United Water Conservation District presents staff with awards

January 19, 2005
Santa Paula News

Sheldon Berger, president of the board of directors of United Water Conservation District, presented the following staff members with awards for their years of dedicated service at the boardís regular meeting of January 12, 2005.

Sheldon Berger, president of the board of directors of United Water Conservation District, presented the following staff members with awards for their years of dedicated service at the boardís regular meeting of January 12, 2005.30 Years - Carl Inglis, Operations and Maintenance Projects Supervisor; 15 Years - Julie Dugas, Senior Accounting Technician, Helen Smith, Payroll-Accounting Analyst; 10 Years - Jim Kentosh, Operations and Maintenance Manager, Dave Kraus, Electrician; 5 Years - Randy Castaneda, Operations and Maintenance Worker Grade 3, Craig Morgan, Associate Civil Engineer, Kurt White, Lake Piru Park Ranger-Lead Worker. Also, Mike Shields was honored for earning a grade 4 water treatment operator certification.A special presentation was made by Officer Steve Reid of the California Highway Patrol to Johnny Claudio and Jaime Avila. They both work in the districtís operations and maintenance department and were honored for their role in protecting motorists from the threat of an explosion in early December 2004. While traveling on Highway 1 near Mugu Navy Base, they observed a Federal Express truck in flames at the side of the road. Upon learning from the driver that the truck was loaded with ammunition they blocked traffic from both sides until authorities arrived. Their heroic efforts and quick thinking were praised by Officer Reid and the board of directors.United Water maintains a full time staff of 46 employees as well as about a half dozen seasonal employees that work at Lake Piru in the summer months. Itís quite an interesting assortment of jobs. On staff are several hydro-geologists, a hydrologist, and an environmental scientist that monitor and analyze the groundwater and surface water conditions in the area.Fisheries biologists monitor the operation of the districtís Freeman Diversion at Saticoy to ensure that steelhead trout, an endangered species, are able to use the fish ladder to safely migrate upstream.
The staff of the operations and maintenance department is responsible for all of Unitedís facilities, including vital agricultural and municipal water delivery systems, Santa Felicia Dam, a hydroelectric plant, two river diversions, an extensive network of canals, groundwater recharge facilities, wells, booster plants, water delivery pipelines, water disinfection facilities, four reservoirs, and 850 acres of property. A dam tender who lives full-time at the districtís Santa Felicia Dam at Lake Piru is responsible for carrying out the districtís Emergency Action Plan for the dam in the event of an earthquake or other emergency.The recreation department operates the popular day-use, camping, boating and fishing facilities at gorgeous Lake Piru year-round. The district also has a full-time engineering department that plans and directs important projects such as the recently completed Saticoy Well Field, which increases the districtís capacity for precious groundwater storage.Additionally, the districtís finance and administrative departments have repeatedly won honors for outstanding achievements in their fields.ďUnited Water is incredibly fortunate,Ē stated Sheldon Berger. ďWe have a staff that is renowned statewide for its excellence and leadership in the water community. The board of directors is proud to acknowledge these talented employees for their dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism.Ē



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