Congressman Peter A. DeFazio has represented Oregon’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1986. He has served as the chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure since 2019 and before that had been its ranking member since 2015. In this interview, Chair DeFazio tells Municipal Water Leader about his commitment to federal funding for smarter, safer, greener, and more resilient infrastructure and explains the importance of the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act, which he recently reintroduced.
USALCO is a chemical manufacturing firm whose products are used widely in the municipal water treatment field. It recently acquired the companies AlChem and CalCHEM, gaining two new plants, new capabilities, and a new geographical range. In this interview, USALCO Vice President of Sales and Marketing Terry Badwak tells Municipal Water Leader about the company’s history and current growth.
With over 900 employees, Northwest Pipe Company is the largest manufacturer of engineered steel water pipe systems in North America. In order to support its employees, increase its institutional resilience and productivity, and improve its recruitment, Northwest Pipe has adopted a new approach to its diversity and inclusion initiatives and will support them with activities furthering recognition, training, and communications. In this interview, Northwest Pipe Director, President, and CEO Scott Montross and Vice President of Human Relations (HR) Megan Kendrick share more about the motivation and goals of the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Having a pipeline of well-trained workers who can replace retiring employees and continue the mission has long been a priority for Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD), and it uses its internship and fellowship programs to do just that. In this interview, EMWD’s Human Resources Manager Paula Allen and Senior Public Affairs Program Manager Roxanne Rountree tell Municipal Water Leader all about these important programs.
HDR is an employee-owned engineering, architecture, and consulting firm that works on projects, including federal-related projects, related to transportation, water supply, drinking water, clean water, electrical solid waste, and industrial development. In a sense, what HDR sells is knowledge, and that being the case, knowledge transfer within the company is critical. One program that HDR has established to further this goal is the Technical and Leadership Optimization Network (TaLON), which sets up one-on-one mentoring relationships between senior and midlevel professionals. In this interview, HDR Vice President Amy Dammarell explains the background of TaLON, and two TaLON participants, John Koch and Jeff Zahller, tell us about their experiences.
The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is a regional water and wastewater treatment service provider for eight southeastern Michigan counties. In order to replace an aging workforce and ensure that it has sufficient skilled employees, GLWA has established a 3-year apprenticeship program that combines paid, on-the-job training; in-house educational courses; and community college courses. The program’s graduates are offered full-time positions at GLWA. In this interview, Patricia Butler, GLWA’s manager for organizational development, tells Municipal Water Leader about how the program was designed and how it is benefiting the authority, and Etaune “EJ” Johnson, an apprentice graduate and current full-time GLWA employee, tells us about his experience in the program.
The Benevolent Dictator Mark Krause General Manager, Desert Water Agency (DWA) My friendship with Dave Luker started in 1986, when I hired on at Krieger & Stewart, a civil engineering firm in Riverside, California. I met Dave my first day. He assigned me a construction survey job for DWA in Palm Springs. Dave ran the survey crews and actually started the firm’s in-house survey department. He loved construction and taking part in building things. Dave also loved working with people who loved their jobs and worked hard. Dave worked his way up to partner at the firm and was instrumental in opening that opportunity up to many others who followed…
For several decades, Congress has considered omnibus water development acts every 2 or so years; these laws are frequently entitled the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed P.L. 116‑260, which included WRDA 2020. In this interview, National Water Resources Association President Christine Arbogast tells us about the new legislation and what it means for western water providers and users.
The Village of Homewood, Illinois, recently decided to move forward with the biggest public works project it has undertaken since its founding in 1893. A 2½-mile stretch of 30‑inch transmission main and a booster pump station will allow it to change its water source from the Village of Harvey, Illinois, to the City of Chicago Heights, Illinois, allowing it to continue providing clean and reliable water service to its inhabitants at a lower and more reliable cost. The design-build firm Burns & McDonnell was selected to design and build the new tie-in. In this interview, Stephen Boden and Stephen Crede, respectively a senior project manager and a design and construction…
The Washington County Water Conservancy District (WCWCD) provides culinary, secondary, and wastewater services to nearly 200,000 people in southwestern Utah. The WCWCD’s new general manager, Zach Renstrom, is carrying on the work of his predecessor by planning to make sure that the district has reliable water supplies decades into the future. In this interview, Mr. Renstrom tells Municipal Water Leader about his work on several key initiatives: a future Lake Powell pipeline that will bring Colorado River water to the region, the construction of two new reservoirs, septic-to-sewer conversions, and conservation efforts.