Two More Treatment Plants Put Their Best Faces Forward

More operators share photos of their signs and the history behind them

Two More Treatment Plants Put Their Best Faces Forward

Boy Scouts joined the Clear Lake authority management team for the flagpole dedication. Front row, from left, Scouts Robert Byrnes, Alexander King, Brandon Jackson, Drake Rodriggs, Lucas Rodriggs, Hunter Noyes and Tyler Rathjen. Back row, Kristopher Allsbrooks, operator; Hector Guzman, maintenance operator; Jennifer Morrow, general manager; Frank Elliott, superintendent; and Curtis Rodgers, utilities and emergency director.

First impressions matter. Two clean-water plant operators responded to TPO’s request to share pictures of the welcome signs that help send positive messages about their facilities to visitors.

Inscribed in stone

The Mishawaka (Indiana) Wastewater Treatment Plant makes an impression on visitors with its extensive landscaping, set off by a sign carved into stone.

The landscaping includes a rock garden at the entryway of the administration building. Parks department and treatment plant staff built it using rocks unearthed during the construction of a plant expansion, according to Karl Kopec, division manager in the Utilities Wastewater Treatment Division. The rock on which the sign appears did not come from the site; plant personnel found it on the property of a rock engraver in a nearby community.

Another feature of the plant’s landscape is a boulder unearthed on a sewer construction job. “The contractor asked us if we wanted the boulder to complement the rock garden theme at the plant,” Kopec says. “After inspecting the boulder, I said we definitely wanted it.”

At Kopec’s request, Peter Burns, a geology professor at the University of Notre Dame, examined the boulder. He identified it as a metamorphosed conglomerate — a sedimentary rock that consists of pebbles and sand that has been changed and hardened by heat and pressure. It was brought to the area by a glaciation event about 20,000 years ago, probably from Michigan or Canada.

The geologist described the boulder as “at least several hundred million years old.” It weighs about 31,000 pounds. Information about the boulder is presented on a sign next to it.

Scouts’ honor

The Clear Lake City (Texas) Water Authority has a sign that clearly states the organization’s mission and its emphasis on safety while also inviting requests for plant tours.

The team at the authority’s Robert T. Savely Wastewater & Water Reclamation Facility recently dedicated a new flagpole with help from local Boy Scout Troop 848.


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