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TEX Sh2o | Fall 2019 |

The Official Newsletter of the Texas Section AWWA | Every Drop, Every Day, Everywhere©

TAWWA Awards 19 Scholarships

This year, TAWWA awarded scholarships to the following students: Kristin Birkhoff, Amy Cain, Cynthia Castro, Micah Collins, Jacob Emmons, Emily Epperson, Craig Gantt, Jaclyn Guz, Jaben Hodges, Neha Irrinki, Grayson Jackson, Devin Klaes, Zahra Kohankar Kouchesfehani, Monica Lange, Yun Liu, Joshua Plummer, Katie Stowers and Kristin Williamson.

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| scholarships |

TAWWA Awards 19 Scholarships to Students


n its continued effort to support higher education, Texas Section has awarded 19 scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year. The TAWWA Scholarship Committee selected 17 students to receive a $2,000 TAWWA scholarship. TAWWA, in cooperation with Plummer, also named Zahra Kohankar Kouchesfehani, of Plano, as the recipient of the $3,000 Plummer/TAWWA Environmental Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a student studying to become an engineer or scientist in the water environmental field. Amy Cain, of San Antonio, was also named the recipient of the One AWWA Operator Scholarship. This $2,000 scholarship award can be used for certification/ licensure, two-year water related associate degree, technical school program, professional training program, books and manuals, and operator-related conferences. The scholarship recipient also receives a one-year AWWA Operator membership. You can help TAWWA fund more scholarships for students next year by purchasing the TAWWA water conservation license plate or donating online at Cynthia Castro was awarded a scholarship from funds raised by the Water Conservation License Plate. The 2019-2020 scholarship recipients are: KRISTIN BIRKHOFF University of Arkansas | Accounting Kristin Birkhoff is working toward a master's degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas. She is a recipient of the Dorothy Shaw Leadership Award, which is the highest honor bestowed upon collegiate members of Alpha Delta Pi. She has served in various leadership roles in the Order of Omega, Beta Alpha Psi and Alpha Delta Pi and also received the Chancellors and Mayoral Volunteer Award for the numerous hours she volunteered in the

Fayetteville community. Upon graduation, she plans on passing the Certified Public Accounting Exam and eventually becoming a Chief Financial Officer of a large company. Her AWWA family member is John Birkhoff, managing partner at Birkhoff, Hendricks & Carter LLP. AMY CAIN University of Texas at Austin | Civil Engineering Amy Cain is the One AWWA Operator Scholarship winner. She's interned with Maestas & Associates in San Antonio for the past three years and is now attending the University of Texas at Austin, working toward a degree in civil engineering with a specialty in wastewater management. She would like to pursue a career in water utility operations and plans to obtain a water treatment operator certificate while working on her undergraduate studies. Cain would eventually like to earn a master's degree within the water profession. CYNTHIA CASTRO University of Houston | Environmental Engineering Cynthia Castro is pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental engineering at the University of Houston. She helped develop the National Water Model for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, which simulates flooding using real-time precipitation forecasts for several million streams throughout the U.S. This tool has been used by the United Nations and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on projects locally and abroad. Upon graduation, she plans to work as a research faculty and continue to study topics of flood mitigation using advance computing and satellite datasets. Castro is a student member of AWWA through the University of Houston. CONTINUED PAGE 18 | scholarships TEXASh2o FALL 2019 | 3 |

| letter from the texas section chair |

Fundraising Changes Texas Section American Water Works Association P.O. Box 80150 Austin, Texas 78708 Elston Johnson, Chair 512-809-7552 Melissa Bryant, Chair-Elect 210-302-3611 Theresa H. Pedrazas, Vice-Chair 512-338-2850 Ron Tamada, Imm. Past Chair 469-499-6152 Mike Howe Executive Director/Secretary-Treasurer 512-238-9292 Fax: 512-238-0496 This publication is distributed bi-monthly to the more than 3,500 members and friends of the Texas Section – American Water Works Association. Contributing writers can contact the editor: Cliff Avery GCP Association Services, LLC PO Box 676 Pflugerville, TX 78691 512-251-8101 Fax: 512-251-8152 The publication name, TexasH2O: © 1996-2019 Texas Section – American Water Works Association, Inc. © 2019 Texas Section – American Water Works Association, Inc.


