California Water Professionals Week: Veterans in Water

During the 2019 California Water Professionals Appreciation Week, Carmichael Water District's (CWD) own veterans were featured in the California Water Environment Association's (CWEA) highlight of Veterans in Water.

Click here to view CWEA's Veterans in Water profiles.

See below for CWD's Veterans in Water profiles.

Mark McClintock, Production Superintendent

Production Superintendent

Tenure and certifications held:
13 Years at CWD, SWRCB T5, SWRCB D4, Cross-Connection Control Specialist

Branch/years of service:
United States Navy, 8 years active duty, 12 years reserve

What is your role?

My position is Production Superintendent: My primary role is to ensure delivery of safe, high quality water to the customers of Carmichael Water District (CWD). I manage a 22 Million Gallon per Day (MGD) water treatment plant, 3 groundwater well sites, and two reservoir/pump stations. I also manage a team of five Water Treatment Operators whose day-to-day activities center around treating and distributing water.

What/who inspired you to work in water?

After leaving military service in 2000 it was my father who suggested the water treatment field. I started my new career working for a small water district located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is where I got hooked on the science of treating water. As my level of certification increased, so did my level of responsibility. I have advanced through the ranks to my current position of Production Superintendent. Working as a water professional is a very rewarding career with a great deal of potential for personal and professional growth.

What fuels your passion for your work?

My energy for work comes from the satisfaction of solving complex problems through teamwork and collaboration. What fuels me is to successfully initiate and implement process improvements, with the end goal of producing the highest quality product possible.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

The biggest misperception about working in water is that most people are not aware of how many different career possibilities are available within the industry. For example there is operations, engineering, conservation, computer (IT), maintenance, chemistry, customer service etc. There is a long list of career possibilities within the water field. There are very few limits to career choices. All of these career fields can be very rewarding and generally have great growth potential.

Why should veterans join this field?

Veterans generally leave the service with a pride in workmanship and a tremendous work ethic. This is what the water industry is looking for in potential candidates to fill their ranks. Prior service members also know how to get work done safely and effectively.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Delivering a high quality product to customers.

Chris Nelson, Public Information Officer

public information officer

Tenure and certifications held:
20 Years with Carmichael Water District and 5 years prior with Arcade Water District. Cross Connection Control Specialist, Distribution Operator Grade 3, Water Treatment Grade 2, Water Use Efficiency Practitioner Grade 2, Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor

Branch/years of service:
United States Air Force, 6 Years

What is your role?

As the Public Information Officer for Carmichael Water District, it is my responsibility to plan, organize, and manage the public information, water efficiency, new construction, and regulatory programs for the District.

What/who inspired you to work in water?

I would have to say that my father played a prominent role in sparking my interest in the water field. After leaving the Air Force, I was all set to join the county transportation department. It was my father who suggested that I apply the skills I learned in the military to the water field. Soon after I started working as a distribution operator repairing leaks and maintaining the system. As I gained more knowledge and higher certification, I started to take on more responsibility ultimately leading me to my current position.

What fuels your passion for your work?

My passion comes from problem solving. The world of water is exciting and every day brings something new. The constant challenges and rewards associated with overcoming hurdles, keeps me motivated. Working in a team environment with my staff, watching them grow along the way, elevates my passion even further.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

One of the biggest mis-perceptions about the water industry is that a person’s career choices are limited. The water industry employs professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds. Scientists, equipment operators, and human resource professionals are just a few of the many vocations available in the water industry.

Why should veterans join this field?

The military instills a sense of pride, leadership, and strong work ethics among its members. These are essential qualities for a successful career in the water field.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

I absolutely enjoy interacting with our community. Whether I am teaching a classroom of children about the water cycle, or discussing policy decisions with community leaders, it is the daily interaction with a diverse group of people that brings me the greatest satisfaction.

Clint Lorimer, Distribution Operator III

distribution operator

Branch/years of service:
Army, 3 Years

What is your role?

I am currently a Distribution Operator III. This is a journey level position, and some of my duties include the installation, repair and replacement of aging water services, new water mains, and fire hydrants to further support future needs in the District’s water distribution system.

What/who inspired you to work in water?

After getting out of the military I really did not know what I wanted to do. I have a younger sibling who worked for a local city in the Water Distribution department. He always talked about the good benefits and potential advancement opportunities. After working many years in the private sector in underground construction where most of my work was out of town, I saw an open position at a local water district and I applied. This gave me the opportunity to be home with my family. That was 16 plus years ago.

What fuels your passion for your work?

You can feel a sense of pride doing a job to better serve your community. I learn something new every day.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

Years ago it may have been the salary compensation, but most municipalities/cities now offer excellent benefits, including retirement plan, paid time off for holidays and vacation plus other benefits. Wages have since increased through the years, and combined with the benefits package it can be a rewarding career.

Why should veterans join this field?

The water industry is in constant need of competent personnel, to deliver service and maintain safe water to the public. Combined with benefits and retirement plans it can be an honorable and rewarding trade. Safe drinking water will always be in demand

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Being in a trade where I am providing a service to my community gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride.