Wet Lab video: Hands-on facility where Asheville Water Maintenance workers build their skills

Water repair photo
Even if it's in the middle of the night and they are up to their waist in water and mud, Asheville Water Maintenance workers get out there and do their best to restore water to our customers!


Before they hit the field and real waterline break and installation situations, Asheville Water Resources puts its maintenance employees to the test in a hands-on simulation setting. They get wet!


Tim Burdine’s job: Ensuring that the approximately 1,700 miles of waterline in Asheville’s water system keeps flowing. Burdine, Asheville Water Maintenance Division Manager, has been on the job for more than a decade, down in many ditches, doing many fixes.


As manager, he’s always looking for ways to better train staff. Burdine came up with ideas for a training wet lab, a place where new employees can get their feet wet — literally — and practice their skills before they approach the first broken pipe.


At Water Resource’s Bingham Road facility, newbies face in-the-field simulations.

Besides 1,700 miles of waterline, Asheville’s Water Maintenance Division in collaboration with Water Production, assists with monitoring and repairing 39 pump stations and 33 water storage tanks. They also service around 8,000 fire hydrants throughout the city.


Training employees in the wet lab has been key to quality service and repairs. This innovation is part of Asheville’s culture of continuous improvement.


Here’s a look at the City’s Wet Lab training facility that simulates real-life water repair situations.