Vernon Public Works Director, Darell Kennon, said when employees start in the wastewater department — they immediately go through safety training because of all the dangers that come with the job.
“All of our employees have to be licensed to work here,” Kennon said. “Of course, when they first start off they are obtaining their license and through that training, they are taught the dangers of working at a wastewater treatment plant.”
Employees also watch safety videos once or twice a month.
“Our biggest concern is our lift stations because they have the biggest potential for gases to collect in a low lying area,” Kennon said.
He said that is where it can be especially dangerous and employees also use meters to help gage the air quality to help avoid any potential life threatening accident.
“Hydrogen sulfide is the major issue and it collects off of a septic type wastewater, which is a decaying situation. And when it forms that gas, it collects in low lying areas,” Kennon said.
Situations like the one at the plant in Wichita Falls certainly grab the attention of all who work with wastewater.
“It heightens everybody’s awareness. It’s unfortunate that it takes an event like that to make us more aware and I think everybody was or is aware, but it’s something like this that gets your attention,” Kennon said.
Kennon said he and his employees send their condolences to all the families affected by the situation in Wichita Falls.