Idaho Falls, ID – “If you have a question about any type of biological treatment activity, he has the answer,” stated coworker Mike Henricksen when asked about his experience working with Darrin Lords at the City of Idaho Falls’ Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Lords’ knowledge and experience gained from 33 years of working for the city earned him Idaho Operator of the Year, a designation given during the Idaho Reuse & Operators Conference earlier this summer. Lords is a class IV wastewater treatment operator who was promoted from operator to plant foreman in June 2019. He began his career with the city in August of 1986.
Lords was initially nominated by a fellow city employee to receive the Operator of the Year for the Southeast Idaho Operators Section of the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association. He won that division award which then placed him, along with two other operators, in the running to receive Operator of the Year for the entire state of Idaho.
Henricksen added, "Darrin is very knowledgeable about plant treatment. He is always willing to help everybody, is passionate about his job and enjoys teaching others," as evidenced in a June interview with East Idaho News (Out of sight, but not out of mind. What treasures end up at the wastewater treatment plant?).
The mission of the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant is to treat domestic and industrial wastewater from the surrounding community and return it to the highest possible standards before releasing it into the Snake River. Plant operators are in charge of making sure the contamination in wastewater is breaking down effectively during the biological treatment process. This process consists of a series of processes, such as testing samples, maintaining systems and equipment, cleaning tanks and other machinery, and making sure the treatment process is compliant with government safety guidelines.
Media Contact: Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer, Public Works & Fire Department, (208) 612-8122, [email protected].