Texas AWWA


BY ELSTON JOHNSON texas section chair


he Chapters of the Texas Section of AWWA host several fundraising events that generate a significant amount of funds. AWWA has recently asked Sections to provide financial support to a new program called the Water Equation (WE). To ensure we adequately support all of our charitable programs, I recently communicated through a memo to the Section leaders the new fundraising allocation policy ELSTON JOHNSON previously approved by the TAWWA board. I 512-809-7552 hope this article helps to address any questions about the allocation policy and the programs TAWWA supports. TAWWA fundraising has always been synonymous with Water For People. Water For People was born out of AWWA in 1991. AWWA and its Sections have continued to provide significant financial support to Water For People. The Texas Section has raised in excess of $750,000 over the last fifteen years. In the same time period, the Section and chapters have also committed significant resources to putting on successful events and managing the organization’s operations in Texas. The Section will continue its support of Water For People through fundraising events and will now share some of the operational direction and support in Texas with the Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT). While we continue to support the efforts of Water For People, we will also continue the important work of raising funds for our scholarship program. TAWWA has, since its inception, been very supportive of higher education by providing scholarships totaling nearly $500,000 to members and their families. As mentioned in the memo to the TAWWA leadership, due to the increasing costs of higher education, the Scholarship Committee set a goal to increase the value of the Section’s sixteen plus scholarships from the current $2,000 to $5,000 per person. Increasing the value of the scholarships will hopefully assist our members and their families in obtaining their academic goals. The TAWWA board has also made the decision to continue to increase financial support of the AWWA Water Equation (WE) program. The WE CONTINUED PAGE 35 | letter from the texas section chair

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| executive director report |

A Crisis of Confidence BY MIKE HOWE tawwa executive director


ead. Flint. Newark. PFAS/PFOS. Nitrates. Pick your contaminant and/or the latest news story. Every story and every headline impacts every utility, including yours, even if you are not directly impacted or part of the story. The public questions the safety of their water every time there is a negative water story, anywhere in the country. In mid-September I had the opportunity to meet in our Washington, D.C. office with a group of AWWA volunteers who advise the AWWA Water Utility Council on a variety of subjects. I was filling in for the chair of the AWWA Emergency Preparedness and Security Committee, of which I am a member. In the course of the two-day meeting, we covered a wide variety of issues including changes in the Safe Drinking Water Act, infrastructure and resiliency. During a discussion on the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR), the group discussed the need for a new toolkit to help utilities engage in risk communication. One of the committee members noted that with all of the negative stories about drinking water, it was getting harder to get the public to "trust" their local utility. Aha! I was ready to jump into this conversation. As many of you know, before I came to my present position, I was the Community Relations Manager for Austin Water for ten years, and during that period, served as the Acting Public Information Officer for the City of Austin for nearly a year. At Austin Water, we built a very customer-oriented communications team who worked steadily to build the utility’s "brand" while we increased customer confidence. During this time, I developed an internal Risk Communications curriculum for the utility and the city, presented similar information at various workshops and at AWWA Annual Conferences. Plus, I

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taught risk communication for hazardous material managers at Austin Community College. So, when the group in Washington wanted to discuss customer "trust," I could feel my internal hard drive spin up as I accessed MIKE HOWE some old files in my head. 512-238-9292 In the above paragraphs you will note that I underlined two key words. One is "trust;" the other is "confidence." Generally, we think of these words as synonymous. They are close, but there are clear differences, particularly when managing communications with customers. Though a full understanding of the tools for risk communications is a much broader curriculum than space allows, I will touch on the basic principals. The concepts of "trust" and "confidence" are so intertwined that it is nearly impossible to separate the two. We tend to think of them in relationship to, well, our relationships. We have confidence in the people we trust. We trust those in whom we have confidence. Both approaches are designed to render a positive outcome about a person and their actions. However, when we are talking about risk communications, we have to approach the concepts more formally. We ask utility customers to "trust" us. However, trust in government is at an all-time low, and has been for some time. Sometimes, it likely feels easier just to avoid engaging with the public at all. I don’t recommend that approach. Just the opposite. When it comes to an honest discussion of important CONTINUED PAGE 34 | executive director report

