A Few of Our Favorite Things
This week at MetroConnects celebrate two of our favorite things: Our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team and toilets! GIS Day, which is Nov. 15 every year, and World Toilet Day, which takes place on Nov. 19, are set aside to help us appreciate the work of each of these … very different… groups. No matter their differences (one being highly skilled human beings, the other being cold, porcelain inanimate objects), they each share the same goal: Making sure that your wastewater is safely, sustainably and securely transported from your home to your local treatment facility.
Our GIS team — Jake Tittle, Chief Information Officer, Jennifer Franz, GIS Administrator, Leslie Smith, Cityworks Administrator, Phil Harley, GIS Technician, James Stancil, Senior GIS Technician, and Tim Kershner, GIS Analyst — dedicates its time to mapping MetroConnects wastewater system, collecting and organizing data, and contributing to real-time monitoring of our infrastructure and decision making. The team also creates visualization tools so that our engineers and O&M teams can better asses construction and maintenance needs. Most recently, members of the team began drone technology training in order to monitor our systems from above. At the end of the training period, they will earn their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) licenses.
The Royal Throne
The humble toilet, on the other hand, makes sure all that wastewater makes its way to the pipes that our teams are mapping and monitoring! According to the World Toilet Day Task Force, which is headed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and partners, more than 3.5 billion people worldwide lack adequate access to toilets. More than 419 million people have no choice but to practice “open defecation,” which puts local water sources and environments at risk of contamination, and more than 1,000 people under the age of five die from sanitation-related illness every single day. We can all contribute to helping lessen this sanitation crisis worldwide by participating in World Toilet Day actions, including educating others and donating to UNESCO. Take a look at UNESCO’s checklist of additional actions you can take in your own home and community today!
We tend to take the toilet for granted. But every day, it does the work of keeping our households free of waste. Our GIS experts are part of the team that also makes sure that the community stays healthy and the environment stays clean. Take a moment this week to say thank you to both!