Hail to the Chief

The Fire Chief Project continues in print and online. Feel free to share your activities that contribute to the project’s key goals.

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I hope you’ve been enjoying the Fire Chief Project Idea of the Month in recent issues of TPO. There we highlight operators doing things that further the project’s two key aims:

  • Raise clean-water operators to the status of the fire chief
  • Make kids grow up wanting to be clean-water operators

You can read more examples of the Fire Chief Project in my editor’s blog on the TPO website (www.tpomag.com). Look under the “Most Recent” heading — the articles listed at the upper right of the home page. Feel free to share your activities that would tend to contribute to the Fire Chief Project’s objectives. Send me a note to editor@tpomag.com.

Speaking of the Fire Chief Project, one way to elevate the stature of clean-water workers is to be proactive about publicity for them. This month’s “In My Words” column highlights the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and strides it has made toward building appreciation for the people who operate the city’s and the region’s water and wastewater systems.

The Faces of Wastewater series is something almost any community could replicate. Profiles of operators in various roles could be posted on the community website, as in Detroit’s case. Another alternative for agencies in smaller communities would be to offer these profiles to the local newspaper. As a former weekly paper editor, I can attest that such submissions would stand a good chance of being published.

Care to guess which article from TPO has received the most “hits” on the magazine website at www.tpomag.com? It’s a piece by our Lab Detective columnist Ron Trygar explaining sludge volume index (SVI).

In fact, technical articles of this general nature are popular in TPO. Operators seem hungry for information about wastewater physics, chemistry, biology and math. Look for another article along these general lines in the December issue. Under the heading of “Exam Tutor,” Trygar has written an article that explains the vagaries of pH. It includes a short series of multiple choice questions similar in character to what you might see on a licensing exam. We hope you enjoy this article and would welcome your comments on it.

Can you imagine a science-fiction horror novel set in a wastewater treatment plant? Now you don’t have to. A story in this month’s issue describes Dodge Winston’s self-published book, The Wastewater Plant, a tale that combines a science experiment gone bad, a government plot and a collection of personalities on a clean-water plant crew. Check out the article and consider ordering the book at the online sites mentioned.

As always, TPO welcomes your comments on the magazine — what we’re doing well and what we can do better. We’re about to enter our sixth year of publishing the magazine, to generally great feedback. We often hear operators say that of all the trade magazines they see each month, TPO is the one they really read. That’s nice to hear — but how can we serve you even better? Please send your suggestions to editor@tpomag.com. I promise to respond — and you just might find your suggestion turning into an actual change in the publication. We’re quite responsive that way.


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