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| career center |

TAWWA Launches New Career Center


exas AWWA is proud to announce its new Career Center — the premier resource to connect career opportunities with highly qualified water industry talent. The new Career Center is designed to provide you with a better overall experience through a modern design and an intuitive interface. You will also be able to access the Career Center through any device of your choice — smartphone, tablet or desktop. To access Texas AWWA's Career Center, visit You can also access it through the Texas AWWA website at CONTINUED PAGE 17 | career center

NEW LOOK, SAME COMMITMENT TO INTEGRITY AND EXCELLENCE. For more than 40 years, Plummer has provided innovative water and wastewater services based on our founder’s principle ‘what’s best for the client is best for our company.’ Our name and logo signal a new era of growth rooted in cultivating client relationships through technical expertise and exceptional service. 817.806.1700 | Alan Plummer Associates, Inc. is now Plummer.

Plummer provides intelligent solutions for water challenges — what can we solve for you? TEXASh2o FALL 2019 | 9 |

| tceq |

Update on TCEQ Exam Procedures


ffective September 1, 2019, to take a TCEQadministered exam at a training event, you must have an approved or conditionally approved application for the license on file with TCEQ and be pre-registered for the exam offered at a training event through TCEQ’s Licensing Exam Registration (LEXR) portal at Note: Applicants who do not meet the above criteria after the effective date will not be allowed to take the exam. For more information, visit the TCEQ website at

FREE TAWWA Source Water Protection Webcast Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 11:30 am-1 pm Central Time 1.5 hours of TCEQ credit requested Register at

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| zebra mussels |

Understanding the Zebra Mussels Problem BY SARA ROBBERSON LENTZ managing editor for the University of Texas at Austin digital channels


rom Texas to New York, freshwater sources are being invaded by a tiny but disastrous creature that no one seems able to stop. "Zebra mussels are a plague," says Lacey Steigerwald, who has watched as they have infested the Lakeway Marina on Lake Travis, where she works. Smaller than a quarter, these mollusks can grow to densities that can reach more than 100,000 individuals per square meter. They are currently infesting more than 600 lakes and reservoirs across the United States including 17 in Texas. Besides Lake Travis, Lake Austin, Lake LBJ and Lake Pflugerville are also infested. After being introduced, the mussels take over the

waterways. They harm boats, clog pipes, damage water treatment plants and destroy ecosystems. "They clog pipes like cholesterol. There is no limit to what they’ll attach to. Everything that sits in the water will be completely caked within a year," says Steigerwald. Morgan Klein, a sophomore at The University of Texas at Austin, was looking for a research topic and became fascinated by the zebra mussel problem. This summer she led a team of UT undergraduate researchers studying the severity of the infestation in the Austin area. CONTINUED PAGE 30 | zebra mussels


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| career center |

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 | career center The redesigned Texas AWWA Career Center Name will allow you to: Manage Your Career: • Search and apply to the best water industry jobs at organizations that value your credentials! • Upload your anonymous resume so employers can contact you, but you maintain control of your information and choose to whom you release your information. • Receive an alert every time a job becomes available that matches your personal profile, skills, interests, and preferred location(s). • Access career resources and job searching tips and tools.

will find and apply to them. • Promote your jobs directly to Texas AWWA job seekers via our exclusive Job Flash email. • Search the resume database and contact qualified candidates proactively. • Expose your job postings to a larger audience through our NEW diversity, veterans and social networks. Texas H20 Ad_2.pdf 1 4/25/2019 3:59:00 PM

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| scholarships |

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 | scholarships MICAH COLLINS Texas Christian University | Computer Science & Mechanical Engineering Micah Collins recently graduated from Texas High School in Texarkana and is currently attending Texas Christian University, pursuing a degree in computer science and mechanical engineering. In high school, he was involved with Business Professionals of America, Mu Alpha Theta, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and served as an engineering intern at JCM Industries. His AWWA family member is Aaron Collins, CEO at Keyline Enterprises.

