No Main, No Gain: Maintenance of Your Water Mains

Field Operations for Charlotte Water is a critical component to the success of the utility. Serving an area of over one million people is a large undertaking. To add to that, the area of Charlotte is among one of the fastest-growing regions in the entire country. As growth continues, Field Operations must keep pace with maintaining old and new water mains throughout the county. How do they do it? With a strong team and a tried and true strategy.

Field Operations are split into four separate zones, each covering a distinct geographical area of the service area of Charlotte Water. This includes towns outside of Charlotte such as Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, and Pineville.

Pictured above is Zone 1, which serves the northern part of the region.

When asked what each Zone covers, Operations Manager, William Lee, said that focus is applied to areas of maintenance of water infrastructure and situations such as water main breaks, sewer main breaks, preventing and responding to sanitary sewer overflows, and maintaining critical assets such as manholes and sewer lines that reside within that Zone.

These individuals are experts in their field and possess a dedication to the city to see it function as smoothly and effectively as they can make it happen. Many people see through decades-long careers in Field Operations and bring a wide array of skill sets.

One example is Phil Stanley, a Team Leader at Zone 1. He started with Charlotte Water 23 years ago and before that, he had a long career in construction projects and working on plumbing and septic systems. When asked what he likes most he said, “I enjoy the investigative part of it. I like to solve problems and there’s a sense of fulfillment because you can physically see what you did and you serve the people of Charlotte.”

An example of a type of call Field Ops may respond to within the region.

There’s no shortage of interesting days with Field Operations within Charlotte Water, and there’s a little something for everyone. William Lee, Operations Manager, said, “Charlotte Water is a great place to work and there’s a lot of diversity. There are a lot of avenues to find your niche. You get out of it what you put into it.” In the Zone 1 facility, there is a section dedicated to training new field technicians. A particularly fascinating part of the training space was real examples of water and sewer mains with real tools to demonstrate how to make new connections and how to operate valves.

Interested in learning more and joining the team? Check out current job openings at