Lincoln Water System Operations staff work round the clock to ensure proper water treatment. From a secure facility, operators use several sources of data to determine the best treatment strategy. Each day, at least once per shift, operators perform laboratory tests to ensure that water treatment standards and practices are being performed correctly and consistently.
All operators must be certified by the State of Nebraska and hold a Water Operators Certificate. They must also attend continuing education classes to maintain their certification. All findings and actions taken by the operators are documented to comply with State and Federal laws.
The Lincoln Water System Quality Laboratory staff tests the drinking water for a variety of tests daily to assure the quality of the drinking water. Samples are collected daily from the untreated water supply coming into the treatment facility, the finished treated water supply leaving the facility and at various locations within the treatment facility for quality assurance analysis. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-art equipment for an analysis of a variety of inorganic (i.e. iron, manganese), organic (i.e. herbicides and pesticides) and microbiological analytes (i.e. total coliform, e-coli).
Laboratory Specialists also collect samples daily from various locations within the distribution system with the ability and necessary instrumentation to analyze many analytes on-site. Water samples that need to be analyzed in the laboratory are transported in coolers to insure sample integrity. State and Federal regulations require compliance monitoring in addition to the quality assurance described above. Compliance samples are collected by laboratory staff and sent to EPA approved laboratories for analysis.
Each Laboratory Specialist is a Nebraska certified operator in addition to a having a two or four year degree in natural sciences.
There are many facets to running a water treatment facility. This is the job of the Maintenance Mechanics/Electricians at Lincoln Water System. As technology advances, this is becoming an increasingly complicated job. The hundreds of valves, motors, pumps, and remote monitoring devices are the responsibility of employees. When a vital piece of equipment fails, the maintenance mechanics/electricians are called on to repair/replace this equipment all hours of the day or night.