Fontus Blue: How long have you been in the industry? How long have you been at your utility company?
Ebie: I started with an OIT License as a Shift Operator with Akron Water 15 years ago. Fontus Blue: What is the size of the community you serve? How many service connections vs. population?
Ebie: We supply 35 MGD of water to 94,000 Service Connections serving nearly 200,000 customers. Fontus Blue: What is a challenge your utility company is facing this year? What do you expect to be an upcoming challenge in 2023? What about the next five years?
Ebie: I think some challenges we’ll see this year and next include budgeting for increased chemical costs. In the next five years, major capital improvement expenses and stricter EPA regulations will create challenges throughout the industry. Fontus Blue: Has working with Fontus Blue changed/improved your utility and utility operations? How so?
Ebie: Yes, working with Fontus Blue has changed our operations. We now have a more scientific approach to chemical changes for water quality improvements. We also can predict DBP formation potential based on those changes. Fontus Blue: If you could share one piece of advice with other utility personnel and leaders in the space, what would it be?
Ebie: My advice would be that increased collaboration and interaction with other utilities can be a great resource for your own operating challenges. Fontus Blue: What are some relevant newsletters, blogs, or industry leaders you follow for insights and inspiration?
Ebie: I’d recommend resources like AWWA Opflow,
and Ohio EPA Outreach