A Program Of The

City Of Columbia

Wastewater Treatment Plant Employee Christmas Party

CW2020 Employee Newsletter Vol. 5, No. 1

The 2016 Wastewater Treatment Plant Employee Christmas Party was held December 13. CDM Smith helped sponsor the event. WWTP Superintendent David Wiman thanked the staff for their hard work and dedication over the past year and remarked on recent improvements and successes including zero excursions. The plant closely monitors excursions, wastewater discharge within the permit levels, and having no excursions for an entire year is a huge success for the plant staff and the City.  


Wiman praised WWTP staff for spearheading a successful diaper drive for the non-profit organization Power In Changing and for numerous awards throughout the year including the Water Heroes Award, Rookie of the Year, Laboratory Analyst of the Year, and Wastewater Operator of the Year. He commented, “Recognition awards for the plant and the City help build the public’s confidence in the department and foster a better reputation for the City of Columbia. Awards like [these] are huge deals for the City of Columbia. But, these are more about the team carrying the banner and making the best decisions for the plant. The entire plant has a hand in carrying the banner and that’s something to be proud of.” Wiman continued by noting that the WWTP’s goal is to be a best-in-class facility and the entire team can take pride in the improvements made over the last three years to get the plant to a point where it can report zero excursions. These achievements coupled with the resilience of his team encourage him even though the plant struggled with staff turnover in 2016. He looks forward to 2017 when he observes that “trainees are moving up the ladder in the Operations Apprenticeship Program and no operators are in jeopardy of missing their deadlines, in fact, they are all way ahead of schedule.”

Lab Supervisor Sarah Hickman reported that the plant’s laboratory certification was achieved at the end of 2015 and as of July 1, 2016 certification has enabled lab analysts, Melissa Engle and Rachel Furtick, to run samples in-house that would have normally been sent to a contract lab. Hickman noted that the process is going well and the first annual audit in October was excellent. The team held presentations on HachWIMS data and its uses in the lab at SCEC and at the HachWIMS National User Group. Hickman also presented “Quality Matters,” a session on the inner workings of the Metro laboratory, at the 2016 WEASC Operator’s Conference.

Wastewater Plant Supervisor Ashley Dove reported on maintenance and key performance indicators (KPIs). He applauded the team for their work and dedication and commented that in the coming year the team would move toward more preventive work orders. Sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) numbers were higher this year even with the flood’s wet-weather events removed. The area experienced two hurricane events which contributed to the increase in SSO numbers. Coordination with other divisions in the new year will help the City decrease the numbers further.

Amanda Gainey and Jade Jackson presented annual recognition awards and door prizes, provided by Bearing Distributors, Cullum, Black River Machine, Richland Industrial, Carolina Rigging and Howard Engineering, were distributed.


Valor Award
Donald Cho, Thorsten “TK” Killius, Curtis Teets, Grady Wilson, Fred Alexander, Zebedee Palmer, John Boyd & Curtis Simpson

Brinks Award  
Raymond Bishop

Big Brother Award 
Curtis Simpson

Helping Hand Award
Gerald Kirk

Grimy Gloves Award
Curtis Teets & Melissa Engle

Dependability Award
John Garland & Carl Dais

Wellbeing Award
Ramon McKnight

Maximus Award
Donald Cho & Jonah Melegrito

Iron Team Award
Lift Station & Laboratory