JACOB EMMONS Purdue University | Civil Engineering Jacob Emmons is pursuing a degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in environmental engineering at Purdue University. Last year, he traveled to Honduras to work on a water project providing clean water to remote villages and last summer, he interned with Freese and Nichols in San Antonio, working in water/wastewater treatment, transmissions and utilities design. His AWWA family member is Ronald Emmons, public works director for the City of Fair Oaks Ranch. CONTINUED PAGE 21 | scholarships

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scholarships | swift program| |

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18 | scholarships EMILY EPPERSON University of Notre Dame | Biology Emily Epperson recently graduated from Friendswood High School and is currently attending the University of Notre Dame, majoring in biology with a minor in environmental science. She plans on pursuing a master's degree in environmental science and hopes to one day serve her community in a water resource management role. In high school, Epperson was involved with the Wranglerette Dance Team, National Honor Society, part of the Texas All-Star Academic Excellence Team and helped with Hurricane Harvey cleanup. Her AWWA family member is Trent Epperson, assistant city manager for the City of Pearland.

CRAIG GANTT The University of Texas at Arlington | Interdisciplinary Studies Craig Gantt received a degree is computer animation from Sam Houston State University. After volunteering with students sparked an interest in education, he is now attending the University of Texas at Arlington, pursuing a degree in interdisciplinary studies with the goal of teaching 4th-8th graders mathematics and sciences. He eventually would like to pursue a master's degree in education. His AWWA family member is Wendell Craig Gantt, assistant director of operations for Arlington Water Utilities. CONTINUED PAGE 22 | scholarships

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| scholarships |

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21 | scholarships JACLYN GUZ Clark University | Geography Jaclyn Guz is working toward a Ph.D. in geography, with a focus on vegetation dynamics and geospatial analysis from Clark University. She recently passed her Ph.D. qualifying exams and was accepted as a National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center graduate pursuits fellow. Her dissertation focuses on modeling how climate change is impacting the forest fire size, frequency and severity in the western U.S. Her AWWA family member is Karen Guz, conservation director at the San Antonio Water System. JABEN HODGES The University of North Texas | Mechanical and Energy Engineering Jaben Hodges is currently attending the University of North Texas, working toward a degree in mechanical and

energy engineering with a minor in mathematics. He would like to pursue a career in the wastewater industry that focuses on implementing and improving the efficiency of gas capturing and bio-gas driven power generation systems. He is active in the UNT Association of Energy Engineers as well as the North Texas Association of Energy Engineers. His AWWA family member is Ben Hodges, assistant director of operations for Upper Trinity Regional Water District. CONTINUED PAGE 25 | scholarships

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swift program| | | scholarships

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 | scholarships NEHA IRRINKI The University of Texas at Austin | Business Neha Irrinki is currently attending the University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a degree in business with a minor in environmental science. She is involved with the Hindu Students Association, the Campus Environmental Center and serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Intern at the United States Tennis Association in Texas. She would like to build a non-profit organization that focuses on nontraditional recycling practices such as reusing various school supplies and clothing. Her AWWA family member is Sam Irrinki, principal at Weston Solutions.

GRAYSON JACKSON Baylor University | Biology, Public Health and Medical Humanities Grayson Jackson is currently attending Baylor University as a University Scholar with concentrations in biology, public health and medical humanities. On campus, he is involved with student government and the marching band. He has performed research at Baylor University in metals toxicology and at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in vaccines and molecular biology. Jackson is currently at Baylor College of Medicine working on antigen screening for dirofilaria, or "heartworm," diagnostic testing. His AWWA family member is David Jackson, vice president and principal at Freese and Nichols. CONTINUED PAGE 26 | scholarships

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| scholarships |

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 | scholarships DEVIN KLAES The University of Texas at El Paso | Civil Engineering Devin Klaes recently graduated from Burges Early College High School and is currently attending the University of Texas at El Paso, working toward a major in civil engineering with a minor in math. In high school, he was part of the National Honor Society, Math Club, track, football, was a student ambassador and a Special Olympics volunteer. His AWWA family member is Brian Klaes, vice president project manager at Moreno Cardenas.

