Local

April 12, 2013

Waste water treatment plant one of Luke’s dirtiest jobs

Tags:
Senior Airman KATE VAUGHN
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Waste water flows out of a treatment pond at the Luke Air Force Base waste water treatment facility.

One of the dirtiest jobs at Luke Air Force Base isn’t even on the base itself. The off-base waste water treatment plant is operated by a team of three civilians and five Airmen who work around the clock.

They operate 24/7 to ensure the entire base receives clean and safe drinking water. However, just because the water ends up clean doesn’t mean it started out that way.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 gallons of waste flows into the water waste treatment plant every day and may contain anything from viruses and bacteria to oil and gas.

The water is treated with chlorine as a disinfectant, heated and stored in two above-ground tanks on base. The water must also meet federal and state laws before being distributed.

Keeping the facility operating and maintaining the different systems can mean actually getting into the waste itself and performing the required repairs. But even though the job can get dirty, it can also be rewarding.

“The best part of my job is feeling like I’ve made a positive impact on the environment,” said Senior Airman Josh Billett, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuels system maintenance technician. “By recycling and saving water, I feel like I am making a difference in more ways than one.”

Chief Master Sgt. David Staton, 56th Fighter Wing command chief, pulls moss from the wall of the final treatment pond at the Luke Air Force Base waste water treatment facility. By the time the water arrives to this point it has been cleaned so well that fish can live in the pond and the water is used to irrigate the golf course.

It’s not just their chain-of-command that these Airmen have to comply with – it’s also federal and state laws, said Senior Master Sgt. David Corbett, 56th CES Operations Flight superintendent.

“Airmen who operate the plant are trained to maintain all plant systems,” Corbett said. “They are required to meet or exceed Environmental Protection Agency standards or the plant could face up to $25,000 in fines for various violations.”

Recent upgrades to the plant have not only made treatment of the water less hands-on, it has also eliminated much of the odor associated with the plant.
“We upgraded our ‘Head works’ which is where the waste first flows into the plant,” said Billett. “Previously we were using an old system that was uncovered and allowed odors to escape. Our new system is mostly covered, which helps, but it also cleans itself as it runs, which in turn prevents those odors from being released.”

Chief Master Sgt. David Staton, 56th Fighter Wing command chief, said he really can’t decide what he thinks the dirtiest part of the job was.
“Just look around – everywhere you look you could get dirty,” he said. “We have these heroes out here every single day working their tails off and getting dirty just to make sure we have clean and safe reusable water. My hat is off to them.”

For information about the quality of Luke’s drinking water, visit www.luke.af.mil and click the “Base Drinking Water Quality Report 30 Jun 2011” link.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel sanctuary. The Hiding Place exhibit will be on display 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 1 in the chapel annex. AFA golf tournament The 16th Annual Air...
 
 
Senior Airman
Marcy Copeland

Historic landmark’s message renewed

Senior AirmanMarcy Copeland The freshly painted Air and Education Training Command shield gives new life to the historic water tower. The water tower received a facelift with “WELCOME TO FIGHTER COUNTRY” and the AETC shield...
 
 

Exchange partners with Sears for savings on cleaning, home improvement, repairs

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is teaming up with Sears to offer military shoppers in the United States special savings on cleaning, home improvement and repair services. Luke Air Force Base Exchange shoppers can now receive special offers on cleaning services including: • Carpets • Upholstery • Protector and deodorizer for carpet and...
 

 
DT_150410-F-VY794-335

Viking Challenge – Not just a spin around the block

Tech. Sgt. John Reeves, 607th Air Control Squadron Charlie Flight NCO in charge, tags in Senior Airman DeAndre Holmes, 607th ACS ground radar journeyman, at the challenge. Each team has 10 members who can run as many laps as th...
 
 
Senior Airman Jason Colbert

A new ‘Wolf’ … Col. Jeremy Sloane

Tech. Sgt. Tim Boyer Sloane prepares to fly his F-16 Fighting Falcon April 13. An Air Force Academy cadet’s dream came true after graduation and earning his wings in 1996. The next stop was Luke Air Force Base where he succes...
 
 

News Briefs April 17, 2015

LOSC The Luke Officers Spouses Club invites spouses of officers to play bingo and have lunch at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Club Five Six. For more information or to RSVP, go to LukeOSCReservations@gmail.com. Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. April 30 in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin