The Wastewater Treatment Plant Workers’ Higher Calling

Rickey L. Peters, a retired plant operator in Kansas City, Mo., spent 30 years working in the wastewater industry. “These brave men and women work in anonymity providing critical infrastructure services. They are warriors on the front-line amidst an empire of diseases performing their duties to protect our public health and environment,” Peters says. He shared this poem, “The Wastewater Treatment Plant Workers’ Higher Calling,” with Central States Water Resources to pay honor and tribute to the water treatment profession, which is essential and critical to our everyday living.

Around the kingly and regal conference table sat the Chairman and the Board. Staff members were presenting their year-end reports. The chief of staff, Gabriel, stood and reported, “Mr. Chairman the human race is polluting the waters so much that the natural purification cycle cannot keep up.  If the pollution continues at this rate, all of mankind and the poor innocent creatures on earth will soon be poisoned by the contaminated waters.”

Gabriel continued, “It is a sad indictment against mankind that these waters that were once clean and clear have now become filthy and foul. The waters that were once bubbling, sparkling, rippling and flowing have now become a nasty, stagnant, foul-smelling cesspool of man’s waste.” Gabriel requested, “Mr. Chairman may I blow my horn which will be a signal to our managers to immediately evict all these people who have served as horrible stewards?”

The Chairman of the Board rose from His throne-like chair and said, “I understand what you are saying Gabriel, but I am going to give them a little more time on their lease. You see I have a plan to produce wastewater treatment plants to aid in nature’s purification process. The designers and builders of these plants will occupy the scene for a while.  Nonetheless, the wastewater treatment plant workers will be there from now on and their responsibility will be to maintain and efficiently operate the wastewater treatment plant.”  So it became a higher calling: the wastewater treatment plant workers’ marching orders are to reclaim the waters by recycling, replenishing, and reviving the polluted waters.

© 2019 Rickey L. Peters