Dan Duchniak, P. E. General Manager of Waukesha Water Utility
What experience has assisted you with your current role as general manager of Waukesha Water Utility?
Without a doubt, my training and experience in the public works field has provided me the background necessary to answer questions the public brings to us regarding our project. Also, having been through every phase of the water issue with the City of Waukesha provides me the knowledge of every detail of our application. Therefore, I am comfortable talking about almost any aspect of our program and confident that I am providing accurate information. The experience that would be unusually beneficial was my experience as a bartender when I was working through college. I worked in a bar that catered to a professional crowd, therefore, I developed the ability to talk to nearly any type of personality. I also learned how to explain things in basic language knowing that not everyone would have the training and technical background that I have. That allows me to be more effective when communicating with the public.
Between now and when the pipeline construction is complete, what are a few of your more important roles with this program?
First and foremost, we need to keep the lines of communication open between Waukesha and all of the communities we will be working with to construct the infrastructure necessary to get Great Lakes water out to Waukesha and then return it to the Root River in the city of Franklin. These are communities that are working with us and not necessarily gaining anything so communication with them will be key to the success of the program. We also need to continue to communicate with the residents of the city of Waukesha. They are the ones that are affected by this program the most and therefore maintaining open lines of communication between the program and them will also be critical. Finally, watching over the spending of the program so that we can keep rates as reasonable as possible. We all know that costs are going to increase but we need to do our fiduciary responsibility and keep them as low as possible.