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D&C Compliance Manager Charles Ecton

Behind the Tap Spotlight: D&C Compliance Manager Charles Ecton

Meet CCWA’s Distribution & Conveyance Compliance Manager Charles Ecton. He is responsible for keeping the Authority current with all Georgia EPD (Environmental Protection Division) regulatory issues regarding the flow of sanitary sewer through more than 1,000 miles of gravity main sewer and 47 miles of force main sewer in our Collection System that covers 98 square miles.

Charles started with CCWA 31 years ago in the field inspecting manholes, running a jack hammer, repairing sewer lines, cleaning sewer lines and all the tasks associated with keeping our system flowing. He then moved to Engineering as a Surveyor, Draftsman and GIS Technician before heading back to the Conveyance section. He was tasked with writing the Authority’s first Capacity, Management, Operations and Maintenance (CMOM) Program. This is an information-based program to effectively run a collections system and help lower the risk of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit violations and discharge violations. It is considered a best practice in the industry.

His experience gives him a knowledge of CCWA’s conveyance system that is matched by few, and he has played a large role in CCWA earning the Georgia Association of Water Professionals Collection System of Excellence Awards year since the early 2000’s.

“Throughout my career here at the Authority I have had very rewarding jobs and have been lucky enough to work my way up to my current position,” he adds.

Charles also serves as a CCWA Ambassador. He is one of the original members of CCWA’s Tap on the Go Team and developed the standard operating procedures for the units. He is also part of CCWA’s FOG Outreach Team that goes out in the community to educate customers of all ages about the importance of properly disposing of fats, oils and grease (FOG) and wipes. He is the first to tell you to never pour FOG down the sink or flush it down a toilet. It eventually cools and solidifies somewhere in the sewer pipe and can lead to nasty, costly sanitary sewer overflows or sewer backups. The same goes for wipes. Even if they are labeled flushable, they do not break down after being flushed and eventually lead to a messy mass that clogs the pipe and damages sewer lift stations.

One of Charles’ biggest challenges is communicating CCWA’s activities to the EPD in a manner that represents our ongoing efforts in a positive light. “Our efforts in improving the Collection System over the past 10 years has allowed us to apply for and be accepted into an agreement with the EPD that greatly reduces fines and penalties associated with Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO). This CMOM based agreement has allowed the Authority to use the funds that would have been paid in fines to perform improvements on the Collection System,” he adds.

“I enjoy this position and look forward to the daily challenges it offers. When other utility professionals ask me where I went to college, I always say the University of Clayton County Water Authority!  I have learned so much here during my 31 years and look forward to one more year of college (before he retires next year),” he says. #waterprofessional