Behind the Tap Spotlight: Pelletizing Chief Operator Josh Childers
Meet Pelletizing Chief Operator Josh Childers. Josh works at our Pelletizing Facility that is part of the W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) in Jonesboro. This facility handles all solids generated by wastewater treated at the W.B. Casey WRRF.
As Chief Operator, Josh takes charge of the daily work activities at the Pelletizing facility. His role goes far beyond just supervision. He leads by example, coordinating tasks efficiently and delegating responsibilities with precision. Prioritizing tasks based on their importance, he ensures that the facility functions smoothly, and that tasks are completed promptly. At Pelletizing, safety is key. Josh takes this responsibility seriously, ensuring that every operator is not only trained thoroughly but also equipped with the necessary safety gear and knowledge to perform their tasks securely.
In addition to his leadership responsibilities, Josh handles procurement duties, ensuring a steady supply of replacement parts, oils, lubricants, and chemicals essential for the facility’s operation. Another one of his duties would be completing payroll and understanding budgeting. “I am always ordering parts, so I must be familiar with the operating budget,” he adds. Josh explores avenues to save, be it through mechanical enhancements or chemical applications. This involves collaborating with engineers, contractors, and vendors, seeking innovative solutions that improve processes while minimizing costs.
When challenges arise, he dives headfirst into finding effective solutions. His dedicated approach includes collaborating with CCWA’s General Services department, often putting in work orders to resolve issues promptly.
Pelletizing isn’t for the faint-hearted; it’s a job of constant challenges. Every issue demands immediate attention, and there’s no room for delay. For Josh, these challenges are opportunities to excel. “Our biggest challenges are time and capacity. If you don’t have time, you need capacity and vice versa. The plant was put in service in 1980, so it has a lot of wear and tear. Breakdown of equipment affects your time.”, Josh says. According to Josh, the “flow” of W.B. Casey has increased, which means Pelletizing receives a lot more solids now than back in 1980. “This affects capacity. There is a lot of equipment here that is obsolete. If the equipment goes down, it must be upgraded and upgrades are very expensive”, he adds.
For Josh, success isn’t an individual endeavor, it’s a collaborative achievement. He thrives on working together with his team. Together they form a resilient unit, ensuring the plant’s smooth operation 24/7, 365 days a year. “We have a great group of operators here. They work hard and make my job easier than it could be. Tony, Bennie, Bondo, Antonio, Malcolm, David, and Isaiah. Those guys are easy to lean on when things need to get done,” he adds.
Six years ago, Josh walked through the doors of CCWA, starting his journey as a custodian at Pelletizing. After spending seven months in that role, he embraced a new challenge as a Wastewater Operator at W.B. Casey WRRF for five years. After gaining a wealth of experience and expertise under his belt, Josh returned to Pelletizing, this time in a role that echoed his capabilities and dedication – Chief Operator.
Josh feels that Pelletizing gets a bad rep for its distinctive smell and loud atmosphere, but it holds a unique charm. The work environment is nothing short of fantastic. “You come in every day and work for someone that truly cares about your wellbeing. If you have a good work ethic, and you don’t mind getting dirty occasionally, then Pelletizing could be a great fit for you.” #waterprofessional