishing, know your role is just as important as any doctor, police officer or elected official. You are unsung heroes, and we are here to say, “Thank you.”  

Enjoy this month’s issue. 

Comments on this column or about any article in this publication may be directed to editor Luke Laggis, 800-257-7222;


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