Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010 - (Page 13)

Does Size Really Matter? BY DANNY LYNDALL, OPERATIONS MANAGER, DAPHNE UTILITIES, DAPHNE, ALABAMA THE PERS UTILITY PECT I VE Attending H2O-XPO is a Smart Move Whether Your Utility is Large or Small IN THESE TIMES of economic uncertainty, many utilities – large and small – are looking for ways to trim their budgets. New construction projects have slowed dramatically, and cost-conscious consumers are cutting back on their personal expenditures. As a result, utility companies’ revenues are down, and reigning back on expenses is required. Unfortunately, education and travel expenses are usually among the first of these budget cuts. But cutting educational expenses in the name of saving money is counterproductive. Certified operators and engineers are required to maintain a certain number of continuing education hours throughout the year to stay in compliance with certain laws and to continue to work in their chosen field. If you don’t provide these opportunities for your certified operators to get the training they are required to have, they will be forced to seek out their own opportunities – possibly even at a competing utility! In addition to this, employees who are well trained in the latest methods and compliance techniques are much more engaged than those employees being trained at the bare minimum level. This is due, in part, to the fact that well-trained employees hold in their own hands the power to make themselves a natural success at their jobs every single day. This increased engagement is a real added-value multiplier of your labor costs, which can go a long way towards helping you wring the most out of your shrinking budget dollars. Moreover, only attending local courses to attain the minimum required continuing education hours is no longer enough to effectively remain in compliance in the ever-changing world of federal and state regulations, which affect everything from drinking water quality standards to system security and privacy of customer data. Attending trade conferences – both local and national – is one of the most costeffective training a utility manager can provide for his or her employees. Where else can your utility employees have the opportunity to network with their regulatory agencies, get the most upto-date information on the latest laws affecting the industry and meet the vendors who can provide the solutions needed to operate your utility economically and within all regulatory limits? Attending a national trade conference such as the National Rural Water Association H2O-XPO is an opportunity unlike one you can get at a local trade show. Here, you will fi nd the equipment vendors and manufacturers who, facing the same tight budgets, will choose to display their products at a venue with a much larger attendance than at a local conference. A national conference also gives you the opportunity to personally meet the representatives of the regulatory agencies who are responsible for laws and rules under which you must conduct your utility operation. Finally, networking with one’s peers in the industry also gives you the opportunity to learn fi rsthand how a problem you have may have been solved by someone else. First Quarter 2010 • 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010
Table of Contents
From the President
H2O-XPO to Waterpro
The Utility Perspective
The State Rural Water Association Perspective
The Washington DC Perspective
Recent Drinking Water Quality Claims Unfounded
Telling Our Story: The City of Risk
Finding Art in Unexpected Places
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010