The week of October 7-15 is the first annual California Water Professionals Appreciation week! This week gives us the opportunity to recognize those who ensure that we receive clean, safe drinking water every day. To celebrate this week, we are launching the Padre Profile series, which will highlight Padre Dam employees and their roles in the water process.
Padre Profile: Rob Tron
Rob is the Lead Field Services Technician at Padre Dam, and describes his job as “The most interesting job on the planet”. Rob started out at Padre Dam over 20 years ago as a temporary meter tech and now leads a team of 5.
Rob’s team is responsible for making sure that every customer’s meter is functioning and operating correctly. This team also responds to customer leak concerns and other water service customer needs in the field, including water pressure checks, turning on/off services and replacing electronic reading devices and meters. He describes what his team does as the last step in bringing safe, clean drinking water to customer’s homes. “To get clean water to a customer’s tap, there are many steps and processes it has to go through, we are the last step in the important process of ensuring safe, high quality drinking water to delivered to our customers.”
An important element of Rob and his team’s work is a seven-year meter replacement project. This project will ensure that customers continue to have access to up-to-date electronic water usage information through AquaHawk, and will maintain high levels of meter accuracy for every customer. Rob and his team will spend the next seven years replacing approximately 250 meters a month.
Rob’s favorite part of his day is working with his team on the day’s tasks, and he says that every day is different. “It’s an adventure every day, what you are going to run into.” Rob said, “We get rattlesnakes, we get scorpions, every meter box has a black widow, or a couple, we get lizards, frogs, mice, everything. It’s a dangerous job. You have to be very, very careful out there.”
At the end of the day, Rob takes a lot of pride in the AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) system and all the meters and infrastructure, and says he couldn’t do it without the best team he’s ever worked with. “We really do take ownership of our job.”