Last week I had a day that as far as most days for me go, was a bit out of the ordinary but one of the more interesting and informative days I have had in many years. Mr Freddie Weston, GM at West Wilson Utility District graciously provided me an opportunity to spend the better part of the day with him to see first-hand what all is involved in delivering fresh water to our community. I knew it was going to be an eye-opener and was I ever right! If you are like me, it is easy to take such a commodity for granted. I tried to think of a time when I went to turn on the water and had nothing coming out of the tap. Frankly, I could never remember such a time, which caused me to stop and appreciate how lucky we are in West Wilson County to have folks like this serving us.
Our first stops included site visits to their equipment supply and storage buildings, their maintenance and repair facilities (including their own on-site mini concrete plant), fabrication and machining shops, and all of the other huge pieces of equipment needed to run such a complex operation. Next stop was the intake facility located out on Old Hickory Lake where our fresh water supply begins. From there we headed to the actual treatment facility just up the road to see what all is involved in treating the water so we can enjoy an unending flow of safe, reliable and crystal clear drinking water.
That’s when things really got interesting as he showed me how a complex network of over 400 miles of underground pipes allowed them to provide this water many miles away from the plant. We saw water towers, pumping stations, boring machines (made in their own machine shop by their own employees) that are capable of boring under the Interstate and also capable of maneuvering up and down and side to side to lay pipe. They even have the ability to lay pipe in the ground and not disturb the surface soil. All in all it was a very enlightening day that makes me so much more appreciative of how blessed we are when it comes to fresh water.