The Decorah Utility Department, from left, Michael O’Hara, Rick Bohr, Jeremy Carolan, Todd Ihde, Dennis Myhre, Jon Young, Don McCormick (retired), Jason Hovey, David Pahlas (retired), Andy Kruse, David Halverson (retired), Josh Ludeking and Bob Watson, who initiated Water and Wastewater Workers of Iowa week. Not pictured, Jim Cooper. (Decorah Newspapers photo by Sarah Strandberg)
The Decorah Utility Department, from left, Michael O’Hara, Rick Bohr, Jeremy Carolan, Todd Ihde, Dennis Myhre, Jon Young, Don McCormick (retired), Jason Hovey, David Pahlas (retired), Andy Kruse, David Halverson (retired), Josh Ludeking and Bob Watson, who initiated Water and Wastewater Workers of Iowa week. Not pictured, Jim Cooper. (Decorah Newspapers photo by Sarah Strandberg)
This week is Water and Wastewater Workers of Iowa week, a time set aside for cities and towns to honor those workers for their role in keeping Iowa and the environment safe and healthy.
Bob Watson of Decorah initiated a week devoted to water and wastewater workers four years ago.
“Most water and wastewater workers do more environmental work in 24 hours than most of us environmentalists do in a year,” Watson said.
“Most of the gain in longevity of life for Americans comes from the sanitary conditions that we take for granted and that comes from having treated water and wastewater. That is the daily work of water and wastewater workers in Iowa and across the country.”
To ensure the yearly proclamation event continues into the future, Watson has established a committee of Decorah Wastewater Superintendent Mike O’ Hara, and Jenny Puffer and Linda Kinman from the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW).
Puffer, an engineer, and DMWW General Manager Bill Stowe wrote the proclamation language recently signed by Governor Terry Branstad:
“Whereas, the state of Iowa’s surface and groundwater are a treasured natural resource, and
“Whereas, the water and wastewater workforce of Iowa have dedicated themselves to applying environmental science to enhance drinking and recreational waters of Iowa and
“Whereas, their applied environmental science-based practices continue to be a vital element in improving the quality of life and preserving and protecting public health in our state, and promoting sustainability in our way of living:
“Now therefore, I, Terry E. Branstad, governor of the state of Iowa, do hereby proclaim the week of July 20-26, 2014 as Water and Wastewater Workers of Iowa Week.”