Tony Myers, P.E., Global Drinking Water Treatment Technologist

Water quality is of the utmost importance with this project. Explain how your role works to provide City of Waukesha residents high quality water.
The Waukesha Water Utility has always been proactive in protecting water quality and going beyond regulations to protect public health. I started working with Waukesha in the early 2000’s on a Future Water Supply study. That study set the course for further investigating Lake Michigan as a drinking water source, and carefully evaluating the important factors that go into choosing a long-term water supply. The science-based evaluation methods served us well during the five years of applying for Lake Michigan water.

My current role in helping to bring Lake Michigan water to Waukesha is studying water quality once the Lake Michigan water enters Waukesha water distribution pipes. We will be running Milwaukee treated drinking water through Waukesha’s water pipes on a small scale, called a “pipe loop” study. We will be analyzing the chemistry and quality of the water as it passes through Waukesha’s pipes so that Waukesha residents obtain high quality water that meets all regulations. This study is anticipated to last nearly a year.

Other aspects of the water quality study include flushing pipes to remove sediment, a water sampling and monitoring program to obtain the best information for optimization, and public outreach so customers know what is changing and when.

What is one unusual or interesting aspect of your job?
My job is never the same on any given day. Although water is made up of the same three atoms everywhere, water quality is different because different things dissolve in the water over the years. Even water from the same lake can be different depending on where it is drawn from. That makes life interesting for a water treatment engineer. I have analyzed water from Australia, Singapore, Guatemala, Canada, and all over the United States. Each location has unique water chemistry aspects, and thus unique treatment aspects. In addition, regulations and cultures change from country to country. That also changes how water is treated and delivered.

I have truly enjoyed my three decades as a water treatment engineer. I enjoy the technical challenges, but also the great people I get to meet in the water industry.