ZAHRA KOHANKAR KOUCHESFEHANI The University of Texas at Arlington | Civil Engineering Zahra Kohankar Kouchesfehani is currently attending the University of Texas at Arlington, pursuing a Ph.D. in civil engineering/construction engineering and management with a focus on trenchless technology. Her research project (including experimental pipe tests) is focused on rehabilitation of pipelines with spray applied pipe lining methodology. She is a graduate teaching assistant and is a student member of Texas AWWA through the University of Texas at Arlington. CONTINUED PAGE 28 | scholarships


1919 to 2019

We’re invested in Texas. When Neal Garver opened his doors in 1919, he sparked a series of events that created a positive, lasting impact on the employees, clients, and countless communities Garver has served over the last 100 years. We’re impacting communities all across Texas, including our newest community in El Paso, where Garver recently hosted clients at an El Paso Chihuahuas minor league baseball game where our office manager, Marco Ramirez, got to throw the first pitch after supporting the local community AguaCares program. For more information, contact: 972.377.7480 |

Keep up with the latest Section events at! | 26 | FALL 2019 TEXASh2o

September/October 2019

HISPANIC Denver Water, Denver Colorado



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AWWA celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and recognizes the contributions Hispanic-Americans extend to support public health in their communities.

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Join us as we reflect upon those that help us accomplish our vision every day: a better world through better water. nver Water

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| scholarships |

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 | scholarships MONICA LANGE University of Central Arkansas | Speech Pathology Monica Lange is studying Speech Pathology at the University of Central Arkansas. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and volunteers with Vacation Bible School and with an organization called "Feast Day" in Dallas. In high school, she was involved with yearbook, choir, photography club, student council and National Honor Society. Her AWWA family member is Donald Lange, project manager at BGE. YUN LIU The University of Texas at Austin | Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Yun Liu is working toward a master's degree in environmental and water resources engineering from the University of Texas at

Austin. She recently interned at Austin Water Utility, where she obtained a better understanding about Austin’s water and wastewater systems through conversations with other water modelers and handson pressure and fire flow testing. After graduation, she'd like to participate in projects involving low impact development and stormwater reuse. She is a student member of AWWA through the University of Texas. JOSHUA PLUMMER American Military University | Environmental Science Joshua Plummer is attending American Military University, working toward a degree in environmental science with a concentration in regional and community environmental planning. He is a member of the USAF and as a water and fuel systems maintenance supervisor, maintains and repairs the water system on base to include elevated and ground storage that services 11,500 customers. He is a member of AWWA through the United States Air Force.

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| 28 | FALL 2019 TEXASh2o

| scholarships |

KATIE STOWERS Southern Methodist University | Business Administration Katie Stowers is working on a Master of Business Administration with a focus on management and business analytics from Southern Methodist University. She is actively involved with Texas AWWA, serving as the Young Professional Chair and on the Communications Committee for the North Central Texas Chapter and on the YP Summit Programming Committee for the 2019 YP Summit. She also works for CP&Y as a Water/ Wastewater Engineer-in-Training. In the future, she would like to use her engineering background and MBA to become a director of a water utility. She is a member of AWWA through CP&Y.

KRISTIN WILLIAMSON Texas A&M University | Civil Engineering Kristin Williamson is attending Texas A&M University, where she is majoring in civil engineering with a minor specialization in environmental engineering. She is part of the Zachry Leadership Program, which involves courses dedicated to developing leadership potential though the deeper understanding of business principles, communication methods and other nontechnical aspects of engineering. She hopes to work for a non-profit such as Engineers Without Borders to use her engineering expertise to implement sustainable infrastructure in developing countries. She is a member of AWWA through Freese and Nichols.

