Knowing Your Headworks: Identifying the Pitfalls in Preliminary Treatment
This webinar demonstrates examples of the screening and grit removal equipment as well as troubleshooting and maintenance required of this equipment. The presenters also discuss collection system techniques leading up to the waste coming into the plant.
Date of Recording: August 26, 2021 (1-2:30 pm Eastern)
Cary Houchins is an experienced wastewater professional and has been working in the industry since 1990. His multifaceted experience consisted of working in the pretreatment program, hazardous waste and solid waste management programs along with assisting in establishing a household hazardous waste program and a community recycling program. He also implemented an operation and maintenance program to ensure repairs and preventative maintenance of the County's wastewater treatment assets. The computerized maintenance management system established a preventative program for all of the wastewater assets within the County's jurisdiction.
Upon retiring from the municipality, he joined a local wastewater equipment manufacturer. In his tenure there he provided field service technical assistance, equipment inspections and start up along with customer support.
Cary graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Agricultural Economics and Public Policy. He subsequently joined the United States Navy as a nuclear propulsion plant operator and an engineering laboratory technician.
Cary possesses a class four wastewater operations certification, a class four collection system operators certification and a class two plant maintenance technician certification from the State of Kansas. He is excited to share his knowledge with small communities to help them achieve their compliance goals and to assist in training opportunities as they are essential to meet even more stringent environmental regulations.
Randy Welch is the Technical Assistance Provider (TAP) for North Carolina. As the TAP, he assists communities with water and wastewater operations, financial management, and provides education in order for the community to become financially self-sustaining. “The ideal ending to a day is returning to my home or hotel room knowing that I was able to help a community or operator strive to be better. The gratification is beyond measure,” Randy said.
TAPs don’t just come in, fix the water supply, and leave. Instead, TAPs work to build relationships among community leaders, in order to truly understand their immediate and long-term needs. From there, the TAP can solidify the best course of action, from
concrete goals such as building, replacing, or fixing water and wastewater operations; to abstract goals of greater overall education, communication, and community involvement in advocating for their needs.
“The rural communities throughout North Carolina and SERCAP regions struggle with the expertise and resources to provide the high quality of infrastructure and quality of living,” Randy explained. Lack of water and wastewater resources is a direct result of more nebulous and larger problems, like poverty and environmental injustices. “The ability to help communities through the problems they are facing is very rewarding.”
Clean water, education, and support are critical for overcoming challenges of these communities, but Randy also adds a little extra in order to make a difference. “If I could offer anything to anyone that would listen, spend your day in some form of laughter. My day is spent in laughter and I love to make it contagious,” he said. “I awake every day to make the most of the day I’ve been given.”
The best thing about North Carolina for Randy is “the wide diversity of populations and communities. You can travel from a beach community to the highest peaks of the mountains. I meet some of the most fantastic people in North Carolina that have a passion like mine to make a positive change for their community.”
Even when pausing his SERCAP work, Randy is still helping the communities of North Carolina. “I am a district director for youth softball in North Carolina, and I volunteer with Dixie Youth softball. The time spent with the youth teaching and nurturing is something that is unmeasurable.” Speaking of youth, he also loves to spend time with his grandchildren, and finds great joy in watching them grow and mature.