Five staffers with highest state certification in water distribution

Last Updated: 8/10/2016

Underneath Roseville is an intricate distribution system that allows water to move from Folsom Lake through miles of piping before it reaches customers’ taps. The distribution system includes water mains, service lines, water meters, fire hydrants, backflow devices, and groundwater wells—all necessary infrastructure to keep highly treated and safe water flowing so that customers have it when needed.

The classification of water systems is defined by the California Code of Regulations and is based on points assigned according to population served and system complexity. In Roseville, because it’s a large and complex system, the rating is at the highest level, Class D5, and requires that at least one staff person is also certified at the highest level.

And although the state only requires one D-5 certification, we have actually have enough for a starting five basketball team, including Jim Mulligan, Water Utility Manager; Dave Settles, Water Distribution Supervisor; Dave Boisa, Senior Water Distribution Worker; John Tadlock, Water Distribution Worker II; and Mike Nordquist, Water Distribution Worker II.

“Roseville is very proactive,” said Dave Settles. “We want to develop employees as far as they want to go.  When I started five years ago, there were two.  Now there are five with more staff wanting to achieve this same level of certification.”

Certification dates back to the early 70s, when laws and regulations were established that required staff who operate water treatment and distribution facilities to have proper certification to help maintain them to ensure the public trust. These certifications must be renewed every three years and includes a level of continuing education to maintain the accreditation.

Getting D-5 certified isn’t easy, either. The scope of what you need to know as a water distribution worker includes everything from chemistry and mechanical operations to disinfection and flushing processes.  To help maintain the system and water quality, distribution workers must also understand chemical dosing, water sampling and safe chemical handling.  All of this knowledge is tested during a three hour test complete with about 100 questions.

“There is an environment of management support here at EU for employees to continue achieving to their highest potential,” Settles said. “I am very proud that we have five on staff; it’s a big accomplishment.”

Several others are slated to take the D-5 test in September, which is a culmination of a year’s worth of continuing education.