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. LaMont Foster, Santa Fe Irrigation District Utility Worker I, is the Water Utility Hero of the Week.
Water Utility Hero of the Week: LaMont Foster
Job/Agency: Santa Fe Irrigation District Utility Worker I
How did you become interested in working in the water industry?
I’ve had a few careers before working here at Santa Fe. After being laid off from a job I was at for more than 20 years, I was working as a bus driver for a school district. Someone had mentioned the water and wastewater internship managed by the San Diego County Water Authority. I applied and was accepted and worked with some great people at Otay and Helix and transitioned to a full-time job at SFID. I really enjoy working in the water industry. Water puts everyone on the same level. We all need it, and we all appreciate it even more when there is a problem getting it.
How has your job changed during the pandemic?
We used to drive around in crews of two together, but we drive separately now. We are also moving around the building a little differently and changing reporting times so there are fewer people in one place at a time, but other than that, the work is the same. We respond to customer concerns, fix what needs to be fixed and keep our maintenance schedule.
How are you keeping safe?
I’ve got some high-risk people in my family, so I am doing what I can to limit my exposure to people and going places. Just me and the family at the house and I am always sure to mask up. It’s important.
What are you most looking forward to after the crisis ends?
My life isn’t all that much different, but I really look forward to taking my wife and son out for a nice meal and enjoying ourselves. Not be worried or anxious about the people around me. I am really looking forward to that.
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.