Tanya Kirby – WCW Member Profile

Working-in-Water-logoWCW Member Profile – Tanya Kirby

Tanya KirbyName: Tanya Kirby
Position: Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, Class III
Organization: City of Swift Current
Born and Raised: Swift Current, SK Area

Education/Training

Environmental Engineering Technology Diploma

History in the industry and as a WCW member

 I graduated from Moose Jaw SIAST with a diploma in Environmental Engineering Technology in 2010. I began working at the Swift Current Wastewater Treatment Plant as an uncertified operator in September 2011. Shortly after that I became a WCW member.  As of May, 2015, I have been working as a certified Class III Operator.

Typical day

Collect influent, effluent, and mixed liquor samples.  Run laboratory tests including TSS, Total Phosphorous, Ammonia, etc. Document results. Record various process values off of our SCADA system. Walk throughout plant, check that all equipment is functioning properly. Perform required maintenance/cleaning tasks to keep all aspects of the plant operating efficiently.

Job Satisfaction

For myself, the most rewarding part is knowing that I play a vital role in providing a high-quality effluent which serves to protect the environment and sustain one of our most valuable natural resources.

Main challenges

 It can be a challenge as a female operator working in a very male-dominated industry.  The position is heavy on the mechanical side of the spectrum, whereas my stronger skills are laboratory and computer oriented. So it is an ongoing struggle for me to adapt to that particular aspect.

Career Highlights

At the Saskatchewan Water Wastewater Association conference this past November I received the Dale Heshka award, recognizing me for excellence in water/wastewater treatment plant operation.

I am fortunate to have seasoned co-workers that I can look to for guidance, and I can rely on my supervisor to share his knowledge and experience with me whenever I ask for it…even many times when I don’t!

Advice

Embrace change, take every opportunity to learn and expand your knowledge and skills. I always feel a sense of satisfaction that I am helping to sustain an essential service for the citizens of my community. This helps motivate me to continually seek new and better ways of doing things.

Time away from work

I have a passion for the environment, for nature in general.  I try to minimalize my footprint at home, as well as at work. I enjoy camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities and am committed to preserving our world so that I, as well as future generations, may continue to enjoy these activities.

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