2019 Employee of the 4th Quarter — Brian Okey

Brian Okey, Water Quality Department Senior Environmental Specialist, is the 2019 Employee of the 4th Quarter!

Brian Okey went the extra mile this year with his motivation and dedication to successfully complete an extremely rigorous and demanding water quality monitoring schedule for the drinking water compliance for the OCWD Producers. This year, the drinking water program covered two major compliance programs (TITLE22 and UCMR4) at the same time - often requiring Brian to come in early and stay late most days to complete required water quality monitoring work. Without complaint, Brian met the challenge of these two programs head on with an extremely positive and can-do attitude.

It was already one of the busiest sampling years for Brian in his 28-year years of service and then PFAS compliance sampling was added to the mix. Knowing the importance and sensitivity of the new PFAS program, Brian was very proud to play a critical role in the sampling effort on behalf of the producers. The new PFAS sampling would require unique and strict sampling protocol - completely different protocol from the other two drinking water compliance programs. To this end, Brian spent quality time researching the new sampling protocol for PFAS and worked with supervisors to create and implement a high-quality sampling protocol to prevent any possible PFAS contamination during the sampling procedure. Brian put the new sampling protocol into action and ensured the high standards and sampling protocols were consistently met during all PFAS sampling events so the most accurate data possible could be generated without any possibility of outside contamination or influence. Brian’s diligence and focused efforts have played a big part in why the District’s PFAS data set is one of the most accurate, reliable, and complete in the state.

To date, several rounds of required PFAS sampling have successfully been completed and during the same time as the other two compliance programs (TITLE22 and UCMR4). Brian found a way every single day to stay exceedingly positive and get the job done – even under the most chaotic and stressful times which included very long days, strict sampling procedures, scheduling and coordination challenges with producers, and being repeatedly sent back out in the field to redo entire sample events due to Quality Assurance/Quality Control analysis failures with the new and difficult UCMR4 and PFAS methods.

Truly remarkable and outstanding dedication and performance from Brian this year; he never wavered. Brian is highly commended for his efforts, patience, and positive attitude during a very busy and sometimes difficult time.

Congratulations Brian!