2017 marks the 51st year MEWEA will represent wastewater professionals in Maine and I am both humbled and honored to be able to serve as your President. I grew up not far from Livermore Falls and remember as a kid driving across the bridge and seeing the river covered with foam and always being told not to go near it because it was too polluted. Now with kids of my own, I am reminded of how much effort has been made by the wastewater treatment professionals in Maine and am forever grateful that my kids will never tell those same stories to their kids.
I grew up “in the business” like many of you. My grandfather Ted sold sewer cleaning equipment and performed flushing of many of the sewer systems that were being installed and expanded in Maine following the Clean Water Act in the early 1970’s. My father would often take me on sewer calls as a kid, and any chance I got I would spend in the shop with my grandfather or father.
In 2016 at our Past Presidents luncheon, I was reminded of the true weight of the legacy of our association and those that served before me. To hear the passion, commitment, and struggles our early operators faced and the stories of successes is inspiring and I hope to carry that legacy forward into the future.
The challenges that we face are not easy to solve. The work our wastewater treatment professionals do goes largely unnoticed and is not understood by the general public. We are tasked with operating aging infrastructure under increased scrutiny, and new mandates are not properly funded. It will take a collective effort by our entire wastewater community, our regulators, our elected officials, and the public to find solutions to these challenges and prepare for the future.
I will use the following principals to help guide me this year and am looking to our entire membership to get engaged and support the efforts of our association.
- Respect for the history and legacy of the association.
- Respect for the members of the association.
- Acknowledge past accomplishments of the association and its members.
One of the things I will do is communicate to our members about what is going on in the association through a weekly Presidents message. I hope this helps connect you with what is happening inside the association, gives a transparency to our efforts, and highlights the amazing work of our volunteer board and committees. I have been amazed to see how much is being done at any given time.
I hope to visit as many member facilities as I can this year and would love a chance to spend a few minutes at your plant or out in your collection system learning about how MEWEA can help you and your community. Our association needs to have value to all its members and the best way to do that is to continue to do the things we are doing well and commit to continuously improving the things we need to do better.
Thank you for allowing me to serve, I am available anytime and please don’t hesitate to contact me in person if you have a way MEWEA can help you.
Ted Berry Company Inc
(207) 754-4282 cell