As part of OCWA’s monthly series highlighting some of our dedicated employees and the important jobs they perform, this month we’re featuring Kevin B. from our Otisco Lake Water Treatment Plant. Each month we’re asking a different employee a series of ten questions about his/her background, what he/she does at OCWA and some of the employee’s most interesting work experiences.
1. What is your current position at OCWA?
I am the Principal Plant Operator at the Otisco Lake Treatment Plant in Marcellus.
2. What other jobs have you held, both OCWA and non-OCWA position?
I have been a Maintenance Mechanic and Water Plant Operator IIA at OCWA. Before that I was a Journeyman plumber and worked for a local mechanical contractor for 8 years.
3. When did you join OCWA, and what brought you here?
I joined OCWA in May 2015 as Water Plant Operator Trainee. Prior to that I worked as a Maintenance Mechanic at the Metropolitan Water Board Lake Ontario Treatment Plant. I switched jobs because at the time I was living in the city of Syracuse and wanted to work closer to home.
4. What does a typical day at work look like for you?
A typical day involves monitoring the treatment plant through a SCADA system along with the other plant operators on duty. I am responsible for ordering and receiving chemicals and coagulants that aid us in the treatment of the water that passes through our plant.
5. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
In all honesty, the most rewarding part of the job is the people I work with. There are 10 employees at the treatment plant who are all devoted and enthusiastic about their jobs. It is because of my co-workers that I feel that I’m successful at my position. I’d like to go further and express my gratitude toward a company who continually invests in their employees. I’m very fortunate to be working at a place that sends me to school and training that advances my knowledge in this field and has ultimately led to myself being promoted in this company. I am proud to work for OCWA.
6. What has been your favorite project at OCWA?
My favorite projects are the upgrades to the treatment plant. I have seen a complete transformation to our Fluoride system and carried out numerous maintenance projects rehabilitating equipment around the plant. This is another example that I see firsthand of OCWA investing back into their own infrastructure.
7. Before working at OCWA, what was the most interesting/unusual job you’ve ever had?
The years I spent as a plumber can be described as both interesting and unusual. I worked in residential, commercial and service work settings. I’ve met all kinds of people, been given challenging tasks and have found myself in some pretty foul environments. I am very glad that I now work in the clean water industry.
8. What three words best describe you?
Confident, Responsible & Dedicated
9. What is your educational background?
Onondaga County Plumbing Apprentice School
New York Rural Water Plant Operator Trainee Program
And a lot of OJT along the way (on-the-job training)
10. Why did you select the career you are in?
I just liked what I was doing and one opportunity flowed into another, and that one flowed into another and here I am treating the drinking water for the people of CNY.