July 2018

relatively small city in east-central

Kansas, it is the wastewater treatment

facilities that are getting the lion’s

share of attention.

The city’s collection system is all

gravity flow to a discharging two-cell

lagoon system. Because the city

experienced some permit failures and

some sewer backup incidents into

customer’s homes, Brian took the

initiative to have a camera inspection

of the collection system, checking for

infiltration and inflow locations and to

have a sludge profile done at the

lagoon. With the results of the sewer

line inspection identifying some

problem areas, the city did spot lining

at eight locations and completely lined

four city blocks. In addition to lining

sewer lines, the city is considering

adding another cell to increase capacity

Because the city has been notified that

the next permit from KDHE will have

a “Schedule of Compliance”, Brian has

been working with funding agencies to

secure funding for what will be major

improvements. His efforts show how

someone in a small town can make a


In his off time, Brian enjoys hunting

and fishing, and as a single farther, he

enjoys spending a lot of time with his


Willard Perrin, City of Oberlin







Willard Perrin, a 28-year employee

of the city of Oberlin was presented a

“Special Recognition Award” by

KRWA at the 2018 conference.

Willard was recognized for his

leadership, knowledge, and work ethic

which all are something that Oberlin

has come to depend on.

Oberlin has special challenges when

it comes to water. Willard was

instrumental in innovative ideas to

ensure Oberlin has safe drinking water

now and well into the future. In 2014

Oberlin faced the challenge of a

complete overhaul of the water supply

system. The city had to go eight miles

outside of town to locate acceptable

water. The city constructed eight new

wells with state-of-the-art pump

systems, transporting water to town.

Willard has stayed busy over the last

28 years, because he has had to

innovate on many occasions because of

the city’s aging water mains that date

back to the 1880’s. Willard is the

reason the city of Oberlin purchased

new operational software supported by

GIS mapping showing all of Oberlin’s

infrastructure, particularly the water

mains. City Administrator Halley

Roberson commented that Willard

didn’t need that technology because he

had it all memorized in his head but

with new employees, Willard will be


Oberlin is a very rural community

and the responsibility of the town’s

water source, transport, quality, and

safety have rested on Willard’s

shoulders without hesitation or

question for 28 years. And on behalf of

the citizens of Oberlin, KRWA was

pleased to help recognize Willard

Perrin’s untiring dedication to public


Brian Isch, Wastewater

Operator, City of Gridley





Brian Isch, city of Gridley, was

presented the Wastewater Operator of

the Year by KRWA at the 2018 annual


After graduating from high school in

1993, Brian spent several years

working odd jobs before taking a water

and wastewater operator position with

the city of Gridley. Even though he is

responsible for operating and

maintaining all city facilities in this

KRWA appreciates

these winners for

their hard work and

dedication to their