Tim Cox – WCW Member Profile

Working-in-Water-logoWCW Member Profile – Tim Cox

Tim CoxName: Tim Cox
Position: Superintendent, Wastewater Treatment
Organization: City of Swift Current
Born and Raised: Swift Current, Saskatchewan

Education/Training

Class 3 Wastewater Treatment & WW Collection, and although not directly related to the field, a 3-year degree in Sociology from U of Sask.

History in the industry and as a WCW member

I began with the City of SC as a temporary Operator at the Water Treatment Plant. After 18 months at WTP, I spent the next 12 years as a Lift Station Operator for the City, maintaining the 13 lift stations as well as the effluent irrigation system. Once the WWTP was built, I moved into the position of Superintendent and have been there for the past 8 years. I have only been participating in the WCW and SWWA events since I have moved into the Superintendent position and will take over as President of the SWWA in November of 2015.

Typical day

Our days are fairly routine at the WWTP in Swift Current although there always seems to be some issue that we are required to deal with that goes outside the “usual” and forces the operators and me to become problem solvers.

Our mornings are full of laboratory tests and plant inspections to ensure there is nothing out of the ordinary. From there, we address any current problems and perform preventative maintenance duties as required. When all goes well, we keep the plant in a state of meticulous cleanliness and maintain the compound looking as neat as possible. I ensure that any budget items, whether it is Capital or Operating, are being kept up to date and being reported to my direct supervisor. In the summer months, I am responsible for keeping the 3 irrigation pivots running properly to try and reduce the volume of lagoon effluent as much as possible. This includes both pump and pivot maintenance.

Job Satisfaction

I like the fact that my plant is essentially its own department. We utilize other city personnel when required, but are generally left to our own devices to do our jobs and provide the highest quality of effluent possible. I take pride in knowing that when our effluent quality surpasses expectations, that my job is being done well.

Main challenges

When I began in the Water-Wastewater industry, there was significantly less technology and automation than there is today. The main challenge that I face in my position is dealing with the fact that, while technology has made huge strides to make things easier to operate, it has taken the ability to fix operational problems out of my hands. With the advances in automation and programming, the average operator is unable to address those issues as they are usually under the scope of programming professionals.

Advice

My best advice is to learn from all those around you. We have highly trained people in our industry, whether it comes from experience or education, and although we all like to do things our own way most of the time, a wealth of knowledge exists if you’re willing to listen to someone else once and a while.

Time away from work

My spare time is spent golfing in the summer, and playing hockey and curling in the winter.

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