Tag Archives: technician

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 jointeamwater.com

Leaky Meter? We Can Fix That.

Most days, it is likely a regular resident served by Charlotte Water doesn’t even think about where their water comes from or the infrastructure that supports it. However, those thoughts can be at the forefront of your mind if you walk outside and see a flood in your yard from a leaky pipe or fitting.

Charlotte Water has staff on standby at all hours to receive calls about leaks all around the region and will send a tech into the field to personally investigate a problem. Relevant calls come into Dispatch, a team of individuals who man the line 24/7 to be on standby in case the worst happens.

Senior Water Service Technician, Danny Balose, flushing a hydrant to repair a leak.

One of the supervisors at Dispatch, Fred Moody, shared stories of his experiences during his years of service and some of the unique things he’s seen. He said that they see more calls during extreme weather, such as deep freezes, and that it’s important to bear in mind that freezes impact our pipes more than northern regions not because of aged infrastructure, but because we designed our systems to be suitable for the climate we live in.

Outside of extreme events, leaky fittings and pipes can be from a number of things and can range from a serious leak that threatens the integrity of a road to just a damp yard. Below, Danny Balose, a seasoned water service technician, listens to water running through a meter to diagnose where a leak may be coming from.

Danny Balose detecting a leak by listening for running water.

Danny has decades of experience within the area. When I was riding with him to learn more about his role, he knew where many neighborhoods were in Charlotte just by memory from his visits over the years. He holds a philosophy that each visit demands the same attention and care to get to the bottom of the problem. He is meticulous in his record keeping and commits time after each call to fill out exactly what happened.

Danny is just one of many individuals at Charlotte Water that remains dedicated to serving their community. If you see a leak in your own yard or in the street near your home, call 311 and Danny or another technician from Charlotte Water will come out to investigate.