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Want to see your ad here? Call Tracy at 512-251-8101 about advertising in TEXASh2o today! TEXASh2o FALL 2019 | 29 |

| zebra mussels |

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 | zebra mussels As the mussels grow, they eat at alarming rates. They filter out phytoplankton, small zooplankton, large bacteria and other debris, in the process upsetting the ecosystem’s balance. They have also been directly linked to the recent bloom in toxic blue-green algae apparently responsible for several dog deaths this year in Austin. The most concerning thing about the mussels is how hard they are to contain. The larvae start out

Imagine it. Delivered.

microscopic, so there is no way to know whether you are transporting the mussels until it is too late. That is why people are encouraged to regularly wash their boats and avoid swimming in multiple bodies of water during the same day. "It was only a couple of years ago that this wasn’t an issue, and then all of a sudden they’re everywhere," says Klein. "I would love to find a way to cure them, but that’s in the future. I’m just seeing what level the problem is right now." Klein’s research is part of the Freshman Research Initiative guided by Susan Cameron Devitt, research educator for the Biodiversity Discovery Stream. Their study is creating a baseline data set that they hope will help other researchers and state agencies develop a model of spread to predict the future implications of the zebra mussel problem. Klein worked with three private marinas around Austin to gather samples. They placed sampling plates in the water for a month, retrieved them and took them back to UT to count the mussels. "I pulled up one of my plates and was analyzing it.

| 30 | FALL 2019 TEXASh2o

| zebra mussels |

There were approximately 1240 zebra mussels on one 10-by-10-inch plate, which is crazy," says Klein. The last plates were pulled up in July. The plan is to finish analyzing all data and have conclusive results by the end of the 2019 fall semester. Klein says it has been a great opportunity for her to get hands-on experience addressing a real ecological problem facing Texas and the country. "It gave me that opportunity to do my own project and take the initiative. Most of the time when people are doing research, you don’t get to do your own stuff until graduate school," says Klein. "We’re really happy that UT is out here researching this problem," says Steigerwald, who has seen Klein and the other students working at the marina. "It’s such a big problem and spreading so fast that we need all the best brains working on it." Watch our Zebra Mussel Control Strategies webcast FREE. Go to and link to our webcast video library from "What's New" in the upper left corner of the homepage.

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energy & water conservation smart data systems | metering services leak detection | biosolids Contact your local Water System Consultant Shawn Keough (Northeastern TX) Steven Todd (Southeastern TX) Amy Hall (Central TX) 855-526-4413 Utility Service Co., Inc.

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| webcast |

AWIA Risk and Resilience Assessment: Tools for Completing Utility Assessments Webcast Learn from the experts on the most cost-effective way to meet the assessment requirements! Friday, December 6, 2019 11:30 am-1:30 pm Central Time Member Rate: $85 Non-Member Rate: $170* (*includes one year Operator Level membership in AWWA and Texas AWWA) Approved for 2 hours of TCEQ water operator credit

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| 32 | FALL 2019 TEXASh2o

| executive director report |

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 | executive director report information, we have to have a common understanding of the facts. The customer has to have confidence in those who are presenting the facts, and then trust they will perform as promised. It is not a coincidence that those two words, "confidence" and "trust," are in that order. Building "confidence" over the long haul is essential to being trusted when it really matters. It’s that simple.

So, let’s go back and pick an example from the top. Lead service lines. The public already at least have heard of the problem. They want to know about their water. Consider these concepts for confidence building: Openness versus secrecy. Most risk controversies focus as much on "why didn’t you tell us sooner" as they do on the risk itself. Even benign facts turn into guilty secrets if they are withheld. Respect versus contempt. People can tell whether or not they (and their concerns) are being taken seriously. Whether you ultimately agree to do something about the problem may actually matter less than whether you listen respectfully, investigate thoroughly, and respond thoughtfully. Courtesy versus discourtesy. The little things matter: returning phone calls promptly, remembering to send the document you

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| 34 | FALL 2019 TEXASh2o

| executive director report |

promised to send, using other people’s last names if they’re using yours. Concerned citizens become dedicated opponents largely because of discourteous treatment. Similarity versus differentness. Managers who send their kids to the local schools and coach little league are better risk communicators than managers who commute from out of town. The greater the barriers of gender, class, income, language, clothing, etc., the more difficult the communication.

personal. Controversies are easier to resolve when the approach is personal. These are just some of the "tools" of risk communications. And, they can serve you in any situation where you need public support, where you need to build (or rebuild) confidence and when you need to earn trust for the future. Want to know more or interested in training? Let me know at It doesn’t need to be a Crisis in Confidence.

