State Water Professionals Recognize Arlington Water Utilities Operator

The Texas Section of the American Water Works Association recently chose Brandon Lacy, an operator in Arlington Water Utilities’ treatment division, to receive the One AWWA Operator Scholarship. The award is given to one water treatment operator in the state each year. It provides a $2,000 scholarship that can be used for professional training in the water field. In addition, Lacy was featured on the cover of Texas H2O, the TAWWA magazine. Lacy said he’ll use the One AWWA Operator Scholarship for continuing education with the hopes of being certified as an instructor by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).

Water operators who work in Arlington’s John F. Kubala and Pierce Burch Water Treatment Plants are certified by the Texas Commission on the Environmental Quality through a program of training and testing. Lacy earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas at Arlington and a master’s degree in management from Dallas Baptist University. In addition, he holds a Class B Surface Water Operator license and a Class III Wastewater license from TCEQ. He began working at Arlington Water Utilities in July 2014, after spending eight years in the golf division of Arlington Parks and Recreation.

“Being an operator is a job where you can go home every day with a sense of accomplishment that you impacted each and every citizen by ensuring that the water supply is safe to consume,” said Lacy. “I have always had a servant’s heart and we are one, if not the only, department that has some sort of contact, whether direct or indirect, with each citizen on a daily basis, and that’s what makes being an operator most enjoyable to me.”

Derek Littlejohn, interim water treatment manager for Arlington Water Utilities, said Lacy has shown an eagerness for taking on new roles and responsibilities.

“Taking time on his own to pursue this scholarship, and having a plan for utilizing it to contribute to the organization and the water industry, are examples of the qualities that make Brandon such a highly valued member of our team,” Littlejohn said.

Arlington Water Utilities focuses on recruiting, developing, and retaining employees whose contributions bolster a sustainable, high-quality water utility. The department has a comprehensive in-house professional education and safety training program. In 2017, the department provided 2,464 hours of training for city staff and employees in neighboring cities through a cooperative agreement. In addition, the City of Arlington offers educational assistance to full time employees seeking higher education degrees and pursing applicable professional training and certifications.

For more about Arlington Water Utilities, visit the department’s webpage at www.arlingtontx.gov/water.