waterTALENT & CWEA Operator Profile Case Study – Electrical Mechanical Technician
Name: Thomas Bond
Current Position: Electromechanical Technician (EMT)
Experience/Certifications: 39 years in the Water and Wastewater industries. I currently hold a CA T3 D3
1. What is your current role in water/wastewater?
I currently perform the duties of Electromechanical Technician which include but are not limited to performing scheduled preventive and predictive maintenance tasks on electrical panelboards, pump motors, hydropneumatics tanks, cathodic protection systems, generators, SCADA RTU panels, automatic control valves and other electro-mechanical equipment located throughout the distribution systems, production systems, and treatment plants. I perform corrective maintenance troubleshooting and repairing electrical panelboards, pump motors, hydro-pneumatic tanks, cathodic protection systems, generators, SCADA RTU panels, automatic control valves and other electro-mechanical equipment located throughout the distribution systems, production systems, and treatment plants. I test, calibrate, and repair instrumentation such as chemical analyzers, chart recorders, production flow meters, level and pressure transmitters, and other associated instrumentation. I also participate in capital projects which include pre-construction meetings, job walks, inspections according to engineering specifications and NEC, equipment installation, system start-up and de-bugging of necessary facility operating equipment.
2. What/who inspired you to work in water/wastewater?
I was inspired by a teacher named Mr. Willits who was the principal at the local high school that I attended. It was his idea for me and my best friend to enroll in the Ken Kerri courses that was newly available at the local junior college. It was his encouragement and support that helped us see the wisdom and opportunity that the water and wastewater industries provide as a great career. I must say that after 39 years I still feel inspired and excited each day that I have the honor to serve my customers and coworkers.
3. What was the most rewarding/memorable moment of your career?
I would have to say that my most rewarding moment would have been when I was invited to be a speaker at the AWWA Spring Conference in the late eighties to give a class on setup and programming a computer entitled “How to Make A Computer System Work For You”.
4. What tips can you provide someone interested in pursuing a career in water/wastewater?
I think the most important tip that I could provide to someone just coming into the industry would be to study hard and to accept any training that is available to you. A good operator has a working knowledge in chemistry, state regulations, hydraulics, PLC’s and their programming techniques, relay control technologies and running reports. I am constantly looking to learn more in order to broaden my skills and stay fresh/relevant with new technologies.
5. Can you talk a little about your journey with waterTALENT?
I started with waterTALENT after retiring in February of 2017. My first temporary assignment was with an organization that needed someone fast to fill in for their Electrical Mechanical Technician who unexpectedly went out on medical leave. I was able to fill his shoes and carry on their construction project to flourishing. I was there 6 months and their Electrical Mechanical Technician returned back to work and from there I went on to accept another temporary position at a local municipality with waterTALENT. While there I built a new chlorine feed system flow pacing their chemical feed system and for a few weeks I was the sole operator on shift. Then I was called back to the previous organization where I’ve been handling their construction projects system breakdowns at multiple sites & districts.
One of the best aspects of working for waterTALENT is the freedom to set your schedule and you meet some of the most professional and well-rounded people in the industry. Since my involvement with waterTALENT I’ve worked with some of the most fascinating personalities of my career. I’ve been able to draw from some of the smartest people where I gained tremendous insight that I didn’t have before coming to work for waterTALENT. But most of all I believe that the people at waterTALENT show a genuine interest and caring about the people that work for them and their families with how you are supposed to be treated on the job. I’ve made some great friends and have had nothing but the best experiences. I recommend waterTALENT to anyone who wants to enjoy a career with the best people and enjoy a good challenge. As of this writing I did go full-time with the great organization. And I truly wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for waterTALENT’s resources, connection to the industry, and goodwill towards the people they hire.