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.


 
 

 
Senior Airman
JAMES HENSLEY

F-35 pilot training underway

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Travis Byrom, Lockheed Martin instructor pilot, briefs students in the first F-35 Lightning II training course before the start of class May 5 at Luke Air Force Base. The students are Lt. Col. Sean Ho...
 
 

Everything I need to know about leadership, I learned …

I am sure you’ve heard of, or even read, Robert Fulgham’s best-selling book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Fulgham’s text resonates with many for the simplicity with which he describes “how to be a person.” Leadership in the 21st century Air Force is a much discussed topic, and one can...
 
 

Which one are you?

Have you ever worked for someone you felt was impossible to deal with? How about someone who you simply tolerated? Or have you worked for someone you actually really wanted to work for? What was your work environment like, and what was the attitude of the people among the different types of bosses? Let’s be...
 

 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

Wild Weasels reunite

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS The Wild Weasels gather for a group photo during their reunion May 1 at Luke Air Force Base. The Wild Weasels were formed during the early days of the Vietnam War. Their mission was to seek out and...
 
 

News Briefs May 15, 2015

Leadership Gold Members of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence are visiitng Luke to present Dr. John Maxwell’s Leadership Gold, which grows leaders and fosters teamwork, at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 2 in the Navy Operational Support Center, Bldg. 300, Room 412. Open to civilians and all ranks of enlisted and officers....
 
 

AF announces senior selects

The following master sergeants have been selected for promotion to senior master sergeant: 61st Fighter Squadron Heather Hefner 56th Maintenance Group Christian Brandon 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Paul Branstetter and Brian Leonard 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Andres Vasquez 308th Aircraft Maintenance Unit William Jennings 310th AMU John Taylor 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Tommy C...
 




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