"Imagine the mess we'd have around our houses if we didn't have this system," asks Terry, engineering manager with a local municipality wastewater and drainage division. "People take a lot of things for granted once they flush the toilet or flush the dishwater."
That water has to have somewhere to go, and people have to be there to design and assess existing sewer and storm systems, monitor flows in each and calculate the affects of flow quantity and quality. Terry spends his time overseeing the other engineers on staff who ensure these responsibilities are met. He works in an office Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and like any manager, has to keep an eye on spending.
Engineers in the department will have a minimum of a bachelor degree and certification from the provincial licensing body, and in addition, specialized training in computer applications of hydrology and hydrologic simulation models. Working in teams, and with computers, the engineering group ensures the wastewater and drainage system works efficiently without harming the natural world around us.
"It's an interesting job because you get to have an impact on the environment," Terry said. "The best part of the work is the people, and the worst part is that I need to rest once in a while. It is pretty demanding. You can get pretty wound up in it."
While wastewater, with its potentially harmful ingredients needs careful monitoring and handling, the drainage system also needs special attention. "All the use of technology has a lot of wastes and a lot of them you don't see," Terry said. "All those bits that fall onto our urban landscape go into the river. We're working on improving the storm system in the catch basins to treat that water."