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E-Splash August 2012 - District 3 Trustee
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash -  August 2012

Ted Meckes
District 3 Trustee

Recently, I attended one of my favorite AWWA sponsored events, Visitation Day in Champaign. Illinois American did an outstanding job with the tour. I enjoyed my time at the Bradley Street plant and learnedthings thatI will bring back to City Water, Light & Power in Springfield. Visitation Day is a great opportunity to see what other plants are doing, as well as a chance to discover things that can't be learned sitting in a classroom. The plant is fairly new andwell maintained, with some interesting features. One feature I found especially interesting was the surge tank designed to eliminate pressure surges that could cause main breaks. I alsofeel a bit envious about their site. We are under some major constructionin Springfield. I haveconcerns of tying into existing facilities etc., but the green site out in the middle of a corn field alleviates that problem. I am sure there were other issues, but it sure is nice to see your closest neighbor a mile away.

The tourstartedwith an excellent presentation in their training room complete with a power point presentation. Being from a surface supply it was very interesting to learn about the aquifers, well fields and the entire Illinois American system in Champaign-Urbana.After the presentation, we were led on a tour of the entire facility. Perhaps my tour guide grew tired of all of my questions, but I take these trips as a chance to learn. The entire Illinois American team did a fantastic job for this great event.

Itook the opportunityduring Visitation Day to see colleagues and meet new friends. I continued my mission to meet at least 3 new people at each conference. I hope all of you can start trying to do this as it is not only a way tomeet new people but also a learning experience.

The only problem with the event was the lack of attendance. I believe there were only 40 or so attendees. I would like to urge all members to attend these events. These events are especially good for young plant staff and engineers. It is a very cost effective way to learn manynew things. I learned a long time ago thatmy way of doing things isn't always the corrector best way todo them. A lot can be learnedwhen seeing how another plant feeds the same chemical as we do. This is how I first learned about using peristaltic pumps. I have talked to numerous colleagues that have switched to the peristaltic-type feed pumps. We can also learn about different chemicalsas well as how to handle them safely and properly. Everyone can tell you their successes and failures; we all have them. I would rather learn from someone else's failures than repeat them myself; and I would rather let others learn from my failures so they don't make the same mistakes.


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