From KOAA.com (Caiti Blase):
David Stanford, a water treatment operator in charge of Beulah’s water systems, says there’s a lot of opening in different parts of the state because older operators are retiring. However, between the years of training and sometimes small wages, replacing those people isn’t just a simple hire.
Russell Chambers, an operator in training, said, “There’s a lot to learn. It’s a pretty challenging job if you like a challenge.”
Chambers has been working at the water districts in Beulah for about four months and it’s just the beginning of his journey to get a Level B certification in order to become a qualified water treatment operator in the valley.
Stanford said, “It does take a lot of learning, a lot of certification, a lot of on the job training.”
The training can take several years.
Stanford said, “You have to know and understand every facet of how to get the water here, get it through the plant, and get it to the customer.”
Which is why it’s time to start training the next generation.
“In the state of Colorado the operators from the 70’s and 80’s, that team is retiring for the most part so there’s a lot of openings in many, many places for training operators.”
Stanford knows just how important this position is.
“I’m responsible for the lives of nearly 600 people that live in this valley. On a daily basis it is my responsibility to deliver to them drinking water that is safe to drink.”
Until Chambers is fully-certified, Stanford is “the guy that has to call the shots and is ultimately responsible for everything that happens with the water.”
It’s why bringing in and training newcomers is an important facet for towns like Beulah.