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Water Utility Hero of the Week-George Crabbe-City of Carlsbad-primary

Water Utility Hero of the Week: George Crabbe, City of Carlsbad

This feature highlights water utility employees in the San Diego region working during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a safe, reliable and plentiful water supply. The water industry is among the sectors that are classified as essential.

Water Utility Hero of the Week: George Crabbe

Job/Agency: City of Carlsbad Utility Worker II

How did you become interested in working in the water industry?

I became interested in working in the water industry a few years back when I got into the Local 89 Laborers Union as an apprentice and landed different jobs.  The jobs just so happened to be underground water utility installations.  I loved it, but I started thinking long-term and with the support of my family and friends, the pieces fell into place.  Four years later, I am here at the Carlsbad Municipal Water District.

How has your job changed during the pandemic?

Our job in the field hasn’t changed.  I am very fortunate and thankful to still be working during this pandemic.  Our water operators must continue providing safe reliable drinking water and our departments must ensure that the water is delivered with little to no interruption.  The one change in the workplace is abiding to the social distancing requirements and the new norm of wearing masks.  This has been quite an adjustment since we work in groups while doing our preventative maintenance and water service/water main breaks repairs.

How are you keeping safe?

We are keeping safe by following all the requirements for social distancing.  We wear masks and gloves, wipe down our trucks, equipment and office spaces, and we make sure to wash our hands and use hand sanitizer frequently.

What are you most looking forward to after the crisis ends?

I am looking forward to all the state parks and trails opening and being able to go out and enjoy time with my family and friends.  I am looking forward to people being able to go back to work and life going back to normal.

Editor’s note: The Water Utility Hero of the Week highlights essential work performed during the COVID-19 pandemic by employees of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies.

San Diego County Water Authority Member Agency Map

Lake Jennings Campground Opens for RVs

The Lake Jennings campground will reopen Monday, May 18 – but only for recreational vehicles (RVs).  No tent camping will be allowed yet, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recreational side of the lake will remain closed.

Water Systems in Closed Buildings May Require Flushing and Testing

Plumbing systems in buildings closed or vacant for long periods may need to be flushed to safely remove stagnant water.

Water provided by the San Diego Water Authority and its 24 member agencies continues to meet all state and federal drinking water standards. But after water leaves the agencies’ distribution systems and enters private service connections, the water quality can deteriorate if water becomes stagnant.

Most commercial and industrial buildings have been partially occupied even during the COVID-19 shutdown, and HVAC and water systems continue to be maintained and operated even though many employees are working remotely. However, building owners and managers should take special care with plumbing systems in buildings that have been vacant or have had periods of low water use to protect the public and employees returning to work.

That’s because plumbing systems must be actively managed and maintained to prevent bacteria growth. Bacteria can flourish in pipes, fixtures and associated equipment (like fountains, cooling towers and HVAC systems) that aren’t used for several days. Schools, for example, commonly flush pipes before kids and teachers return from breaks.

Three San Diego Reservoirs Reopen for Public Recreation

Three City of San Diego reservoirs will reopen for public recreation this weekend. Miramar Reservoir in Scripps Ranch and Lake Murray in San Carlos open on Friday. The Lower Otay Reservoir will reopen on Saturday, May 16.

The three reservoirs will be open during regular business hours for walking, jogging, cycling, fishing, and boating, with new safety protocols in place. Normal fishing and boating fees will apply.

New protocols include:

  • Restrooms cleaned every two hours
  • Parking lot capacity reduced by 50% to maintain physical distancing
  • Users must comply with County of San Diego public health orders, including facial coverings (masks) and physical distancing

“As we continue to reopen safely and responsibly, we’re looking to expand recreational opportunities for San Diegans eager to stretch their legs or take their boat out on the lake,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Opinion: Safe Drinking Water Must Be Part of Coronavirus Response Package

An extraordinary coalition representing over 500 California voices on water — from local water agencies to environmental justice and community-based organizations to agriculture to environmentalists to civil rights leaders like Dolores Huerta — have come together in this time of crisis with a simple message to our leaders.

Access to water must be included as part of the next major federal legislative package. We cannot expect to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic without water for handwashing and basic sanitation.

More San Diego Shoppers Getting Items Direct from the Farm

San Diego County residents who are trying to avoid grocery stores during the coronavirus pandemic can find a lot of their food needs met through a bountiful supply from local farmers, ranchers and other vendors.

New Survey Reveals American Concerns About Water

An educational organization called “The Water Main” has just released a sweeping new survey of American’s knowledge and concerns about water. I encourage you to browse the full report, but here’s some key findings to entice you.

Insight: Computers in Our Sewers—Digitization of the Water Sector

Technology is revolutionizing wastewater systems, which require a lot of maintenance but are difficult to access under the surface. Ari Goldfarb and Itai Boneh of Kando, a wastewater solutions company, examine how technology is improving wastewater systems and how Covid-19 is having an impact.

New State Park? Climate Catalyst Fund? On Hold in Newsom’s Coronavirus-Afflicted Budget

State officials said that California isn’t backing away from prioritizing environmental protections, but the harsh realities of the economic meltdown require difficult compromises.

Trump’s Water Jurisdiction Rule: What’s All the Fighting About?

The Trump administration’s long-anticipated water jurisdiction rule has already drawn a half-dozen legal challenges since its April release, with more on the way.