Scott King AUB's Newest Wastewater Treatment Operator
(423) 745-4501 ext. 6002
November 14, 2018
ATHENS, Tenn. – Scott King is Athens Utilities Board’s (AUB) newest wastewater treatment operator and the utility’s most recent employee to receive an advanced certification within his field of work. King works at both wastewater treatment plant sites, Oostanaula and North Mouse Creek Wastewater Treatment Plants.
King began his career with AUB as a wastewater treatment apprentice in 2015 and, after one year of employment, has since been through the process to earn his operator’s license.
Before starting the journey to become an operator, King graduated from the Athens campus of Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) after high school. “I graduated with a certificate in industrial electricity from TCAT and my background has really helped me on the job as an operator at the wastewater treatment plants,” stated King.
In 2015, King made the jump from working for a local plumbing and electrical company to applying for and receiving a position with AUB’s wastewater division as an apprentice.
“I really wanted to start a career and provide better opportunities for my family. My wife and son have been very supportive of me throughout the studying process. I am glad to have such a caring family,” King said.
The process to become a wastewater treatment operator includes a full two years of studying, attending classes in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and learning new processes while on the job.
“AUB has a mentoring program when you go through the wastewater operator apprenticeship and my mentor is Boone Walker. He has been great with helping me and checked in on me before my exams.
“I am very appreciative of AUB giving me the opportunity to enter the program. My coworkers have been really helpful over the last couple of years,” King said.
Becoming an operator also includes four major exams during many hours of training and studying. King took his last exam in early November, ending months of studying in between family time and after long days of work.
The diversity in daily work responsibilities led King to apply at AUB and enter the program.
“It’s very important to us that we keep the creeks safe. There’s a lot of hidden processes, especially biological, that our neighbors aren’t aware of but we work well together every day to stay up to code,” King stated.
In addition to protecting the creeks, operators also ensure the safety of the public’s health by managing mechanical and biological processes, such as replacing bearings and stepping in when technology fails the plant.
The duties of an operator include preemptive work, especially during incoming bad weather or heavy rainfall, when operators must make an educated decision whether to head into the plants on weekends and overnight. Ensuring the stability of operations and protecting the creeks—an operator’s number one job—are two things King and his coworkers focus on every day.
The hands-on work of the job and his educational background during the study period helped King do well on the four exams.
“Scott came to us with a good skill set based in an electrical and mechanical background,” stated Greg Hayes, AUB’s Chief Wastewater Supervisor.
“He is good at applying what he has learned with confidence to whatever he is working on at the moment. Scott is a great asset to the team,” said Hayes.
After obtaining the license, King will work on continued education at approximately twelve hours every three years in order to keep the certification in good standing.
King and his wife, Annie, reside in the McMinn County area with their son, Aaron.