Today we meet David Furler, the operations supervisor at the city’s waste water pollution control plant (you probably call it a sewer plant, but that hardly does the state-of-the-art facility justice). David’s worked for North Liberty since 2012.
How do you start each day?
I start each day in the North Liberty Waste Water Pollution Control Plant’s state-certified laboratory going through the plant’s SCADA — or supervisory control and data acquisition — system. It’s a program that allows us operators to look at every piece of equipment we have at a glance and determine if it’s running properly. After that I would make operational changes according to laboratory data.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
This position is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the state-certified waste water laboratory. Being in the lab makes me the very first person to know how our facility is operating. The most rewarding part of this position, I think, would be that our industry is on the front lines of water conservation.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Being able to adapt to the ever-changing waste water industry, whether it be plant expansions or new rules that come down from the state or federal levels.
What special certifications or knowledge does your job require?
For the operations supervisor position, I was required to obtain a Grade 3 Waste Water certification. I also possess a Grade 1 in both water treatment and water distribution, but these were not required for my current position.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I would have liked to of known how much is really involved with the day-to-day operations of an activated sludge plant. The average person has no idea of what is involved. We need to be able to wear several different hats working in a waste water plant, such as being a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, a welder, a computer tech and a number of other professions.
What’s your favorite thing to do off the clock?
Spending time with my wife and two kids.