Wilmington Water

We recently spoke with Rick Schaffer, Public Works Director at Wilmington Water and Wastewater. Schaffer was hired as a water plant operator at Norwalk, Ohio, in 1999 and promoted to chief operator in 2007. In 2017, he became superintendent of the Wilmington Water Department. He was promoted to Public Works Director in 2019, where he currently is responsible for water, wastewater, stormwater, and utility billing departments. Hear what he has to say about challenges in the industry, his advice for others, and more.

Fontus Blue: How long have you been in the industry? How long have you been at your utility company?

Schaffer: I’ve been in the industry for 23 years and at Wilmington Water and Wastewater for five years.

Fontus Blue: What is the size of the community you serve? How many service connections vs. population?

Schaffer: We serve 5,000 customers with a population of 12,400.

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 5 years?

Schaffer: On the wastewater side, we are designing a new plant. On the water side, PFAS is a problem in our reservoirs. In 2023, I expect inflation will put major pressure on utilities to increase rates much more than has been necessary in the past 10 to 15 years. And in five years, aging infrastructures are going to become even more of a problem.

Fontus Blue: Has working with Fontus Blue changed/improved your utility and utility operations? How so?

Schaffer: Fontus Blue’s software and staff have provided great input for both the water and wastewater operations. Their input has given us confidence we are doing the right things to best serve our customers.

Fontus Blue: If you could share one piece of advice with other utility personnel and leaders in the space, what would it be?

Schaffer: My advice for others in the industry would be to make all decisions with the intention of providing the best product and service for the customer.

Fontus Blue: What are some relevant newsletters, blogs, or industry leaders you follow for insights and inspiration?

Schaffer: Both AWWA and WEF provide great information on trends in the industry.
Rick Schaffer
Wilmington Water
Public Works Director
Decision Blue Customer Since 2020

Wilmington Water and Wastewater

Each day, the City of Wilmington’s Water Treatment Plant produces around 2 million gallons of water for some 12,500 people in the city and immediate area. We are proud to report the water has met every state and federal standard since upgrades were installed in two water towers in 2015. Since 1994, the principal water source for the City of Wilmington has been Caesar Creek Lake. The 2,830-acre lake straddles Warren, Greene, and Clinton counties and is located about 13 miles from Wilmington.

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Fontus Blue

Fontus Blue, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, offering multi-objective decision support software services. Fontus Blue provides dedicated partnerships to utilities and plant personnel, working hand-in-hand to craft tailored solutions that ensure the delivery of exceptional drinking water to their customers. Fontus Blue’s network includes utilities in more than twelve states across the Their clients use Decision Blue daily to provide exceptional drinking water to millions of customers.

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