Lighting Up the Screen

It’s good to see a little more attention on the importance of your work

Lighting Up the Screen

Some of you, no doubt, had dreams of being famous when you were kids. I don’t think many of you told your kindergarten teachers you wanted to be water and wastewater system operators when you grew up. Yet you all found your way to this industry and your communities are better for it.

I was pleasantly surprised when I was flipping through the channels the other night and came across a show I’d somehow never heard of: Sewer Divers. I didn’t even catch the full episode, but I was immediately happy that this is on TV and the general public is being exposed to the work you do to keep your communities clean, safe and healthy. 

For me, it was kind of like watching an issue of Municipal Sewer & Water. I was familiar with all the equipment, the problems they were facing and their methods for resolving them. I am most certainly not the average viewer in this case, however, and I was struck by how positive it is for people to be getting an inside look at your work. You read about your peers in this magazine, but MSW stays within the industry. 

It’s not hard to imagine a kid watching a diver make his way up a massive submerged outfall pipe to remove a blockage and think that’s something they’d like to do when they get older. Or sucking up rocks and sludge with massive machines operated by remote control. Or just working hard, having fun and enjoying their jobs. At a more base level, just the opportunity to see this type of work, to see the challenges you face and the dedication to your work, has the potential to instill a greater understanding among the general public of what’s really involved in bringing water to their homes and carrying wastewater away.

Kids are fascinated by construction work. A walk through any toy store will make clear the infatuation with trucks and equipment. I had Tonka trucks long before I’d ever even considered where my water came from. Or what happened when I flushed the toilet. 

The crew members featured on this show might at best gain a bit of recognition, but all together, they are helping put a spotlight on the industry. When the systems you work on are largely underground, the work you do mostly unseen, even a bit of light to illuminate its significance can make a real difference. 

We highlight the best of what you do in this magazine and hold it up for the rest of the industry to see and learn from. I appreciate being a part of that, and I’m excited that some of these stories are being shared outside the industry. 

I’ve been a fan of the work you do for a long time, and I hope this show earns you a few more well deserved fans.

Enjoy this month’s issue.


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