Meet the Team — Brian Woods, Water Supply Operator for Waukesha Water Utility

Please explain your role with GWA to ensure Waukesha has a smooth transition to Lake Michigan water that will implement a new water supply and establish the delivery of clean, safe drinking water to customers.
As part of a small, yet dynamic department of people who maintain and repair our pump buildings and equipment, I enjoy learning and improving things. This led to me being given the role to lead in the assembly of a water-testing rig we call the “Pipe Loop.”

The Pipe Loop is made up of actual Waukesha Water distribution system pipes that have been delivering water for decades. These pipes are assembled so that Lake Michigan water can flow through them in order to do preliminary water quality testing ahead of the changeover. We had a good plan from our engineers; it took a couple months of work, as well as some innovation, to make it function just right. Initial results from the Pipe Loop testing show very clean water quality; even better than we had anticipated.

I am looking forward to working on the water chemistry of the project which includes new techniques such as a disinfection process along with testing and maintenance procedures. The transition process is interesting and I am confident our team will provide water safe to use and consume for our customers.

What led you to your current role?
Before coming to the Utility in 2010, I taught at a small, private high school and I worked in the summers at my local municipality. I enjoyed the summer work, so I completed a Water Quality Associates Degree and was hired in Waukesha.

I really enjoy being challenged with out-of-the-ordinary tasks that come my way. The running joke around here is that I am working to become Director of Special Projects, a fictitious job title, but probably my dream job. The Pipe Loop was a “special project” that so far has been the most enjoyable project that I have had so far. I am looking forward to more “special projects” as we move toward the transition to Lake Michigan water and beyond.