Member Spotlight -- Jaimie Foreman
Job and Employer: Regulatory Compliance Administrator, WT3/WT5 Certified Operator, City of Carmel Utilities, located in Indiana. I also chair the steering committee for my state’s WARN – the Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network.
What do you do with WARN? I travel around the state telling water and wastewater utilities about the benefits of being a part of a mutual aid network. During emergencies, WARN quickly gets aid to where it’s needed. And often, the lending utility won’t charge the requesting utility. It’s kind of like letting your friend borrow your car: ‘Hey, bring it back with a full tank and we’re good.’
Have you ever activated the WARN system? Not in Indiana. The most recent activation in the U.S. occurred in South Carolina during Hurricane Matthew.
What are some of the ways you’ve enhanced Indiana’s WARN? Since becoming chair, we’ve partnered with a local generator company to discuss ‘Generator 101’ with utilities and also conducted mock cybersecurity attack exercises with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. We’ve worked with Purdue University, educating on surface water emergency response planning. We’ve gained 49 new members – and now have a total of 143 utilities in our network, covering 80 percent of the state’s population.
WARN was developed through AWWA in 2006. I received the Reggie Baker Award in 2013 for my continuous efforts and leadership with Indiana’s WARN.
What are your daily duties with the Carmel utility? I work with all primacy agencies to ensure compliance for our drinking water utility through monthly reporting, permits, sample collection and scheduling, sanitary surveys and inspections, and plan writing and revisions. During the high demand season, I am a relief operator for various shifts and treatment plants. I represent our utility on various committees locally and regionally.
What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on? In 2013, just one year after starting up our newest treatment plant, we determined that four of our high capacity wells were ground water under the direct influence of surface water. With quick thinking, expedited shipping, and qualified staff -- including skilled laborers, master electricians and certified personnel -- we were able to convert our groundwater plant to treat surface water in 18 days.
What is something unexpected you learned on the job? Early on as an on-call operator, I learned that alarms and/or failures always seem to occur in the middle of the night. Not so funny at the time, but looking back, I did enjoy the excitement of some events, but I enjoy sleep so much more!
In addition to your WARN work, do you have other roles at your Section? I am currently a Trustee for the Indiana Section, Emergency Response Committee Chair, and a member of the Water for People Committee and Water Utility Council. I was the recipient of the “The Water Wheel Award” in 2015.
By the way, any utility that is not a part of its local mutual aid network should be! Go to www .awwa.org, emergency preparedness. Find your local WARN contact, and tell them Jaimie sent you!
How long have you been a member and what have you gotten from your membership? 13 years of membership. I’ve gained the ability to:
• Network with such a diverse group of people with a wide range of knowledge, experience, and personalities. Some of these people have become my closest friends.
• Expand my experience outside of my own utility and bring that experience back
• Use tools, services and standards in plan writing and revisions
• Make a difference
What is your biggest accomplishment? Personally, being a mom! Leading by example for my two boys, 14 and 11. Showing that one person can make a difference and it’s important to never give up. In my career, writing an unattended surface water treatment operations plan for my utility and receiving approval from our primacy agency. This allowed increased efficiency in treatment, resulting in better water quality and cost savings.
Hobbies and outside interests: Kayaking, camping, home renovations, riding motorcycles, chillax’n with my closest friends and refurbishing antiques back to their original beauty.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A princess
What is something that people would be surprised to know about you? In June 2016 I made the ride with my husband and five other “Water Buffalos” to Milwaukee to be initiated into the Ride with Purpose organization as Water Buffalo #82. Thirty-four bikes and 37 Water Buffalos took on the streets of downtown Chicago to ride into ACE. I currently serve as the Membership Committee Chair for this organization, which raises money for Water for People. With that being said, I encourage all to visit www.ridewithpurpose.org and look at becoming a member..... \m/ HORNS UP \m/
What are your mottos in life? “I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it”- Marilyn Monroe. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts”- Winston Churchill. “Some mistakes are too good to make only once.”-Unknown