Hardin County Water District No. 1
Serving Radcliff and Hardin County for Over 60 Years
1400 Rogersville Road
Radcliff, KY 40160
(For Immediate Release – No copyright retained or claimed by author / District)
From 1952 until 2008, Hardin County Water District No. 1 employed one maintenance technician to provide repairs for everything from light switches to 250+ horsepower 3-phase motors and high volume pumps. How times have changed. Now HCWD1 owns and operates five utility systems, including the Ft. Knox Water, Ft. Knox Wastewater and Stormwater systems, Radcliff Wastewater and the original County Water system. HCWD1 processes 1.7 billion gallons of drinking water per year, treats 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater per year and maintains almost 700 miles of water distribution and sewer collection lines.
They now employ four highly skilled staff members which they all “Maintenance & Controls Specialists”. These four have a combined 103 years in the maintenance industry. David Burkhead first started with HCWD1 in 1990, but left in 2000 to work at a factory. Seven years later, he started his own business doing welding, farm equipment repairs and various electrical work. In 2015, when his old position was available at HCWD1, he applied and was rehired. David found things in much better shape, as many of the facilities were either new or had been rebuilt since he had last seen them.
HCWD1 had also grown considerably and had become more automated and sophisticated. David is used to building and repairing things, having built his own house (which he still lives in) when he was 21 years old as well as three of his daughter’s homes. In 2015, they added their second MCS, Jeff Bush. Jeff has worked at eight factories for a combined 12 years, as well as owned his own electrical contracting business. Working at a water utility is different than his previous jobs, but has its benefits; “Weekends off has been one of the biggest benefits compared to factory work” says Bush. The two newest hires are William Hardin and Cole Davis. William and Jeff have worked together in the past, having known each other for 30 years. Cole has previously worked with Jeff and William as maintenance electricians.
Today, HCWD1’s MCS staff maintains over 12,000 pieces of equipment at 142 various facility locations. HCWD1’s total service area covers 178 square miles, so David and Jeff tend to drive a lot of miles to perform maintenance throughout the service area. HCWD1’s facilities are highly automated. Operating each facility depends on SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems which inform operators of conditions, allow them to make adjustments, notify them of alarms and collect real time data to report to regulators each month.
Because of these systems, the MCS staff must have extensive training with SCADA systems and other integrated components known as PLC’s (Programmable Logic Controllers). A PLC is a micro-computer that stores instructions or a program to collect data, automatically control equipment and log alarms. Each SCADA system displays all of its signals on large color monitors as a graphic representation of the systems at main facilities. Operators can sit at the SCADA console and monitor, change settings and respond to alarms.
HCWD1 also employs CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) programs to issue work orders to each MCS, letting him know when a routine maintenance task is required or has been scheduled. HCWD1 estimates about 10,000+ PM work orders are completed annually. Other corrective work orders are also entered into the CMMS to track past repairs made, costs invested, part numbers and other detailed information about that piece of equipment.
An MCS must also maintain roughly $47,000 worth of truck and tools, which are assigned to them. Each MCS must perform a wide variety of tasks including high voltage electrical repairs, wiring, welding, troubleshooting, pneumatic controls, hydraulic controls – but also more mundane work which might include changing light bulbs, fixing a toilet or a roof leak. HCWD1 depends on its MCS staff to keep its plants and equipment, valued at over $200 million, operating and maintained in order to squeeze out as many years of service before it must be replaced again.
HCWD1 feels a strong obligation to provide its customers with the best tasting water, return clean safe water to the environment, avoid any customer service interruptions and make sure its operators are aware of the real time status of all its equipment and facilities. These four individuals along with the help of their 66 other water professionals make the huge task of maintaining all of the District’s assets possible.
Hardin County Water District No. 1