Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2016 - 40
A Day in the
Life of a
Tony Wyatt, Circuit Rider/Field Supervisor,
Tennessee Association of Utility Districts
What does your typical day
as a Circuit Rider entail?
Things have a changed a lot since I
started as a circuit rider over 25 years ago.
Back then, you loaded what you might
need into the car and headed out. At the
end of the day I would call the office to see
if any utilities had called for me and then
return their calls.
These days, I start out checking my
email and seeing if any texts or voicemails
are on my phone. I answer emails and
return texts and calls before heading to
my first utility. Typically, I will visit one to
three utilities during the day depending on
the time required at each. Each day and
each visit will likely be different. I might
spend the day assisting a new operations
specialist, become familiar with his
duties, explaining how his treatment plant
should be operated or familiarizing him
with regulations or sampling procedures.
Other days, I may visit a few utilities
helping teach personnel how to maintain
equipment, write various plans and reports
or solve problems at the plant or in the
distribution system. The day usually ends
with checking email and taking care of
paperwork such as expenses, articles, etc.
Of course, no matter how well you have
planned your day, it can change with a call
or text from an operations specialist with a
problem that needs immediate attention.
What's your favorite thing
about being a Circuit Rider?
The best part is the people I get to
work with daily. First I have a great group
of coworkers at Tennessee Association of
Utility Districts (TAUD). Each one is very
knowledgeable in their area of expertise
and all truly care about our utilities. Our
field staff are regularly in contact with each
other, exchanging information or ideas.
The utility personnel I work with also
make my job enjoyable. Over the years I
have developed many special friendships
among the operations specialists, office
staff, mayors and board members. I have
found that most of these folks genuinely
care about the communities they serve
and want to do the best job they can in
providing a safe, affordable water supply.
At the end of the day if I feel that I have, in
some way, helped them better serve their
customers, it's been a good day.
What's the most
challenging job you've
ever undertaken as a
This is a difficult question since there
have been many challenging jobs over
the years. I once received a call from
an operations specialist in distress on a
THIRD QUARTER 2016