August 2006, Vol. 18, No.8

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor -

Toot Our Own Horn

Dear Editor,

With reference to your editorial on page 52 of the June 2006 WE&T publication, I have been in this business for 32 years and I, too, don’t know how to break that barrier. I have developed some thoughts that to some degree recognize the issue but haven’t solved anything. In no particular order of importance, here are some of my thoughts:

  • We should emphasize the end product, clean water, not the raw product, wastewater. What other factory is referred to by its raw products? Maybe we should refer to ourselves as clean water producers not wastewater processors.
  • Sewer service is the only service that goes away from a household. All other services, water, gas, electricity, cable TV, telephone, etc., come in to the household and any interruption of service is immediately noticed and people understand what they are paying for.
  • In most cities, historically, everyone considers it a promotion to go from the wastewater plant to the water plant. Therefore, higher pay is associated with water operations. However, normally working in more hazardous conditions, with a more hazardous material, in a job that is typically more complex would command a higher rate of pay than the opposite, which is traditionally the case with water and wastewater.

Somehow we need to “toot our own horn,” so that our service is considered and recognized as more valuable to the communities that we serve.

Thanks for your editorial.

Richard A. Coleman, Manager
Greenwood Metropolitan District
Greenwood, SC

P.S. This sewer authority was formed in 1959, and the name does not even depict our service. What is a metropolitan?  I always have to explain what I do after someone asks me where I work. I tell them that “I am the No. 1 man in the No. 2 business in Greenwood.” I do that so they will remember it after I explain it.