City of Weiser employees receive awards

The City of Weiser Water Department and its employees were recently honored for their work keeping Weiser water clean. Above, from left, is Robert Torres, Todd Schimmel, Mike Shepherd, Bill Taylor, Jim Hehir, and Ron Pope. Not pictured is Sjon Spens. Photo by Philip A. Janquart
Philip A. Janquart
 The Idaho Rural Water Association (IRWA) recently honored two City of Weiser employees for their work keeping the city’s water supply clean and for running efficient operations.
 Water Department Lead Operator Mike Shepherd was honored as Drinking Water Operations Specialist of the Year and Wastewater Department employee Sjon Spens was honored as Rookie of the Year.
 The association also named Weiser’s Water Plant as its Drinking Water System of the Year.
 The City of Weiser system comprises a 3mgd (million gallons per day) surface water treatment plant, 3.5 million gallons of above ground water storage, and 43 miles of distribution piping, as well as 2,414 service connections.
 “Our goal is to deliver superior quality drinking water above and beyond all state and federal standards,” said Water Department Superintendent Bill Taylor. “Weiser water has a team-based approach for outstanding water quality. A big component of that happens at our water treatment plant. Our operators treat water from both the Weiser and Snake rivers and constantly monitor and make adjustments to produce the highest quality water possible.”
 Taylor said that Weiser water also works with other systems in the watershed in both Idaho and Oregon to ensure they are updated on any events that may impact Weiser’s or any of its neighbor systems.
 “Next, we manage the water quality in the distribution system that delivers water to homes and businesses,” he explained. “Our team maintains the infrastructure to reduce main breaks and monitors water pressure throughout the system.”
 Customer service is also a part of that equation.
 “We take every water quality complaint and concern seriously,” Taylor said. “As soon as a potential problem is flagged, our operators work to pinpoint and resolve the issue.”
 City employees are good at what they do, so good that Weiser’s system and facilities are regularly opened to other operators and organizations for tours and training opportunities, according to Taylor. The over 40 miles of distribution pipes and transmission mains is an expansive and growing system.
 “We are making continuous improvements and working on projects to keep up with the needs of our growing community,” Taylor noted. 
 In the past year, Weiser has added two new subdivisions, with an additional 88 connections, and recently completed a total rehab project on one of its main reservoirs at a cost of $1.4 million. 
 Taylor added, “We have also completed comprehensive GIS mapping of all of our meters, valves, and hydrants, are currently working on our mandated service line inventory, and wrapping up with our E. Park Street water main replacement.”
 Weiser Mayor Randy Hibberd, in his weekly column in the Signal American dated April 18, 2024, congratulated Shepherd and Spens for receiving their respective honors.
 “You have excellent people working for you in the City of Weiser,” he wrote. 


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
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