Streamline - Winter 2015 - (Page 17)

Finding Your Way BY DONNA LAWSON, WASTEWATER OPERATION SPECIALIST I WaS vISITINg a friend recently in Bath County along Route 39 West when I heard the doorbell ring. I asked if she was expecting company, knowing that family and friends would have opened the door and walked on in. She said no, so I got up out of my comfortable chair to see who it was. A distraught young woman was standing outside the door. She was lost and looking for directions. After several minutes of calming her down and redirecting her back to where she was going, my friend and I had a good laugh. The poor woman had been following GPS on her phone when she lost signal and ended up outside of Warm Springs headed for West Virginia. I'm no stranger to the love/hate relationship of GPS driving directions. It's been a lifesaver when going through large cities where interchanges are hard to keep up with, but mostly it's been responsible for sending me where I didn't want to go along the worst back roads possible. Once I ended up on the back side of a military base driving through a mine field. Like any tool, the benefit is in how you use it. The key is not to let it think for you. Success in any endeavor involves having a clear vision of where you're going and a plan of how to get there. Of course being lost can have unexpected rewards of finding beautiful scenery, gaining knowledge or finding new friends, but mostly it costs extra time and money. Our industry of providing water and wastewater services is especially dependent upon obtainable goals because of the long term investment of infrastructure, environmental impact and maintaining a licensed workforce. To do all of this successfully takes a lot of hard work, not to mention intelligent planning. Changes are happening in tighter regulations, modernization of treatment systems and a turnover to a younger workforce. More and more emphasis is being put on not only improving the existing infrastructure, but to keeping systems viable long into the future. Rural Development in conjunction with National Rural Water has begun a nationwide campaign for developing long-term sustainability. The water circuit riders and wastewater techs have always been responsible for providing technical support and training where needed in this effort. This new program is designed to help systems help themselves. It's a workshop that can help systems see where they need to improve, clarify priorities and opens lines of communication. And best of all, it's free from Rural Development. If your system would be interested in participating in a Sustainability Workshop, contact us. Workshops can be single system or multiple systems Success in any endeavor involves having a clear vision of where you're going and a plan of how to get there. and should consist of all levels of staff: management, clerical, operators, maintenance and line crew. The workshop provides six hours of CPE credits good for all licenses. In the meantime, keep your GPS handy. 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Winter 2015

From the President: Performance Evaluation
From the Executive Director: Save the Date!
Professional or Job Holder: Which Will You Be?
Emergencies: Do You Have A Plan?
Finding Your Way
Hearing Protection – Keep Your Employees Safe
Economic Opportunity: USDA Rural Development/Virginia
Rate Setting – It’s Easy?
Chronic Leaks
NRWA Recap
Throwing My Loop: Fresh Water
Booster Club
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
2015-2016 Membership Directory
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
VRWA Members Corner
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Winter 2015