Streamline - Spring 2013 - (Page 23)

Proactive vs. Reactive BY FRANK NADEAU, WASTEWATER TECHNICIAN I Proper maintenance of our systems requires both corrective (reactive) and preventive (proactive) actions. ARE YOU PROACTIVE or reactive? Do you plan and follow through your days or wait until some event makes up your day’s tasks for you? Proactive thinking and acting indicates a “take-charge” mentality while reactive indicates a “roll with the punches” attitude. Many people are drowned every year on the beaches as a result of rip-tides. These occur when a sandbar opens up, waves pass over the bar and the water rushes back out through the cut. A reactive person tries to swim against the current and is pushed further away from the beach. A proactive person, seeing the futility of this, swims across the rip and then is able to swim in the calmer water alongside the rip. If we are reactive, is this the way we’ll always be? I don’t think it has to be. However, making the change can be a long, hard task, similar in ways to breaking a habit like biting our fingernails or smoking. Anyone who has successfully accomplished either of these can attest to that. Becoming proactive means taking charge of our lives, not letting situations and others take charge. How does all of the previous relate to water and wastewater operations? Proper maintenance of our systems requires both Corrective (Reactive) and Preventive (Proactive) actions. When something fails, it has to be fixed. We can’t wait until Monday morning to fix a large leak that is draining the storage tank in a couple of hours. We have to react to that situation and get it fixed. But what if there had been a small leak there for some time and we just didn’t think we needed to bother with that little problem. Proactive thinking and acting would have tried to prevent a larger situation from occurring. Many times we know a problem is developing but we don’t take action or are caught up in our routines so we put off doing what is necessary to prevent it from becoming a catastrophe. Proactive thinking and acting is a learned skill and the only difference in being proactive from being reactive is reacting before it becomes that catastrophe. Reacting when we see the small leak is being proactive. Have you ever observed a small leak get smaller or does it always grow until it’s leaking more than you’re pumping? Proactive thinking is the first step in Asset Management. Starting to plan how we are going to keep our system up and running in these days of financial crisis will allow us to build budgets which ensure sufficient funding, make small rate increases to increase revenue, develop methods of maintenance that reduce costs, reduce labor and build surpluses. This is the only way we are going to be able to continue providing the services with which our municipalities and service authorities are charged. The methods of former years – in which councilmen and directors campaigned to not raise rates, considering pipe in the ground as “out of sight and out of mind,” and using the “work it until it dies” maintenance method – will not continue to be effective. We must learn how to be proactive, to plan our maintenance and replacement policies so that when breakdowns or upgrades happen, there are funds to pay the bills. PITTSBURG TANK & TOWER MAINTENANCE CO., INC. SAVE! We have a crew in YOUR AREA! Inspections Repair New & Used Wet In Service Cleaning Relocation Dry Paint Erectors ROV Insulation Dismantles (Robotic) API Mixing System Tanks Elevated Underground Ground Storage ROV inspections can be viewed on TV console during inspection & DVD provided. All inspections include bound reports, recommendations and cost estimates. Hugh McGee 270-826-9000 Ext. 330 527740_Pittsburg.indd 1 w w w . v r w a4/15/11 .org 23 9:40:35 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2013

From the President
From the Executive Director
What If?
Stormwater Management
Soapbox Farewell
Water and Wastewater Certifi cation Exam Test Taking Tips
Past 25 Years of VRWA
Proactive vs. Reactive
Asset Management and Drought Management
Is the Tank Contaminating the Water?
Committed to the Future of Rural Communities
Standard Operating Procedure For Leak Detection Using the Pressure Hold Method
The Virginia RATES Program is at Your Service
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
Employee Introductions
VRWA 25th Annual Exposition Agenda
Wastewater Math
eLearning Benefits
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
Membership Application
Throwing My Loop
VRWA Mailbag
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board Of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index To Advertisers/

Streamline - Spring 2013