MMWD at Work
John, Construction Inspector
Talk about experienced: MMWD Construction Inspector John Schenone is retiring after almost 53 years on the job!
John started at the water district in 1966 as a summer helper on the gardening crew, before being hired on as a laborer/pipefitter. Later he worked as a pipe locater in the Engineering Records Department and a drafter in the Design Department, where he served as resident draftsman for the construction of Soulajule Reservoir and the expansion of Kent Lake.
Since 1985, John has worked as part of our Construction Management team, who are tasked with overseeing the broad range of construction projects needed to keep our water system in good working condition. With over 900 miles of pipeline and more than 200 storage tanks and pump stations in our distribution system, we are continually replacing older, worn-out facilities. John compares having a great water system to having a nice car: “You have to take care of it and maintain it.”
As a Construction Inspector, John works closely with the construction companies who are awarded contracts based on a public competitive bid process. He serves as MMWD’s eyes and ears on the job site, making sure the work is completed to our specifications. He’s also responsible for issuing the pipes, fittings and other materials required for each project, as well as for reviewing project invoices. And since construction can mean traffic disruptions and other inconveniences, he communicates with neighbors and works with the contractors to minimize impacts.
Of all his experience at MMWD, John says he’s most enjoyed his current position because it allows him to combine his technical knowledge with being out in the field. “It’s challenging work,” he says, “but at the end of the day you really feel like you’ve accomplished something.”
Gloria, Senior Customer Service RepresentativeWith nearly 200,000 customers in our service area, one would think it would be impossible to maintain personal connections.
Not so, however, for Gloria, a Senior Customer Service Representative who has worked at MMWD for 20 years. Gloria can tell you who is coming in to our customer service counter, when, and about how much their bill will be. When a longtime customer didn’t make it in to pay his bill due to a health concern, Gloria noticed and personally reached out. When the customer was well enough to come back into our offices, he had a bouquet of flowers ready for Gloria.
In addition to making lasting personal connections with our customers, Gloria also manages MMWD’s affordability programs, processing applications for the Service Charge Waiver Program for Low Income Customers and the Medical Disability Discount.
“This is a great place to work,” says Gloria. “I enjoy the teamwork. I like that management is flexible and willing to work with customers who may have financial problems with paying their bills. I like that we, as a district, come together to provide the community with reliable, high-quality water.”
To learn more about our discounted rate programs, visit: marinwater.org/discounts
Christina, Water Conservation Specialist II
As one of MMWD's Water Conservation Specialists, Christina’s days are busy and varied. She may spend her morning at a customer’s home identifying a problem with their irrigation controller, and in the afternoon visit an elementary school to teach first graders about the water cycle and the importance of the Mt. Tamalpais watershed.
Matt, Park Ranger
Even after 23 years on the job, MMWD Park Ranger Matt Cerkel never knows what each day will hold. As one of six rangers tasked with protecting MMWD’s nearly 22,000 acres of watershed land, Matt functions as peace officer, wildland firefighter, EMT, search and rescue specialist, naturalist, historian and educator. Watch the video below to learn more:
Dewey, Supervisor of Reclamation and Backflow
MMWD Supervisor of Reclamation and Backflow Dewey Sorensen is on the front lines of ensuring a safe and reliable drinking water supply. What is backflow? Backflow is the reversal of water flow back into the public drinking water system. This is usually caused by backpressure, which occurs when downstream pressure rises above the supply pressure. Backflow events occur daily in water systems. Where backflow events become a concern is when a water line is connected to a source of pollution, such as irrigation water (with various dirt particles), and gets mixed in with the clean public drinking water.
Dewey and the Backflow and Reclamation team of Alex Amour and Nole Studley work tirelessly to prevent backflow events by identifying cross-connections (temporary or permanent locations between public drinking water and a consumer's water system that could potentially introduce contamination or pollution into the public or private drinking water system) and ensuring the installation of backflow prevention devices. Backflow preventers installed at cross-connections must be inspected annually and Dewey’s group ensures this happens to the tune of about 8,700 inspections a year.
According to Dewey, “This position is the pinnacle in the industry, and I am very humbled by the opportunity to be part of the multi-barrier approach of protecting the public water supply from contamination. Every day I am thrilled to be able to bring current industry-wide best practices into operation here at MMWD. This freedom has allowed the Reclamation and Backflow Group at MMWD to become one of the most efficient and progressive in the country.”
We’re happy to have you here, Dewey, and we’re sure our customers appreciate your efforts to make sure their water is safe.
Chris, Water Quality Lab Manager
Marin Municipal Water District’s water goes through over 120,000 quality tests in a year to ensure what arrives at your home’s tap is safe to drink. Who oversees many of tests, and ultimately, the health and safety of our customers? Chris Nanney, our Water Quality Lab Manager.
During his 20 years (and counting!) at MMWD, Chris has worked his way from an entry level Chemist, to managing the lab — gaining invaluable experience along the way.
Chris oversees all water quality field staff as they gather samples from different points in MMWD’s water distribution system.
He also manages a team of chemists that test the samples to ensure our water meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards. With ever-changing regulations and improved testing technology and equipment, there is rarely a dull day in the lab. “MMWD keeps me challenged, as there is always something new for us in the lab world.” As MMWD’s resident water quality expert, Chris finds answering customer questions and troubleshooting T&O (taste and odor) concerns especially rewarding.
With a professional like Chris working behind the scenes, our customers can rest assured their water not only tastes great, but is safe to drink, and that is an irreplaceable asset to our community.