Without getting too mushy, here’s why we heart water/wastewater operators.

It’s the season of Cupid — think hearts, frilly cards with corny sentiments, dark-chocolate truffles and overpriced red roses. Whether you deem Valentine’s Day a Hallmark-holiday or you go all out and drown yourself in the occasion, it truly is a good time to just be nice, show some love, and well, just tell someone you appreciate him or her.

So in honor of that sentiment, we asked you, our TPO social media followers, to tell us why we should love wastewater and water operators. Here’s what you said:

1. Your job is critical. Everything depends on clean water.
Upstream, downstream and in between, clean water is essential for pretty much everything. Worldwide, nearly one out of every five deaths under the age of 5 is due to a water-related disease. As wastewater/water operators, you stand on the frontline of preventing disease. You are modern-day super heroes.

Related: 10 Commandments of Municipal Crisis Control


2. You are dedicated. And you know how to handle a crisis.
Whether it’s equipment malfunction, broken pipes or an environmental crisis, you are prepared, and you’re good at keeping your cool in an emergency. Along with those characteristics come phenomenal problem-solving skills. Just take a look at few of the WEF Operator Ingenuity Winner stories we’ve featured this year.

Related: Blog: The Fire Chief Project: Why don’t they appreciate us?


3. You’re an environmental advocate — a friend to Mother Nature.
Thanks to the hard work of water/wastewater operators, our country can claim environmental achievements such as a thriving walleye fishery in Lake Erie and nesting bald eagles on the once-polluted Cuyahoga River. You worry about effluent quality, you invest in renewable energy at your plants, and you are working hard to preserve the planet and protect our natural resources.

Related: Blog: The Fire Chief Project: Are we saying clean-water operators should change their personalities?


4. You are part of a community.
You are part of a physical community, for sure, and you work hard to protect it. Just read a few of Editor Ted Rulseh’s Fire Chief Project blogs. He knows that every water and wastewater operator is an integral and respected part of a city or town. But more than that, you’re part of an operator community here at TPOmag.com and on social media. You share stories, post photos and ask for advice.

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5. You have a sense of humor … and a good dose of creativity.
The wastewater industry is definitely one that can lend itself to a joke or two, and you take that in stride with a fantastic sense of humor. Just take a look at what some of the top utilities are doing on Facebook. Their creativity and lightheartedness shows just how fun the wastewater industry can be.

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