Compassion versus dispassion. Dispassion helps keep science objective – but it’s disastrously out of place in risk communication, where compassionate listening is the first priority. Nobody cares what you know until they know that you care. Personality versus impersonality. Organizations in controversy become less





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| new members |

TAWWA Welcomes New Members Joining July 1–Sept. 15, 2019 Tim Abbott Mesquite, TX

Nicholas Bingham Helotes, TX

Billie Day Dallas, TX

John Fries Pasadena, TX

Miki Martin Austin, TX

Robin Straten Houston, TX

Agave Wire Ltd. Dallas, TX

Dusty Brannum Arlington, TX

Miranda De La Garza Kingsville, TX

Katherine Fudge Houston, TX

Gary McEntire Houston, TX

Sandra Thompson San Antonio, TX

Jerry Allen Wylie, TX

Taylor Brown San Antonio, TX

David Dera New Braunfels, TX

Gerald Garcia Corpus Christi, TX

Alberto Mercado Flores Dallas, TX

Robert Thornber San Antonio, TX

Faith Arnold Grapevine, TX

Jerry Burhans Irving, TX

Pratiksha Dongare Houston, TX

Olivia Garcia Ramirez Mesquite, TX

Tanya Miro Fort Worth, TX

Mason Timmons Weatherford, TX

Atascosa Rural Water Supply Corp. Atascosa, TX

Chem Quest Chemicals Pasadena, TX

Regina Duncan Houston, TX

Nora Gill Victoria, TX

Tim O'Brien Dallas, TX

Ricardo Torres Kingsville, TX

City of Garden Ridge Garden Ridge, TX

Kirk Eager Conroe, TX

Jacob Gore Seguin, TX

Zube Ofoma Houston, TX

Tommy Truitt Houston, TX

Dale Clayton Houston, TX

Kirstin Eller San Antonio, TX

Deepika Gorji Sugar Land, TX

Clay Pace Pasadena, TX

Rachel Coker Austin, TX

Stephen Fleming Dallas, TX

Sarah Gorton San Antonio, TX

Kim Paggioli Houston, TX

Tryon Road Special Utility District Longview, TX

Jesse Cortinas Jonestown, TX

Megan Freytag Fort Worth, TX

Maggie Guinta Austin, TX

Jacob Parsons Garden Ridge, TX

Cody Hastings Blooming Grove, TX

Michael Perry New Braunfels, TX

Greg Haunschild Houston, TX

Mark Podbielski Plano, TX

Richard Hodgson Pflugerville, TX

Shazzadur Rahman Austin, TX

Rodney Hoot Huntsville, TX

Charles Rethman San Antonio, TX

Curtis Jeffrey Bee Cave, TX

Victor Rivera Katy, TX

Miguel Jimenez Galveston, TX

John Saenz Lubbock, TX

Mark Kastl Plano, TX

Michael Sarot Bee Cave, TX

Ethan Key Kilgore, TX

Ikram Sayed Frisco, TX

Hiba Khan Bedford, TX

Ryan Schey Jonestown, TX

Eric Kong San Antonio, TX

Brad Schwab Austin, TX

Andrew Kowalkowski Houston, TX

John Simonson Lipan, TX

Amit Kumar Houston, TX

Adam Sisson Corpus Christi, TX

Elizabeth Lara San Antonio, TX

William Smith Dallas, TX

Rosalyn Le Dallas, TX

Leslie Soto Sanchez Edinburg, TX

Don Martin Cleburne, TX

Sandra Staine Houston, TX

Leticia Augsberger El Paso, TX Ashley Baker Helotes, TX Julie Beggs Austin, TX Juanita Benitez Del Valle, TX

