NBU Wastewater Treatment Supervisor Wins Operator of the Year

Released 06/13/2017

NBU Wastewater Treatment Supervisor Wins Operator of the Year

BAY MINETTE, AL – James Dean, Wastewater Treatment Supervisor at North Baldwin Utilities (NBU), has been named Wastewater Treatment Operator of the Year for 2017 by the Alabama Rural Water Association (ARWA).

Dean was presented with the award on Wednesday, March 15 at ARWA’s 39th Annual Technical Training Conference Luncheon at the Mobile Convention Center. The award recognizes a State of Alabama Certified Wastewater Treatment Operator with outstanding leadership abilities and accomplishments in wastewater utility operations. 

Dean, both a Grade 4 Water and Wastewater Operator, has worked in the treatment field for over 24 years in multiple roles. Throughout his professional career, he has been involved in every facet of the wastewater industry.

Wastewater Treatment Supervisor at NBU since 2005, Dean oversees both NBU treatment plants, plus all 32 lift stations. With the help of his plant co-workers, Dean keeps NBU’s system healthy, clean and pristine for the residents of north Baldwin. Dean and his staff also proudly give educational tours of the treatment facilities to children in local summer camp programs.

“James is proficient and never stops learning. He enjoys passing on what he has learned to others. He never settles, but always strives to be more innovative with our processes and the efficiency of our system,” said Jason Padgett, General Manager / CEO of NBU.

Outside of his employment with NBU, Dean is also an Operations Consultant and Certification Instructor. He has taught classes all over the State, but more heavily in the Mobile and Baldwin County area. Within the last year, Dean helped spearhead a new program lacking in the industry - a program to gain interest and prepare students for a career in the field of water and wastewater treatment currently being taught at Coastal Alabama Community College (CACC).

"Dean's enthusiasm for his field and desire to share his knowledge with others through teaching is a trait that should be acknowledged. His professionalism, enthusiasm and work ethic are only a few of the traits he possesses. In the short time I have worked with Dean, he has continually displayed these traits in and out of the classroom. He is a tremendous asset to this program. We are pleased he has joined our team," said Tracie Ethington with the Center for Professional Development at CACC.

Dean was one of five ARWA award recipients recognized this year. Other awards presented were General Manager of the Year; Water Operator of the Year, Office Worker of the Year and the John A. Garrett Outstanding Service Award. Congratulations to all the nominees and award winners.

ABOUT NBU: NBU is located in Bay Minette, but provides water, wastewater and natural gas services to residential and industrial customers all over north Baldwin county. It serves a population of more than 37,000 people. With the help of its dedicated team of under 60 employees, each day NBU produces an average of 3 million gallons of drinking water and cleans 1.2 million gallons of reclaimed water for its customers and community. Organized in 1945 by the City of Bay Minette, NBU is governed by a five-member board that is appointed by the mayor and city council. For more information about NBU, please visit www.northbaldwinutilities.com.

ABOUT ARWA: ARWA is a non-profit organization representing water and wastewater systems serving rural communities and towns and those commercial firms which support these systems. Their purpose is to aid systems in complying with State and Federal regulations, help with management and operational problems, and provide or stimulate training initiatives which promote personnel development and efficiency. ARWA is governed by a Board of ten directors elected from the membership. Elections are held annually. An Associate Advisor to the Board is also elected from current Associate Members who represent suppliers of goods and services to the water and wastewater industry in a non-voting capacity. ARWA is a member of the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) which has member affiliates in 45 states and maintains legal counsel in Washington D.C. to help represent utility interests with the U.S. Congress and the White House. ARWA partners with State and Federal Agencies regarding water and wastewater issues.