Wisdom says not to mix water and electricity. But these two resources are intertwined. You can’t have one without the other. Electricity requires water for its production. Water is used in the mining of coal, transportation of fossil fuels, and cooling of thermoelectric power plants. Water and wastewater require electricity for treatment. Electricity keeps our pumps, blowers, and lift stations in operation.

It is vital we meet the electrical demands for our water needs. We have three dedicated electricians on our work force – Richard, Jon, and Stacy. These men design and install power supplies to new equipment installations. If a power failure occurs, it is up to the electricians to quickly troubleshoot the problem, repair the damaged electrical part, and restore power. A temporary power outage can mean a stop or slowing of the water reclamation process. Unfortunately, the incoming wastewater does not stop or slow down for this delay.

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Jon Cline, Stacy Flemming, &
Richard Young keep the energy
- and wastewater - flowing.
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The main switch gear at
Middle Oconee WRF.
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Stacy models the latest in flame & arc resistant fashions.
A large portion of water reclamation facilities (WRF) operational costs goes to meet energy demands. The three WRFs are designed to cut our energy expenditures by incorporating gravity into the treatment process whenever possible. Our electricians further reduce expenses using clever engineering and low cost solutions to resolve problems. They keep abreast of the new and energy efficient technologies to achieve real cost savings.

Richard, Stacy, and Jon work with both low voltage circuitry and high voltage components. For example, the main switch gear at the North Oconee WRF runs at 13,000 volts. Working with such voltage has risks, including arc flashes, and these unsung heroes continuously inspect wires and systems to ensure everything meets code compliance. Doing so protects our water reclamation workers and keeps our water reclamation facilities running to protect our environment and quality of life.

No, we can’t have wastewater treatment without electricity. And Athens can’t have it without our electricians. These unsung heroes help reclaim, refresh, and return our waters. Thank you.

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