Celebrate Drinking Water Week!

You turn on the tap, and the water’s there. Easy, right? Water providers across the region, including our Lake Oswego Public Works Department, maintain infrastructure, and work 24 hours a day, every day of the year to make sure your water is always there when you need it.

May 5-11 is Drinking Water Week, a celebration recognizing the vital role water plays in everyday life for both water professionals and the communities they serve. It is an opportunity to highlight the quality of our water, the infrastructure needed to deliver water from the source to your home or business, and the people who make it happen.

Here in Lake Oswego, we are fortunate to have one of the highest-quality water sources in the state: The Clackamas River.

Behind-the-Scenes with Your Water Professionals!

No matter the weather or the emergency, there are hardworking water professionals braving the elements to maintain all the infrastructure needed to ensure high-quality drinking water is there when you need it! Meet some of our dedicated water professionals, who work behind-the-scenes around the clock, to ensure the Lake Oswego community enjoys nature's most precious resource.

Sam Rask – Water Utility Worker

What is your favorite or least favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is the crew I get to work with and the whole staff at public works. We all strive to provide an excellent level of service and don’t let bad weather or difficult situations get in the way of that. My least favorite part of the job is changing meter box lids.With the AMI project going on, we have a lot we have to go back to and replace with the AMI antenna lids and it’s a very monotonous process. 

What is one thing you can’t live without at work?

I can’t go a day without some form of caffeine in the morning to get me going.

Why are you passionate about working in the water industry?

It’s a fun and challenging industry to be a part of. There’s a lot of different duties that you could be doing from day-to-day that keeps it interesting and fresh.

What does H20/drinking water mean to you?

It’s a vital resource that a lot of people take for granted. Without water, we would be in a lot of trouble healthwise.

What is one thing you would like more customers know about their drinking water?

There is a lot that goes into providing clean and safe water for them to drink. Whether it’s treating the water at the treatment plant, maintaining and installing water mains, replacing water meters, or installing new water services. There is always something going on in an effort to provide water.

What accomplishments are you most proud of in your department?

One of the things I am most proud of is how we tackle main breaks. We all strive to get it assessed and repaired as quickly as we can while making sure we don’t affect the drinking water we are providing. We’re not always stoked to be coming in after hours to make a repair but it’s always a good feeling when you get the repair band on and the leak sealed up!

Susie Anderson – Administrative Assistant at the Water Treatment Plant 

What is your favorite or least favorite part of your job?

My favorite thing about my job is the quiet, beautiful park-like setting the plant resides in. It’s nice to look out and see all the trees and landscaping.  I also enjoy the people I work with.

What is one thing you can’t live without at work?

There’s three.  My computer, my water bottle, and dark chocolate.

Why are you passionate about working in the water industry?

Water is essential to our health and survival.  I’m proud to be part of a team that delivers this vital resource to the community.

What does H20/drinking water mean to you?

Drinking water is essential to life and a precious resource. I like knowing where our drinking water comes from and am mindful to not be wasteful.

What is one thing you would like more customers know about their drinking water?

I would like more customers to realize that there are water professionals working seven days a week, year-round, through holidays and severe weather, ensuring high quality water is delivered to their homes and businesses. 

What accomplishments are you most proud of in your department?

Every three years, Oregon Health Authority Drinking Water Services conducts a rigorous survey of water systems. The Water Treatment Plant achieved “Outstanding Performance” on its last survey, a tribute to the professionals who operate, maintain, and manage the facility.

Ryan Hepler - Water Treatment Plant Operator 

What is your favorite or least favorite part of your job? 

My favorite part of the job is working with such a great team and I enjoy those occasions when I am able to do any type of water sampling in the beautiful Oregon weather.

What is one thing you can’t live without at work?

I enjoy working around people with a great sense of humor, it definitely makes the day more enjoyable for me.

Why are you passionate about working in the water industry?

I appreciate the importance of clean and safe drinking water and what it takes to get it to our taps.  We are lucky to have such a great water source.

What does H20/drinking water mean to you?

Water is vital for everyone and we all should be able to trust that what comes out of the faucet is clean and safe.

What is one thing you would like more customers to know about their drinking water? 

That there are a lot of people working to ensure we have good quality drinking water. There is no need to buy bottled water.  We have a fantastic treatment plant and the water in the distribution system is routinely sampled to verify it is safe to drink.

What accomplishments are you most proud of in your department?

In my short time here, I have seen how well the Treatment Plant staff worked with our Utility Crew during an emergency, like we had in the recent ice storm. We had several pump stations that lost power and we were able to communicate with the Utility team to get generators on site no matter how busy they must have been while dealing with storm damage and water leaks.

Water Treatment Plant Tours - Sign Up!

In celebration of National Drinking Water Week (May 5-11) and National Public Works Week (May 19-24) 2024, please register to attend a behind-the-scenes tour at the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Treatment Plant, located in West Linn!

Tours will take approximately 1 ½ hours and are limited to 15 people per tour. Click here to sign up! 

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