For the third time in five years, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Pump/Motor Technician Dominic “Bruno” Brunozzi has been named the California Water Environment Association’s “Mechanical Technician of the Year.”
Brunozzi was recognized for his dedication to public service and mechanical expertise. He also received the same designation at the local level earlier this year from CWEA’s San Diego Section.
“We are thrilled that Bruno has been recognized as Mechanical Technician of the Year for the third time in five years,” said OMWD Board Vice President Bob Topolovac. “He is not only committed to maintaining equipment essential to providing vital services for our ratepayers, he also sets an example for employees by training operators on the safe use of equipment.”
“I am honored to be recognized by my peers,” said Brunozzi. “It reinforces the view that the water industry is family and that hard work does not go unnoticed.”
Sharing safety knowledge key to Brunozzi’s success
Among Brunozzi’s key on-the-job responsibilities is training OMWD operators on safe equipment use.
“I approach each day with a sense of responsibility that everybody should return to their families safe and sound,” he said. “If an employee is unfamiliar with the proper operation of a piece of equipment, they or someone else can be harmed.”
Brunozzi sees his approach to sharing knowledge and continuous learning as his secrets to professional success.
“Do your best and be honest about it. If you are unsure about something, stop and find someone who has more experience in the subject, then be sure to pass on your knowledge.
“Also, continue to learn. This can be accomplished in many ways; take a class at a local college, watch a video about your industry or perhaps cross train in a different department, you never know what the future may have in store for you.”
Military experience offers transferable career skills to water industry
Dominic Brunozzi credits a 21-year active duty career of service in the United States Navy for his attention to detail and the ability to multitask. He retired in 2007 as a Chief Petty Officer.
“My rate (job description) was Engineman,” said Brunozzi. “I worked on auxiliary equipment onboard combatant vessels: pumps, motors, generators, air conditioners, sewage systems, water purification systems, and their supporting equipment. Navy vessels need to produce drinking water from the ocean, so they use a variety of processes such as distillation and reverse osmosis, then treat the water for human consumption.
“I cannot stress enough how the water industry is a good match for military members looking for a career after the military. The water industry is a close-knit family similar to the military. Their military training provides added skills to the water industry such as maturity, work ethic, and leadership,” he said.
In addition to Brunozzi’s award, OMWD received third-place recognition statewide and from the San Diego Section in the “Community Engagement & Outreach Program of the Year” category. Outreach efforts include engagement with legislators and regulatory officials, classroom visits, presentations to community groups, newsletters, social media posts, community events, and tours of OMWD’s 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility. OMWD serves approximately 14% of its overall demand from recycled water.
Founded in 1927, the CWEA is a not-for-profit association of 9,000-plus professionals in the wastewater industry. The association trains and certifies wastewater professionals disseminates technical information, and promotes sound policies to benefit society through protection and enhancement of the water environment.