Earnhart named groundwater operator of year
The work done to provide water 24 hours a day, seven days a week to thousands of Union County residents has received special recognition.
The Illinois Potable Water Supply Operators Association, IPWSOA, has recognized eight outstanding professionals in their individual categories of service.
These operators produce and supply drinking water for Illinois public water supply consumers.
Drinking water professionals and guests of the Illinois Potable Water Operators Association honored Edward Earnhart, the superintendent of the Anna-Jonesboro Water Commission, as groundwater operator of the year.
Matt Vasey with the Village of Fox Lake and James Mensendike with the Village of Elizabeth, were named as runners-up for the top spot.
All three individuals were recognized for their outstanding work in supplying safe drinking water on a daily basis to consumers, as well as their contributions to the industry and community.
Operators are rated on the day-to-day operation and maintenance of their facilities.
Earnhart was selected as operator of the year in the groundwater system category.
Earnhart has 30 years of experience in the water industry and holds a Class A water supply operator certificate.
He is responsible for all daily operation and maintenance activities associated with the Anna-Jonesboro Water Commission system.
Earnhart was an essential part of recent upgrades at the plant and at the facility’s well fields.
Earnhart’s nominator wrote: “Ed has given his whole life to being the best operator and provider he can be to the water industry, operations, and the community.”
Earnhart said that his award is a reflection of the hard work done by the crew at the water commission plant, which is west of Jonesboro. “Nobody can do it by himself,” he said.
The Anna-Jonesboro Water Commission treats and distributes approximately 1.3 million gallons of water per day to 26 service connections. The facility includes a well field and an iron removal treatment plant.
The commission provides water to Anna, Jonesboro, the Shawnee Valley Water District, Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in Anna and part of the Lick Creek Public Water District. The commission serves SouthWater in the event of an emergency.
The Anna-Jonesboro Water Commission is governed by three commissioners. The commissioners are Brad L. Rendleman, Steven L. Guined and Douglas S. Edwards.
There are approximately 4,000 certified drinking water operators in the State of Illinois.
These operators were nominated by owners, operators and other professionals in the drinking water industry.
Finalists were then reviewed by other certified drinking water operators who serve on the operator of the year nomination and final selection committees of IPWSOA.
Operators of the year and nominees were honored during the association’s recent 86th annual conference in Springfield.
Members from all areas of the state met to stay current on new industry regulations, equipment and processes.
Winners of the 2017 awards were announced and received their plaques during a three-day event. A traveling trophy also has been presented to the Anna-Jonesboro Water Commission.