Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 45
A Day in the
Life of a
Sherrie Turner, Water Circuit Rider,
Delaware Rural Water Association
What was your first job:
I started my work career at an early age,
as do most rural folks, putting together the
Sunday papers at my dad's little grocery
store. It not only put a little cash in my
pocket, but it also got me out of Sunday
School! My first water related job was with
the state in the laboratory and helping my
brother-in-law with his mobile home park.
What does your typical day
as a Circuit Rider entail?
If I don't already have something on the
schedule, it usually starts by checking my
email and phone messages, and then I head
out. If I have no requests for assistance
that day, I will drop in on systems to see
how things are going, drop off training
brochures, or make sure they are up-to-date
on all primacy requirements.
What's your favorite thing
about being a Circuit Rider?
By far, my favorite thing is the water
system operations specialists I work with!
They are some of the hardest working, least
acknowledged people I know. And, they
have a dedication that is admirable. Working
alongside them in the field is a privilege
they extend to me. And, I learn as much
from them as they do me.
What's the most
challenging job you've
ever undertaken as a
The one that sticks out most in my
mind happened just after I started as a
Circuit Rider. We had a major Nor'easter,
as they call it here, and it flooded the beach
resorts. Wellheads were submerged and
it was a real mess. I spent about a week
assisting the system operations specialists
with locating and testing wells to make
sure they had a safe, potable water supply.
How do you think rural
water systems could
operate more effectively?
By working together. Listen to your
people - they were hired for a reason. Get
as much training as possible to keep up-todate with new technology. Network - your
neighbors are probably having some of the
same problems as you.
What's the best advice
you could give to rural
Reach out to your rural water
association! They are your best resource
for training and technical assistance. And,
they can help you get much-needed loans
and grants to keep up with the neverending rules and regulations you must
What advice would you
give to a young person
who wants to embark on a
Get an education, even if you start out
small. Our local community college offers
a great two-year program. There are many
opportunities in the water field. I was still
in college when I stated with DRWA (26
years ago). I finished my degree and have
never stopped learning. ●