Member Profile: Ty Silva, A Wastewater Operator’s Journey to Excellence

Celebrating the Operator of the Year Award Winner from the Desert and Mountain Section
Career Stories, Members in the News
Photo provided by Ty Silva

City of Barstow Operator, Ty Silva

Title: Ty Silva: A Wastewater Operator’s Journey to Excellence 

Subheading: Celebrating the Operator of the Year Award Winner from the Desert and Mountain Section 

Meet Ty Silva, the Operator of the Year award winner from the Desert and Mountain Section, who has found his calling in the wastewater industry at the City of Barstow. Ty’s journey began while finishing up his associate’s degree in humanities at Barstow Community College preparing for a career in graphic design. Seeking a more career-oriented path, and ready for a challenge while also staying within his community, Ty stumbled upon some job applications at the city that lead him to exploring a career in water treatment. 

A Fateful Discovery: From Graphic Design to Wastewater 

“I saw the application, requested a tour at our plant, and that’s where I really learned the process of treatment and the importance of what this industry has to offer,” Ty recalls. From that moment, his passion for wastewater treatment was ignited, and he understood the significance of his work in protecting public health and the environment. 

Journey of Growth and Learning 

Starting as an Operator in Training (OIT), Ty embarked on a journey of continuous learning. With dedication and a strong work ethic, he rapidly progressed, achieving his Collection System Maintenance (CSM) Grade 1 and Class A license within his first year. Always aiming to enhance his knowledge and skills, Ty is currently working towards his grade 2 CSM and Grade 3 in treatment. He emphasizes the importance of respecting the job and staying open to learning, which are essential qualities for excelling in this field. 

Mentorship That Matters 

Throughout his career, Ty has had the privilege of being mentored by experienced professionals like Plant Superintendent Wesley Garrison, who Silva pays tribute to being a huge help as far as learning the treatment side of the plant. Plant Mechanic, Christopher Biles, and Assistant City Manager, Kody Tompkins have guided him in understanding the treatment process, mastering hands-on tasks, and encouraging Ty into gaining his certifications. Ty acknowledges the importance of such mentorship in his growth and appreciates the opportunity to pay it forward to future generations in the industry.
“As far as the rest of us here at the plant, we’re really grateful to have him here. He’s been a good addition to the plant, always a go-getter and we’re looking forward to him continuing on here. He’s a great learner and everybody really likes him,” shares Biles. 

Beyond the Plant: Art and Adventures 

Outside of his professional life, Ty nurtures his creative side through painting and drawing, showcasing his passion for art. Additionally, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring the beauty of the high desert. Ty’s enthusiasm isn’t limited to the plant; he also channels it into restoring his classic 1961 truck, drawing parallels between his love for his vintage truck and his day-to-day hands-on work at the plant. 

A Promising Future Ahead 

As Ty progresses through his career, he remains focused on gaining knowledge and experience. His ultimate goal is to hold a Grade 5 in treatment and being given the opportunity to hold the Plant Superintendent position. Ty’s dedication, combined with the support of his colleagues, makes him a valuable asset to the City of Barstow and an inspiration to newcomers considering a rewarding career in the wastewater industry. 

City of Barstow: Commitment to Excellence in Wastewater Treatment 

The City of Barstow’s Wastewater Treatment Plant holds a clear mission to serve its community and surrounding areas with safe, efficient, and cost-effective wastewater treatment services. Their primary goal is to protect public health, the environment, and their dedicated plant staff from the potential adverse impacts of wastewater and treatment by-products. 

Their employees play a critical role in delivering superior services to the residents of Barstow. Their commitment to the advancement of the City’s goals ensures the continued success and fulfillment of their mission.