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E-Splash February 2014 - District 3 Trustee
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash -  February 2014

Ray Weller
District 3 Trustee

Brace yourselves, winter is in full force and it’s a brutal one this year. Illinois, as well as other parts of the Midwest, are already seeing temperatures that are the coldest they’ve been in 30 years. Early January brought days where the daytime high doesn’t even climb above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. And the snowfall totals are accumulating.

As water professionals we already know what that means to public water supplies - frozen pipes and water main breaks! A lot of credit is given to those firefighters and police officers who battle frigid temperatures during road emergencies or fires caused by someone being careless with a space heater, but what about those public works employees? No disrespect intended to those brave fire fighters and police officers, but who plows the roads so they can get around? Who goes out when there’s a call about a frozen water meter or service line? How many times have you had to lay on the cold ground, perhaps in snow, to thaw out a customer’s meter? And then there are the main breaks. I’m referring to the ones that happen after hours at night or on week-ends when it’s below freezing outside. You have to leave your family and comfort of your home to work under conditions that many people couldn’t tolerate. Sometimes you have to remove the snow just to get to the ground or pavement to dig. And, of course, the frozen ground doesn’t make it any easier to dig. You’re constantly being sprayed with water that turns to ice on your clothes. Many are doing this for considerably less pay than most of us reading this. These are truly our unsung heroes and I’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of them.

This is my first report since being elected Trustee of District 3 and I’d like to thank the members within my District for supporting me. I’m just overwhelmed at what it takes on a daily basis to keep this organization running. It is a well oiled machine with Executive Director Laurie Dougherty behind the wheel. For those of you who’ve never been a Board member in ISAWWA, I encourage you to run for office and get your feet wet just like I did. Even after this short time in office I have more respect for the organization, its Board and the members. As time and weather permits I’ll be out and about visiting many within my District and talking with you at the various training session including WATERCON14.

I’d also like to thank those of you who participated in any way with the recent Visitation Day I held at my treatment facility in October. We had over 50 in attendance for Visitation Day itself. We are very proud of our 4 MGD treatment facility which utilizes both dual sand filtration and membrane filtration, and we love showing it off. If you couldn’t make Visitation Day, stop by some time and we’d be happy to give you a tour.

In closing I’d like to thank those in my District for their support, and I look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, if I can be of service, or if there’s a particular subject you’d like to see covered at an upcoming seminar or other training event, or if there’s something you’d like to discuss, you can reach me at 217/324-2250 and at


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