Public works staff earns trifecta in Ocean City
Water, waste honors presented to three at Ocean City conference
Three members of the Charles County Department of Public Works staff were presented with awards at the 2018 Tri-Association Conference in Ocean City on Aug. 30, according to a news release. The awards were presented by the Water and Waste Operators Association of Maryland, Delaware and District of Columbia (WWOA).
Michael Dionisio, an environmental operator, was presented with the Barry Walter Award for Distinguished Service in Water Distribution for his role in identifying and locating water pipe leaks in the Bryans Road water system. Mike took it upon himself to use data from the County’s WIMS system and compare historical water use to current water use and noticed a large increase in usage that could not be explained by growth or other normal usage factors, according to the release. This happened during a long cold snap, where water usage in the Bryans Road system should have been low. Attributing the cause of the increase to leaks, he then drove through the neighborhoods searching for evidence of leaking water lines. He often had to abandon his vehicle and follow the lines on foot. Over about a 40-day period, he found three locations with substantial leaks. After confirming each leak, work orders were generated for the repair or replacement of the leaking pipes. His supervisor, Tim Giles, conservatively estimates that Mike’s efforts saved over 2 million gallons of potable water and continues to save water each day.
Rea Shafer, Mattawoman WRF superintendent, received the W. McLean Bingley Award for Distinguished Service in Wastewater Treatment. As superintendent, Rea has been heavily involved in problem solving and coordination meetings with Mattawoman Wastewater Treatment Plant staff and operating staff from CPV, the new electrical power generating plant, whose cooling water and sanitary wastes discharge to the Mattawoman WRF.
Additionally, the Mattawoman WWTP was built in 1974 and is beginning to show its age. Much of the equipment is original to the plant and is at, or has exceeded, its expected useful life. Over the past several years, the county has begun implementing equipment and treatment upgrades and rehabilitation projects. Rea attends all of the countless planning, review, pre-construction and construction meetings for these projects. His extensive knowledge of the Mattawoman infrastructure has been a valuable resource in moving these projects forward. Rea has been a vital source of information and has provided the consultants with important background information on current equipment and for future equipment needs. All this in addition to his regular duties as superintendent, such as personnel management, MDE-required reporting, such as monthly operating reports, monthly sludge reports, DPW internal reporting and keeping track of plant performance.
Kristy McAndrew received the WWOA Award for Outstanding Personal Service to the Association. Kristy has been involved in WWOA since 2000, and from the start, she has taken a very active role in the association on both the main WWOA executive board and on the local, Southern Section board.
On the main executive board, she has held the positions of membership chair, vice-chair of the Public Relations Committee, secretary, Maryland trustee, and a member of the By-Laws Committee, the Nominations Committee and the Awards Committee. In keeping with her dedication to the association, she has offered to serve again in the position of board secretary.
At the Southern Section level, Kristy has served as the Charles County trustee and the secretary. She is active in seeking training classes for the Southern Section meetings, and performs such tasks as arranging the catering, registering participants, and handling door prizes and thank you gifts for the presenters. Simply stated, the WWOA Southern Section meetings would not be possible without Kristy’s assistance.
County public works staff members, from left, Michael Dionisio, Kristy McAndrew and Rea Shafer were recognized for their work by a regional public works association.