Meet the Team – Chris Walter, Technical Services Manager
1) What is your role at WWU and with the GWA program?
I serve as Technical Services Manager for Waukesha Water Utility and have been here for almost 3 years. This primarily involves coordination of the design and construction management of all new water main facilities. We have an annual 1% replacement goal for the approximately 326 miles of water main in our system. I manage all of our capital improvement projects by working closely with consultants, contractors, public officials, city public works staff, and the general public. Our Technical Services department is also responsible for marking the diggers hotline locate requests, maintaining our GIS mapping database, and managing all new development work as well.
Regarding the GWA program, I am the internal lead for both the water supply and return flow pipelines. My primary focus during the design process is the review of plans and specifications, which gives me the opportunity to meet regularly with the Greeley and Hansen design team. Together we evaluate the details of pipeline design logistics and the array of impacts involved. Just to name a few, these considerations include utility conflicts, feasibility, environmental impacts, cost analysis, traffic control, surface restoration, constructability, and installation production rate. I will also be working with Black & Veatch and the construction management team to monitor and manage the pipeline contract packages once construction begins.
2) What previous work experience helps you with your current role
I have been involved with the design and construction of municipal infrastructure for over 17 years in both the public and private sector. The opportunity to work in a wide variety of communities with such a diverse range of stakeholders has given me valuable experience and perspective. I believe the key to any successful project is the people and the relationships those people have within the project. The technical skills and day to day decisions make the project go, but the communication and engagement is what drives it. I definitely find this to be true of the great team here at Waukesha Water Utility and I am also extremely thankful and fortunate to be part of such an outstanding GWA team working on this revolutionary program.