Water Resources Department brings home awards for excellence, heroism

Two state professional associations have recognized City of Asheville Water Resources employees for excellence and outstanding achievement, and cited the department as a whole for exceptional safety measures.

Water Production Superintendent <strong>Leslie Carreiro</strong> earned Outstanding Operator of the Year from the NC Waterworks Operators Association. Carreiro has been with the City of Asheville for 23 years and overseen operations for Asheville’s three water plants since 2005. She was named for her organizational ability, oversight of plant upgrades and updating monitoring and sampling schedules to meet new EPA standards. She has also served for years as a volunteer at the NCWOA.

<strong>Randy Rhodes</strong> was awarded the 2014 Water Distribution Operator of the Year by the North Carolina American Water Works Association and the North Carolina Water Environment Association (NC AWWA-WEA). Rhodes played a crucial role in the development of an automated meter reading system that saw the replacement of more than 50,000 water meters and assisted in advancements and programs saving staff time and reducing water loss.

The NC AWWA-WEA also recognized <strong>Darlene Barnwell</strong>, awarding the 6 year water Billing Specialist the national AWWA Heroism Award for her bravery and selfless action in the 2013 rescue of a boy who was being mauled by dogs.

The department as a whole earned the Walter J. Courmon Safety Award for its safety programs and procedures that protect employees on the job. The Water Resources Department has excelled in programs addressing accident prevention, heavy equipment training, electrical safety, emergency action planning and other on-the-job risks. Quality Assurance Coordinator <strong>Sarah McHone</strong> accepted the award at a Nov. 18 NC AWWA-WEA conference.

“We have an outstanding staff that reflects greatly on this department,” said Water Resources Director Steve Shoaf. “These recognitions are indications of the kind of professionalism we see every day, as well as our commitment to drinking water quality, our level of customer service, and the safety of our employees.”

In 2013, 11 year Water Resources employee Timothy Burdine earned NC AWWA-WEA’s <a href=”https://beta.ashevillenc.gov/2013/11/water-services-employee-receives-state-and-national-awards/”>Water Operator of the Year Award</a> and the AWWA’s Operator’s Meritorious Service Award Plaque.