Delaware Rural Water Association’s Robert Slater of Bridgeville was named the 2013 Water Operator of the Year, and the City of Seaford’s Brian Murphy of Seaford was named the 2013 Wastewater Operator of the Year at the 2014 Operator of the Year Ceremony held May 8 at Delaware Technical Community College’s Owens Campus.
The awards are presented annually to water operators, wastewater operators and on-site professionals who have demonstrated outstanding technical excellence and an exemplary work ethic while contributing to the high level of water quality in Delaware.
Slater has over 20 years in the water treatment industry and is currently a water-circuit rider for Delaware Rural Water Association. His nomination as Water Operator of the Year included letters from the Town of Bethany Beach, Town of Blades, City of Harrington, Town of Greenwood, Town of Frederica, Town of Laurel, and the City of Milford. He has assisted in leak detection, fire flow tests, chemical treatment, and water testing, in addition to teaching continuing education classes. He has also helped with fluoride injection and setting up equipment. Slater was praised for his professionalism and reliability, as well as for having a calm, guiding, and mature demeanor when handling any issues.
Murphy has worked in the wastewater field since 2002 and is currently a pretreatment coordinator with the City of Seaford. He is in charge of operations, maintenance, composting, laboratory, process control, and pretreatment coordination. He was praised for his diverse experience, his understanding of the intricacies of each operation, and the compliance record of each plant he has been responsible for overseeing. Murphy currently holds a Level IV Wastewater Operator’s License.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s James Cassidy of Georgetown was named On-site Professional of the Year. Cassidy is currently an environmental program manager 1 at DNREC, and he has spent over 16 years with the state. Cassidy was praised for going above and beyond when assisting homeowners with questions and concerns, and for developing and implementing the Class H Inspector Program.
Also, the Allen J. Williams Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Carol A. Evans of Harrington, owner of Apple-Designs; Doris Hamilton of Georgetown, a senior environmental compliance specialist at DNREC; and Steve Hudson (posthumously), formerly of Tidewater Utilities Inc.
Other nominees included: Water Operator of the Year - Town of Greenwood’s Rodger Breeding of Seaford; Wastewater Operator of the Year - Severn Trent’s Charles Simpson of Georgetown; On-site Professional of the Year - WWES Associates’ Brian Carbaugh of Dover.
The guest speaker for the ceremony was Shawn M. Garvin, regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region III.
The Operator of the Year Ceremony is sponsored by Delaware Technical Community College; the Delaware Rural Water Association; Division of Public Health, Office of Drinking Water; Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, Division of Water Resources; Delaware On-site Wastewater Recycling Association and the Water and Wastewater Operators Association, Eastern Shore Chapter.