I’m here to help

I’m here to help

I began my career 37 years ago with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in the Poplar Bluff Regional Office. I stayed in Poplar Bluff seven months before transferring to the Springfield Regional Office, which is closer to my hometown of Osceola, Missouri. I started out primarily working in Solid Waste and a small amount of Industrial Wastewater. In Springfield, I primarily worked solid waste and a small fraction of Public Drinking Water, but soon moved into Water Pollution Control where I spent the bulk of my career. As the often feared and, most of the time, misunderstood Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) inspector, I visited local facilities to document compliance through the inspection process with the Missouri Clean Water Law, Missouri Department of Natural Resources Regulations, and the facilities Missouri State Operating Permit (MSOP). I’d tell them, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help!” This line got me out of some heated issues and sometimes just brought a smile upon the face of the regulated community. While the inspection never felt like help to the facility, it was my intention to keep the facility out of trouble. If this was not done, it just created more work for everyone through potential enforcement actions. Since coming to work for TREKK, I have been able to better live out the “I’m here to help” portion of that old statement. I have assisted communities in obtaining grant funds to evaluate their collection systems, reviewed draft MSOPs for comments, and helped a client implement an Industrial Pretreatment Program. The family atmosphere at TREKK has extended not only to the...
Improving Lives Through Sanitary Sewer Evalucations

Improving Lives Through Sanitary Sewer Evalucations

You may see typo above, but rest assured, it is intentional. Let me explain. Along with Improving Lives, another main goal of TREKK is educating the communities we serve. Our orange TREKK shirts stick out, regularly serving as conversation starters between us and local residents. Some could see this as a nuisance, but I see it as a way to further solidify the fact that the work we are doing affects everyone, either directly or indirectly. I grew up in a small town and my work in Southwest Missouri is often centered on towns with populations less than 5,000. No matter who I communicate with, I am both educating them and gaining knowledge myself. Be it the little kids who try to sneak a peek down a manhole hoping to see a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pop out, or the town elder who wants nothing more than for you to listen for two minutes about his experiences in his community, I am amazed at how we are able to touch lives. When I started with TREKK, I was one of those people who didn’t understand where wastewater went post flush. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” While the jokes may come and go – “Stuff flows downhill,” “you got something on your boots” – I have come to embrace the work I do on a daily basis. TREKK has built a true All-Star team, of like-minded, purpose driven leaders. And I see every day how what we do matters. A new project was recently posted in our internal Project Management system – “Sanitary Sewer Evalucation”...