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.


 
 

 

My personal leadership philosophy

My personal leadership philosophy can be summed up in just a few words — people first, mission always. Some may mistake the phrase “people first, mission always” as a dictum to coddle unit personnel through adversity, but actually, my focus is on preparing them to overcome adversity. The mission will always press on, but without...
 
 

Work, family balance success marker

“Being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar In our careers, we frequently hear about the importance of having balance in our life and job. Some common...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
TIMOTHY BOYER

Luke plays role in saving species

Staff Sgt.TIMOTHY BOYER A team of wildlife specialists prepare a Sonoran pronghorn for release into the wild at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Ajo. Sixty-nine pronghorn were captured this year. Of those, more tha...
 

 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Road closure Litchfield Road at Northern Parkway is closed daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday to paint the bridge overpass, weather permitting. Northern Parkway will remain open. Reems Road and Dysart Road are alternate routes. For more information, call MCDOT at 480-350-9288. MLK luncheon There will be a Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

MWD Roy — partner, friend passes

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Scott Emmick, 56th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, and Roy, 56th SFS MWD, play Dec. 14, 2012, at the at Luke Air Force Base kennels. The MWD and handler team plays to...
 
 

46 graduate ALS in class 15-1

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 45 senior airmen and one staff sergeant Dec. 11 from class 15-1. The graduates are senior airmen unless otherwise noted. John L. Levitow award: Nathaniel Gladney, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Distinguished graduates: Matthew Goodspeed, 56th Operations Support Squadron; Russell Hires, 56th Medical Support Squadron; James Gilmore, 56t...
 




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