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Water Utility Hero of the Week: Carrie Selby, City of Escondido

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. Carrie Selby, City of Escondido Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, is the Water Utility Hero of the Week.

Coronavirus: Testing Sewage an ‘Easy Win’

A sewage-based coronavirus test could be an “easy win” that would pick up infection spikes up to 10 days earlier than with existing medical-based tests.

Scientists led by UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology are working on a standardised test to “count” the amount of coronavirus in a wastewater sample.

“The earlier you find [a signal], the earlier an intervention can happen,” says lead researcher Dr Andrew Singer.

“That means lives will be made much more liveable in the current crisis.”

Calif. Farm Bureau President Says Farmworker Safety is Priority

As California’s agricultural industry faces an estimated $6-8 billion loss this year due to the pandemic, farmers and ranchers say they’re working hard to keep the food supply steady and safe.

Opinion: Improving Forest Health Would Create Jobs, Improve Economies in Rural California

The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting urban and rural communities across California. Congress is exploring economic recovery legislation that includes investments in workforce development and infrastructure. And in Sacramento, there have been discussions about focusing future climate and natural resource bonds on economic recovery.

As federal and state decision-makers evaluate the options, they should consider putting Californians to work on improving the health of the state’s headwater forests. This approach would alleviate economic hardships while reducing wildfire risk and generating a suite of other benefits for forest-based communities and the state.

EPA to End Policy Suspending Pollution Monitoring by End of Summer

The Environmental Protection Agency will rescind its controversial policy allowing companies to skip monitoring their pollution by the end of the summer, the agency wrote in a letter to lawmakers.

The policy, unveiled in a March 26 memo in an effort to help companies reduce regulatory burdens during the coronavirus, alerted companies they would not face penalties for failing to monitor their pollution emissions as required under a host of environmental laws.

IID Applauds New California State Budget

The Imperial Irrigation District is celebrating California’s new state budget. In spite of coronavirus-caused spending cuts, it will get the funding it needs for two important environmental projects.

Pandemic, Water Costs, Consumer Behavior Lead to $2 Billion in Ag Losses Thus Far

The pandemic’s direct negative economic impact on California ag is predicted to be between $5.9 and $8.6 billion in 2020. The estimated year-to-date losses are more than $2 billion.

Water Utility Hero-City of Escondido-Essential Workers

Water Utility Hero of the Week: Carrie Selby, City of Escondido

Editor’s Note: 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. Carrie Selby, City of Escondido Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, is the Water Utility Hero of the Week.

Water Utility Hero of the Week: Carrie Selby

Job/Agency: City of Escondido Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator

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

I worked security at Lake Skinner for MWD in 2002, and very much wanted to advance my career but was not sure how. Until, I came across a flyer for an operator position. This interested me, so I asked one of the operators who worked there, how to get into the field. He provided me some materials and this immediately peaked my interest. I ended up applying at another agency and was hired as an Operator-In-Training. Eighteen years later, I am still in the field and currently hold a Grade 3 Certification.

How has your job changed during the pandemic?

Although we regularly practiced extremely good hygiene at the plant. We now have taken extra precautions such as, wearing facemasks, and maintaining social distancing. Temperature stations are now our new norm. We have to take our temperature prior to starting our shift.

How are you keeping safe?

I come to work in proper attire and practice extra sanitizing precautions. I always make sure to change out of anything that I wear at work prior to going home.

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

I am looking forward to getting back to traveling and adventuring out to some hiking trails. Nature is fuel to my soul! I also look forward to spending time with family.

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

SA Water’s Solar Splash Undaunted by Covid-19, Proposes More Solar

After South Australia’s largest water and sewerage service supplier announced in January that it was planning to invest more than $300 million in solar and energy storage in 2020, perhaps SA Water could’ve checked its ambitions when the Covid-19 pandemic reared its elongated neck. However, SA Water is proving that it can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same. 

Senate Democrats Ask Whether PFAS Worsens Coronavirus Cases

Senate Democrats want to know whether being exposed to PFAS chemicals, which have become ubiquitous in the environment, worsens the effect of the coronavirus on the human body.