Today we meet Michael Pentecost, the water department’s assistant superintendent. You may have read about we’re gearing up for a new water plant to serve our growing population. Michael’s worked for North Liberty since 2001, when the current facility was already a few decades old.
How do you start each day?
I usually start each day performing sample testing. There are a number of water parameters the Department of Natural Resources requires us to monitor and test for public drinking water. The sample testing can range from daily samples to once every three years. It all depends on what’s required by the DNR for our particular water system.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
What I enjoy the most is when I can help a water customer with something they don’t understand, and they are appreciative of it. This could range from “Why did I use so much water this month?” to “What is that blue metal circle in my driveway?” In most situations, the public is very receptive to what we are doing and why we are doing it once they have information about it.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Time! In many cases, my department is needed in the same place at the same time. The fast growth of the community can often spread personnel and resources thin, but I feel we have done very well managing this.
Where can people find you during the day?
Great question. My department is not fix based because we are responsible for both the treatment and the distribution of our water system. Some communities have multiple personal and departments for this, but in North Liberty, the water department manages all of this. We take care of everything from the wells that the water comes from, the treatment process, the distribution pipes and water towers, down to the meters on all the houses. Short answer is anywhere. I am typically always on the move.
What special certifications or knowledge does your job require?
My job requires a treatment and distribution license issued by the Iowa DNR and experience in the water field. I currently maintain a Grade 3 license in Water Treatment as well as a Grade 3 license in Water Distribution.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Not sure. I think I have learned so much from my experiences here that I wouldn’t change anything. At the time, they may not have all been fun but I learned a lot from them. They have made me a better employee by learning things best only through experiences.
What’s your favorite place in North Liberty?
Any of the athletic places. I love to watch my kids participate in sports. That could be the Rec Center, Penn Meadows Park, or Synergy Gymnastics. I enjoy seeing them be active.
What’s your favorite thing to do off the clock?
My family and I like to be on the water boating. We are very lucky that the Coralville Reservoir is so close that we can enjoy it so much during the summer. We also enjoy traveling to other water ways in the Midwest.