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. Ivan Martinez, City of Poway Wastewater Utilities Worker, is the Water Utility Hero of the Week.
Water Utility Hero of the Week: Ivan Martinez
Job/Agency: City of Poway Wastewater Utilities Worker
How did you become interested in working in the water industry?
Wastewater wasn’t my first choice, I had planned to work in another industry, but now I am very happy to be working in this field.
How has your job changed during the pandemic?
Our job has changed in a big way. With this pandemic and with a shortage of toilet paper, people are using other alternatives such as paper towels and wipes. It has made an impact on our wastewater system because these items are being flushed down the toilet and that slows down the flow or causes a blockage. We are reporting to more alarms than usual, at all hours of the day, to make sure the wastewater flows.
How are you keeping safe?
Nothing much has changed because we already take sanitary precautions. We just need to clean our equipment more frequently, constantly wash our hands, and ensure we wear our additional PPE (personal protective equipment) during this pandemic.
What are you most looking forward to after the crisis ends?
I just hope that everyone is safe and healthy. Also I hope that everyone goes back to using toilet paper. LOL.
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.