Category: Uncategorized

Commissioner’s Corner Jan 2021

As we begin a new year it is always helpful to reflect on where we’ve been, where we’re going, and what steps we can take along the way to get there.  Our utility is constantly evaluating and planning how to best serve our customers.  You can help us, too.

As a new commissioner, I have been so pleased to meet the staff and work with the utility leadership this past year.  They amazingly tackled the Covid crisis, and as essential workers, continued seamlessly providing water and sewer service while protecting staff and the public. Our utility workers don’t often get remembered along with nurses and grocery clerks as essential, but need to be recognized for their sacrifice and contribution to our lives during this crisis.  Please thank a utility worker!

Besides managing a crisis, we were able to continue normal operations.  We are updating our water meters to be read automatically and we’ve upgraded our UV disinfection at our treatment plants.  We also had legal challenges, where through judicial decision we became the first local government (special utility district) to be allowed to be taxed by another government (City of Federal Way).

The water and sewer industry all over the country is experiencing challenges:  aging infrastructure, tightening regulations, and an aging workforce.  Our treatment plants are over 30 years old, and are in need of expansion to meet the needs of the population over the next 30 years and to meet tightening discharge regulations.  The Commissioners and utility leadership have had the foresight to plan for these future needs that are coming at us sooner than expected. 

Every day our staff takes the steps to continue to provide clean water and reliable sewer service.  But you can help us, too.  Please only put the three P’s down the drain: pee, poop and paper.  Please, no fats, oils, grease, medications, harsh chemicals, paint, solvents, wipes, personal hygiene products, excess food waste or hair.  If you put these down the drain, we have to take it out.  Please also keep extra water out of the drains by limiting showers, not piping rainwater into the sewer system, and keeping your side sewer maintained and free from tree roots. You can also help by encouraging jobs seekers to consider our industry.  We’d love to talk to school groups and colleges and can provide educational materials and tours.  Our industry is very STEM and environmentally engaging, and has great benefits and opportunities for advancement.

Commissioner’s Corner Mar 2020

Greetings to all Lakehaven customers and employees! I am honored to serve as your newly appointed commissioner.  My term started in January, and I’ve been busy meeting employees, touring facilities, and doing commission business. I am so happy to be serving in my field of training (with my master degrees in water civil engineering and public administration) for the benefit of our community.

I wanted to be a commissioner because I am passionate about water:  my family loves swimming, boating, canoeing, hiking and camping near streams and beaches.  It was also my chosen field of training, as hydrology and hydraulics are the emphasis of my civil engineering degrees, and the focus of my professional engineering work. I am excited to be serving in this field, and to bring an engineering perspective to the board.  We all can be grateful for the often unseen efforts of good engineering and planning for the reliable water and sewer service that we all enjoy.  As a commissioner I hope to help continue that legacy.

I also value learning and helping others to learn.  I teach, have recently obtained a new degree in public administration, and have founded a non-profit education service.  I believe that the more people understand about something (including their water and sewer service) the more they will appreciate it and contribute to making it better.  As a commissioner I would like to promote opportunities for learning about the utility through our schools and community gatherings.

I also have a passion for serving.  I’ve been involved serving our community through leading various non-profit organizations for over thirty years.  Recently I have been active chairing the Federal Way Park’s Commission, singing in a regional choir that does benefit concerts, and helping my son’s Boy Scout troop.  Serving builds community and increases appreciation, communication, connectedness and understanding.  I encourage everyone to give at least an hour of their week volunteering, and participate in community.  I appreciate the fact that our water and sewer is provided by a non-profit special purpose government, instead of a private company.  Commissioners lead the utility as public servants.  All of your commissioners live in the district, and are motivated to provide great service and maintain our assets with reasonable rates. I love Federal Way, having lived and raised six kids here for over 30 years.  I would love to meet you and hear from you.  You can call the office to schedule an appointment.  The public is always welcome at our board meetings in the Lakehaven Center by the French Lake Dog Park on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 7:00 p.m.