Team Dedication Earns Michigan Water Supervisor Public Utility Award

Team Dedication Earns Michigan Water Supervisor Public Utility Award
Bari Wrubel, supervisor of the Marysville, Mich., water and wastewater treatment plants, has been named Public Utility Management Professional of the Year by the Michigan Water Environment Association (MWEA).

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Bari Wrubel, supervisor of the Marysville, Mich., water and wastewater treatment plants, has been named Public Utility Management Professional of the Year by the Michigan Water Environment Association (MWEA). The award will be presented to Wrubel on June 25 at its annual conference in Boyne City. 

Wrubel, who also serves as chairperson of the Huron-to-Erie Drinking Water Monitoring System for plants drawing drinking water from the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, Detroit River and Lake Erie, was surprised and honored to learn of the recognition. 

“It’s great to know that all the work we’re doing here to ensure continued high water quality has been recognized,” Wrubel says. “We just completed a $20 million renovation of our wastewater treatment plant to rectify overflow problems. And because we planned well, 40 percent of the cost was covered by the Federal Stimulus Package, and the city funded the rest through a low-interest rate loan from Michigan SRF funds.” 

According to Wrubel, the Marysville City Council also just approved a $5 million renovation at the drinking water plant. Neither project will impact rates paid by residents due to the department’s accurate forecasting of future operating needs when a rate increase was last enacted several years ago. 

In addition to the plant improvement projects, Wrubel believes the award also had a lot to do with what his department is doing with the regional water-quality monitoring program. 

“Our team has taken us off the shared network service that collected information on water temperature changes, conductivity, turbidity, chemicals and other contaminants, sending data every 15 minutes, around-the-clock, to a Web-based alert system,” Wrubel says. “The team installed and maintains the software in our plant so water quality is assessed once a minute now, and there’s only a 30-second delay in our ability to take action if any intake issues arise.” 

The improvement in assessment time is also combined with a $1,000 savings the plant sees from an annual monitoring fee they were paying to an outside service provider. 

“I’m really proud of the work ethic of our entire team who always takes everything we do to the next level,” Wrubel says. “This award, without a doubt, wouldn’t be possible without their good work, too.”



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