Poofighters rock on and take the stage at world’s biggest, most extreme, wastewater Ops Challenge at WEFTEC in Chicago

Crossposted from Clean Water Stories 

When asked why he became a wastewater operator, Darek Kenaston reveals, “The more I got into it, the more I was interested. It was a good fit. I’ve always been around the water. I grew up in Florida, two blocks from the beach. I love the water, and why not be part of protecting it?” 

These days, people want good pay, meaningful work, and opportunities to grow their career. That makes a stable career helping clean water – plus an opportunity to be part of a team that builds comradery and skills – a winning combination. 

Four employees from the King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) make up the Poofighters – our team in the worlds’ biggest wastewater extreme challenge. For the past number of weeks, they’ve been gearing up to go “on tour” to Chicago, Ill., for the international Operations Challenge at the Water Environment Federation (WEF)’s WEFTECconference. There, they compete against other utility teams and prove their skills in five different, intense events. 

In the spotlight, the clock is ticking and judges scrutinize their every move. The competition is mentally and physically challenging – with real-life-simulated scenarios – including cutting a pipe as fast as they can and rescuing a coworker (really a safety dummy) from a manhole. 

Read more at Clean Water Stories

Pictured: Back in Black: True to their rock n’ roll theme, each year the Poofighters put out a new “album” and give away free copies at WEFTEC. While they look like CDs, the DVDs are filled with all the info someone needs to apply for a job at King County.