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Eric Hansen City of Mason Manager

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Collaboration for a Critical Service

rush your teeth, flush a toilet, or take a shower— services we often taken for granted, but the operation of Mason’s Water Reclamation Plant is likely the most critical service to the City’s health, welfare, and economic development. So when the plant needs some maintenance, that work becomes a top priority for all City departments. Cleaning an oxidation ditch has to be the pinnacle of dirty jobs. Twenty feet deep, almost two football fields in length, and half a football field across divided into separate areas by concrete walls. Employees from all departments and all job descriptions volunteered to assist. Department heads, account clerks, deputy police and fire chiefs, engineers, and recreation programmers suited up in protective gear, latched to a harness, climbed down a ladder, and stepped gingerly into the dark abyss. Using squeegees and hoses they scraped and cleaned the bottom of the tank. It took many hours of preparation and many employees working more than eight hours a day to complete the project in just four days. Last year, public utilities staff identified the need for an additional aerator to be added to two oxidation ditches at the plant. With two aerators, the oxidation ditch does not have

4 CenterPoint Fall 2019

sufficient oxygen transfer capacity in the warmer summer months to maintain appropriate dissolved oxygen levels for the treatment system. However, the current flow does not support splitting the treatment process between the two ditches. The Water Reclamation Plant was originally designed with the expansion capacity to add a third aerator to each ditch increasing the capacity. Adding a third aerator to a ditch includes electrical work, pouring a concrete slab, installing the aerator, programming, and testing. Flow is diverted from the first ditch to the second ditch to allow continued operations of the plant. Then the cleaning begins. Weeks after employees entered the ditch employees began reminiscing about the experience. Some initially felt it was a crazy idea and some may still, but as I listened to the belly laughs and watched the grimaces as individuals retold their experiences—often beginning with feelings of apprehension and ending with a greater sense of appreciation—I realized that the crazy idea had bonded these employees for the rest of their careers at the City and further defined our culture of collaboration. Thank you to the “2019 Poo Crew.” “The world has always gone forward when people have dared to have crazy ideas.” —Gioconda Belli

Profile for Cincinnati Magazine

Mason and Deerfield Township - CenterPoint Fall 2019  

Mason and Deerfield Township - CenterPoint Fall 2019  

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