Between Source and Tap: Getting to Know the People Behind the Water Treatment Process

When you turn on your tap, you may not be aware of the many people whose hard work and dedication goes into making that possible. We rely on them every time we go to our tap for a drink of water, to make food, to clean our homes, to wash our hands, and so much more. From treatment plants to field operations, we are proud to count many of them as a member of our American Water team.

We’d like to introduce you to some of the behind-the-scenes members of the water treatment process at American Water.

Dionna Pisel, Production Mechanic – New Jersey American Water

Originally joining the New Jersey American Water team through the water quality department, several years ago Dionna Pisel took an opportunity to test out her skills in production—and we are so glad she did. As a production mechanic, Dionna and those around her maintain critical equipment and stations that verify that the water flowing to our customers is properly treated, clean and safe—meeting or surpassing state and federal standards.

In her 14 years with New Jersey American Water, Dionna has become an invaluable asset to the water treatment process and her attitude reflects it.

“I take pride in my responsibility to make sure that people are able to depend on the water coming out of their taps.”

Chuck Shaw, Systems Operator – New Jersey American Water

Countless New Jersey residents have, over the past three decades, received high-quality drinking water as a result Chuck Shaw’s hard work.

Chuck, a systems operator who recently celebrated his 33rd year with the company, is responsible for monitoring and operating the Delaware River Regional Water Treatment Plant—which delivers as much as 40 million gallons of water daily to hundreds of thousands of customers in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties—as well as ground water stations, interconnects and sewer stations in the state. He spends his days conducting water quality lab samples, adjusting chemical feeds, monitoring filter washes, controlling residuals programs, monitoring maintenance screens, recording data, and taking emergency calls, among other important tasks that allow customers to rely on our water services.

“I got into the industry because it provides stability—water will never go out of business. But, it’s that dependency on our work that makes the job that much more important.” 

Trevor Pittman, Utility B, Yardley Field Operations – Pennsylvania American Water

In his former role as a pipe laborer in the construction field, Trevor Pittman learned a lot about the infrastructure that brings water to customers. So, when he came across the opportunity to apply for his current position in field operations with Pennsylvania American Water, he didn’t pass it up. Every day, we benefit from his expertise. As a part of the team who regularly interacts with customers, Trevor responds to emergency calls, checks and changes water meters, flushes hydrants, turns valves, and works to provide water that is free of clutter, all while maintaining the Yardley District’s system.

For Trevor, the hard work is worth the outcome. “From daily hygiene and water consumption to filling a swimming pool or sprinkler system, water makes everybody’s day enjoyable. Knowing that I am a part of bringing a piece of that happiness to others means a lot.”

Harry Mayer, Plant Operator, Yardley – Pennsylvania American Water

In just four months as an American Water team member, Harry Mayer has shown that he exemplifies the mission behind our operations—to help keep life flowing. As a plant operator, he is responsible for many different tasks that keep the plant running, including everything from visiting well sites and pump stations to checking chemicals, completing lab work and creating reports. His hard work helps us provide safe drinking water to many, including the community he calls home. And, he does it all with a sense of purpose.

“Providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable water means a lot to me, and I take it very seriously. Through our work, we need to provide that resource adequately and that we’re not cutting any corners in our service. People put trust into what is coming out of the tap, and it’s our job to stand behind our promise to them.”

We are so grateful to have incredible team members like Dionna, Chuck, Trevor and Harry. We depend on their, and many others’, dedication to their work in our never-ending efforts to provide high-quality, safe water to customers across the country.