PPHCSD Water Crew Recognized For A Job Well Done At Recent Board Meeting

Tri-Community NewsPlus

Members of the PPHCSD Water Department crew were invited to a Board Meeting to receive recognition for their excellent work. The Crew recently finished constructing Well 15, which was a necessary addition to the District’s water system. The project was completed in record time, leading to reduced costs for the District.

General Manager Don Bartz welcomed and complimented the hard-working crew on completing a successful project, saying, “These guys finished this project faster than we ever thought it could be done.” Water Operations Manager Sean Wright and Engineering Manager George Cardenas Engineering asked each of the ten crew members to stand and introduce themselves. Each crew member in attendance proudly introduced themselves and let the board know how long they had worked for the District. First, to stand was Frank Ramirez-4 ½ years, followed by Paul Mihalik-7 years, Chris Gualco-7 years, Lance Marckstadt-1 year, Ernesto Araiza 13 ½ years, Eric Barnes-7 ½ years, Oscar Dubon-9 years and Chris Cummings 1-year. Also on the crew but not able to attend were Steven Trujillo and Mike Lewis.
Water Manager Sean Wright then gave an overview of the Well 15 project and all the work that went into its rapid completion. Mr. Wright complemented his outstanding crew, thanking them for their “hard work, sunburns, and tans.” He explained to the board that his crew was presented with the challenge to lay over a mile of 12-inch pipe in just 16 working days. The project also included five fire hydrants, 12 valves, and four valve packages. At the urging of General Manager Don Bartz, Wright added that six months prior, he purchased the 330 “sticks” of pipe needed for the project at a cost of $42 per foot. If he had waited, he would have paid $54 per foot.

The project also allowed everyone to work with and operate equipment they otherwise may have yet to use. Two excavators, a water truck, and a skip loader were rented for the project, which required a trench of almost 5 feet to install the pipe properly. No functioning utilities were hit during the excavation. Wright stated safety procedures were in place, with exit ladders placed every 25 feet and caution tape the around the open areas of the trench. All work was completed without a bandage or scrape.
“Because these guys worked harder than anyone should be asked to work in 16 days, it resulted in cost savings on retail equipment to the District,” said Wright. Prior to the project, the board authorized $39,700 for the rental equipment, which was nearly cut in half because the project was finished in such a short time. The project took only five weeks instead of 8 weeks which was initially anticipated. The Well 15 wellsite was a successful project for the District. The results are a newly tested wellsite with no chromium or arsenic with good water flow producing 700 gallons per minute at a final cost of around $500,000.

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