Veterans in Water: Joe Guzzino, Water Quality Specialist

Career Stories, Veterans in Water

Joe Guzzino, Water Quality Specialist
Seventeen Years at Padre Dam Municipal Water District
Four years in the Marine Corps

Joe Guzzino is the Water Quality Specialist at Padre Dam Municipal Water District and a veteran of the Marine Corps. It is Joe’s responsibility to ensure that every time a Padre Dam customer turns on their tap, they receive clean, safe drinking water. Joe does this by performing weekly, monthly and quarterly tests to ensure that drinking water delivered to homes meets all state and federal drinking water standards.

“My job is basically making sure that the water we are providing every day to our customers is safe and reliable, and meets all compliance standards,” comments Joe. “I’m in the field testing water every day, it’s what I do.”

Joe is responsible for weekly sampling at 41 sites throughout the District, in addition to 29 reservoirs. All of his equipment is mobile, so he can test for data including temperature, turbidity, chlorine, pH and more at the sample site. Each data point gives operators valuable information about the water, for example temperature can indicate how fast the water is moving through the system. This information helps ensure consistent water quality. Joe also collects samples for bacteriological tests that are performed at Padre Dam’s lab.

“There is a misconception that delivering water is just a matter of pipes and tanks, and that it’s not a very complicated job,” Joe said. “The truth is that the chemistry of water is always changing, it requires constant testing and is very complex. We are always monitoring water quality in our distribution system and reacting to any changes that may affect water quality.”

Joe was hired at Padre Dam seventeen years ago as a Temporary Utility Worker. Since that time, he has proven himself in multiple positions in both Operations and Engineering. Joe’s knowledge of many different aspects of Padre Dam’s distribution system serves him in his important role.

“My employment in water happened by chance,” explained Joe. “I had just moved to the area and was lucky enough to hear about this position. I had no idea that it would become my lifetime career.”

Joe appreciates working with people who share his values of service and community. He believes that working in the water industry can provide a smooth transition for veterans looking to be a part of a group of people working together to help the public.

“Veterans know what it is to serve, going from serving your country in the military to a job in the water industry allows veterans to continue a career in public service,” Joe explains. “There is a lot of comradery and genuine willingness to help each other in my work group, very similar to what you may find in the military. It feels good to know that the people you work with care about each other, about what they do, and about the customers they serve. We are all working together towards a common goal, providing customer with high quality water services.”


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