By Rachel Callaway, Charlotte Water Intern
I came into my internship with the only knowledge about water coming from my mom telling me when I was younger that I needed to be careful with how much water I used because California was in a major drought. So you could say that I was just like most people and expected the water to work and be clean when I needed it, and didn’t even think about what happens when I flushed the toilet.
Being new to Charlotte I learned more about the city, the people in it, and the culture in seven months at Charlotte Water than many people learn in ten years. Here are a few things I learned:
- Charlotte Water never sleeps. There is always someone monitoring water and wastewater at all times. This doesn’t stop. Snow? Holidays? Hurricane? Probably the zombie apocalypse; people are working around the clock. There is dedicated staff at the locations and in the field to make sure that Charlotte is taken care of so we can all have a peace of mind about what we need most.
- Charlotte Water is successful because of its people. It’s important to know that the people who work for Charlotte Water also use it in their homes and in their daily lives. They give it to their children, dogs, their favorite plants, and so on. They care about their work because they know how important it is to their own life.
- It takes a village. With over 900 employees it takes tremendous coordination, expertise and dedication to make sure that over 4,000 miles of water and wastewater pipes work around the clock. Each person at Charlotte Water plays an important role in order to make sure that your water is there when you turn on the tap.
- Lastly, CLTWater is constantly working towards a better future. Through technology, highly trained staff, and other efforts, CLTWater is making sure that future generations are able to enjoy safe, clean water. While today we may have water, things can change. In order to prepare for new growth, they are making sure that conservation of lakes and rivers is happening. That water is not wasted, and that people understand the value of their water.
At the end of my internship I knew more about water than I thought I would ever need. I also learned that while they are Charlotte Water, they are also your neighbors, friends, family, and the work they do is not done for the credit, but done for the love of water and those they serve.