Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016 - (Page 37)

a DaY IN tHe lIFe OF a CIrCuIt rIDer Heath Cokeley, Circuit rider, w Oregon association of water utilities What does your typical day as a Circuit Rider entail? The days almost always start out the same: Up early with a cup of coffee and checking e-mail, whether I am at home or on the road. The only thing that changes this routine and my weekly plan of system visits and technical assistance for me is an emergency call out or a system request. After that, the days vary drastically, which is one of the things I have always enjoyed about the job. One day, you may be turning wrenches in a ditch next to an operator as you teach him how to make an install or repair, the next day may be doing some in-classroom training, and the following day may be helping a system in the office and attending the system's council meeting that night. Numerous email and telephone responses and providing help in these ways are a constant everyday occurrence. with providing technical assistance, when I work with these experienced systems operations specialists, I learn more than I teach. This allows me to pass more information on to the next systems operations specialist down the road. What's the most challenging job you've ever undertaken as a Circuit Rider? This is a difficult question for me to answer, as many of the jobs I have undertaken as a Circuit Rider are challenging for different reasons. For instance, a colleague of mine in Oregon, Scott Berry, and I had the opportunity to assist a water utility with rebuilding their treatment plant on Thanksgiving week after a tree had, effectively, destroyed the plant. While this was challenging in some ways, we knew what needed to be done to get the system back up and running and we had the resources to do it. What is more challenging to me is when I know what needs to be done, but the difficultly is in obtaining the resources to do it. This situation often takes years to resolve through board and council training, rate adjustments, plans, etc., but it is a very What's your favorite thing about being a Circuit Rider? Hands down, it is working with the water and wastewater systems operations specialists. I continue to be amazed by the caliber of people this industry attracts. In my experience, the individuals who get into this line of work just for a paycheck don't make it very long. They realize they can find a much easier job for more money and that doesn't require you to be on call 24/7. I like working with the systems operations specialists who have been doing this for 30 or 40 years, have worked through the new rules and regulations as they come, and truly made their community a safer and better place to live. I find that, although I am charged rural water 37

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016

From the President
Careers in Rural Water
Water University
Credential from Water U Helps Land the Job
Lessons in Water
Finance: Tracking Down Non-Revenue Water
Technology: GIS and the 5 Ws
Emergency Management: Drought to Flood: Oklahoma
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Four Key Benefits to Incorporating Cellular Technology into Your Utility Management System
The WaterPro Online Community
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016