Water Loss olutions Pipeline Condition Assessment

Leak Survey & Leak Pinpointing


Transmission Main Leak Detection

Production / Master Meter Testing & Calibration


James Tubb Nash, TX Jenna Umphreyville Dallas, TX Paras Vaid Austin, TX Carlos Vasquez San Antonio, TX Jared Wesley Wolfforth, TX Blake West West Lake Hills, TX Kevin Wheeler Missouri City, TX Christopher Wilburn Conroe, TX Shawn Wilkinson Roanoke, TX Myra Wilson Austin, TX Jessica Wood Austin, TX Steve Young Austin, TX

| 36 | FALL 2019 TEXASh2o

| letter from the texas section | texas water chair |

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 | letter from the texas section chair program includes the AWWA One Operator Scholarship and the Community Engineering Corps. The One Operator Scholarship program provides funds to operators to assist them with the costs of tuition, certification, webinars and conference attendance. The funds for the WE are raised through donations by the AWWA sections as well as contributions from other donors. These scholarships make it possible for operators to increase their proficiency and knowledge as well as providing them a free one-year AWWA membership. The financial assistance and association membership provide an opportunity for individuals to experience the value of our organization. The other component of the WE program is the Community Engineering Corps (CEC). The CEC is a partnership between AWWA, American Society of Civil Engineers and Engineers without Borders. The CEC provides volunteers to help economically disadvantaged

communities with obtaining or improving their water infrastructure. The CEC teams are made up of engineers, operators and other water/wastewater professionals who assist the community with engineering, funding and other areas the community needs support in completing their project. The Texas Section already has one project under its belt that you can read about on the AWWA website at The support of the additional programs necessitated the need to create the Philanthropy Committee in 2017 to oversee all fundraising activities. The committee oversees the activities of the Water For People, Scholarship and Community Engineering Corps committees to implement our new funding allocation policy. The new policy effective for all funds raised by chapter and section events occurring after September 1, 2019 is 85% for Water For People and 15% towards the Section Scholarship Program. Chapters and the Section also have the option to allocate up to 5% to the AWWA CEC program. Starting January 2020, the allocation for all chapter and Section events will be 75% for Water For People, 25% for Section Scholarship and an additional optional amount of 5% for the CEC. The Section will still receive all funds from chapter fundraising events and transfer them to the appropriate non-profit organizations to accurately track all the Texas Section fundraising efforts. TAWWA leadership feels these changes will enable us to better serve all members of our Section while supporting the initiatives of the Texas Section and AWWA. TEXASh2o FALL 2019 | 37 |

| classified | CLASSIFIED: SAMCO Leak Detection Leak Detection Technician BRIEF JOB DESCRIPTION: Under supervision of the Project Manager, perform acoustic leak detection on various water distribution systems, water conservation consulting and GPS data collection services.


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EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES: • Leak detection and water distribution field knowledge: 1 year experience • Water Distribution license preferred • Knowledge of GPS applications and data collection • Must be proficient with computer skills and applications • Must live in the Austin area to commute daily to SAMCO office building • Able to travel and stay overnight while working on outof-town projects Salary pending qualifications • Employee Incentive Programs Please go to website under "Contact" tab and email application with resume to owner Sam Godfrey 512-751-5325 if you have any questions.

| 38 | FALL 2019 TEXASh2o

|| calendar calendar |

What’s Happening Across Texas DATE



OCT 24

SE TAWWA YP October Seminar

OCT 25

Robert F. Pence Drinking Water Seminar

OCT 30

Water For People, Beer For Us 2019


AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference

NOV 13

Source Water Protection Webcast


AWIA Risk & Resilience Assessment Webcast



HESS Club Houston

The Petroleum Club of Fort Worth Fort Worth

Saint Arnold Brewery Houston

Sheraton Hotel Dallas

11:30 am


11:30 am


11 am

6 pm

Want to share your event with the Texas water community? Contact Mike Howe, 512-238-9292, or Check the Section’s website,, for the latest information on Section activities.


engineers surveyors landscape architects

Fort Worth 817.336.5773


Denton 940.383.4177

Allen 214.461.9867

TBPE Firm No. F-230 • TBPLS Firm No. 10011600 TEXASh2o FALL 2019 | 39 |


c/o GCP Association Services, LLC PO Box 676 | Pflugerville, TX 78691 512-251-8101 | (f ) 512-251-8152 |

J&S Valve





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