Veterans in Water: Brian Prenger, Costa Mesa Sanitary District

Veterans in Water, Wastewater Life

Brian Prenger
Maintenance Worker 1
Costa Mesa Sanitary District
Certifications : CWEA Grade 1 Collection Systems Maintenance
Branch and Years of Service: USMC 1988-1992

What is your role?
My role is of a Maintenance Worker 1 for the  Costa Mesa Sanitary District and our Mission is protecting the health and the environment. My tasks are preventive maintenance of our sewer system to prevent sanitary sewer overflows and to serve our public with any other sewer related issues.

Who inspired you to work in water?
My best friend inspired me. I was unhappy with my previous job and I needed a change. He had owned a construction/service plumbing company and took me in in under his wing and began to teach me from the bottom up. I went through four years of school to become a journeyman plumber. I then had the opportunity to work for the City of Laguna Beach for almost 4 years maintaining sewer lines and the pump stations. I had the next great opportunity to make the move to Costa Mesa Sanitary District and I work with a great team of guys.

What fuels your passion for your work?
Working out in the field is my passion. I love what I do and I am constantly learning new things every day. Being a United States Marine, I have learned the importance of teamwork. I have a great team to work with and we always help each other out by solving any problems we come across.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?
The biggest mis-perception of the wastewater field is that it is a dirty disgusting job for the uneducated. It is  a great opportunity for anyone, educated or not.  The career in the wastewater field has given me more opportunities and job security than most of my friends with a college degree.

Why should veterans join this field?
The wastewater industry is a great opportunity for anyone. Because of the team work and work ethic, it is a great place for a Veteran to make a career.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
The most rewarding aspect about my job is the feeling of being a part of something positive, and part of a team the helps the city running and protecting our environment.