Page 21

RUMBLES - September 2015

feature Flow Ebb If the challenge involves water, we’re up for it. We offer you a world of expertise, with value for today and foresight for tomorrow, for all of your unique water challenges. We’re building a world of difference. Together. Learn more at bv.com/watersupply RUMBLES SEPTEMBER 2015 | 21 Just like that? We had lengthy discussions among our-selves, but I held the course. Not only did our energy bill drop by one half and my boss was happy again, but our Nor-cadia issues also dramatically improved. Over time, we optimized the operation to where the blowers were off for eight hours every day while meeting permit. I never wanted to tell my boss afterwards that, in the beginning, we were just mad at him and ready to throw him under the bus. This operation is progressive, even for today’s standards. Yes, but here is when it got scary. Back then, CDPHE Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment came by to collect compliance samples from the outfall every quarter. When the inspector walked the plant to make sure everything was in order, he looked very concerned with the aeration basins: “Are the blowers down?” “No,” I responded, “we shut them off.” A week later Ron Schuyler from CDPHE called, and back then, when Ron called you better be looking for a new job. He was very dedicated. He came out and looked through all our data. Finally he said: “For a hillbilly, Robert, you are quite a smart guy.” The national award you won for this work must also have been encouraging. We were invited to New Orleans in 1992 to receive the award in advanced treat-ment, even though this was just a ditch plant. At that point in my life I thought that this work is fun! I moved on to the Broomfield facility and implemented the first Kaldness IFAS media system in the country. As part of this, I got to travel to Norway and had dinner with the Queen of Sweden! How did you move from operations into working as a contractor? The Alexander Dawson School saw an article about me in the Daily Camera and came over to ask if I could help them out with a treatment issue. I helped them out, and this became my first contract. I continued to work for Broomfield Public Works until 2002, but then decided to do what I like best and started working full-time for myself. Today, I have 31 operators employed to operate and administer about 80 facili-ties in Colorado wastewater and drink-ing water facilities. Have you remained as courageous and adventurous in your problem solving as in your early days? You have to be creative because utili-ties are underfunded. What we forget is that under the Clean Water Act passed in 1972, the initial construction grants ended around 1990. These grants were seed money, set up for utilities to help Consulting • Engineering • Construction • Operation I www.bv.com Rumbles Water Ad_QrtPg_Crn.indd 1 10/29/2014 11:17:45 AM A L B U Q U E R Q U E • D E N V E R


RUMBLES - September 2015
To see the actual publication please follow the link above