Ritchie Valdez, Maintenance Technician II
Ritchie's knowledge of the Microfiltration area of the GWRS and positive attitude has made it easy for him to work with others and pass on what he has learned over the years to other employees.
Over the last several years, Ritchie has taken ownership of the Microfiltration area of GWRS in many ways, particularly when it comes to monitoring membrane integrity by thoroughly investigating daily Pressure Decay Test (PDT) values and following up on valve issues that affect those results. Demonstrating daily proper membrane integrity is a key component to the GWRS operating permit requirements. As the plant gets older and parts begin to wear, membranes start getting fouled quicker. This has recently resulted in higher PDT values indicative of possible membrane integrity issues. Ritchie has taken the lead on many of these issues. Along with many others, he has taken on the never-ending battle and laborious challenge of pulling MF racks full of membranes so he can put tiny pins in tiny holes to drive these PDT numbers down to an acceptable range. When it is not an issue with the membranes, he goes after the valves, which can take countless, frustrating hours and creative troubleshooting to figure out. In the end, his persistence pays off “AND STILL” he is the champ when it comes to these problems. His knowledge of this process and positive attitude has made it easy for him to work with others and pass on what he has learned over the years to other employees. This makes him an exceptional employee of the District and worthy of the Employee of the Quarter and Year.