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May 16, 2011

Water treatment plant employees honored

John Pinkston, a Wastewater Facilities Superintendent in Chandler’s Municipal Utilities Department, was named Large Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations Supervisor of the Year by the AZ Water Association.

Pinkston manages the City’s Airport Water Reclamation Facility (AWRF) located near McQueen and Queen Creek roads and was honored May 4 in Glendale during the Association’s annual conference.

The AZ Water Association is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1928 dedicated to preserving and enhancing Arizona's water environment. Each year, the Association recognizes individuals demonstrating outstanding service and leadership in areas of water and wastewater system operations.

Pinkston has managed the AWRF since 2001 and was involved in its initial construction in 1998 and two multi-million dollar facility expansions that increased the plant’s treatment capacity from five million gallons of wastewater per day (mgd) to 15 mgd.

Also receiving recognition were AWRF employees Steve Hodges and Charlie Estrella who won the Association’s Gimmicks & Gadgets Award for developing a piece of equipment that simplified the process of cleaning large aeration basins at the treatment plant.

The Gimmicks & Gadgets Award recognizes developers of novel devices or procedures that provide a more efficient, safe, or simplified way to perform a routine task or function.

Using a two wheeled hand cart and a water nozzle purchased from a firefighting equipment company, Hodges and Estrella fabricated two portable water cannons (see attached photo) to scour the AWRF's large water treatment basins, reducing time and manpower and eliminating the need to climb into the basins to manually clean them.

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