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Village Utilities Superintendent receives water operator award PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 29 March 2012 20:10

Wauneta’s Utilities Superintendent was honored last week at the Nebraska Rural Water Association’s annual spring conference in Grand Island. Bill Bischoff, pictured with his award, was given  a Certificate of Recognition for outstanding service as a water operator for the Village of Wauneta.

By Sheri Hink

The Wauneta Breeze


The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Public Health presented Bill Bischoff, Wauneta’s Utilities Superintendent, with a certificate of recognition last week at a conference in Grand Island.

Bischoff, who has served in this capacity since 2002, was recognized for outstanding service as a water operator for the Village of Wauneta. He received this award at the Nebraska Rural Water Association’s annual spring conference.

He is one of four recipients of a certificate of recognition this year. Tony Martinez with DHHS worked with Evelyn Skelton, the Wauneta Village Clerk/Treasurer, to prepare Bischoff’s nomination for the award.

According to Douglas Woodbeck, the Field Services and Training Supervisor with DHHS Division of Public Health, the Department is prepared to give up to 10 awards per year if there are water operators worthy of the award nominated. They usually give seven to eight awards per year.

Woodbeck explained that the Department has been giving this type of recognition to water operators since 1983 when they were still known as the Nebraska Department of Health.

His introduction at the awards ceremony listed the catalyst for the award as the work Bischoff has done recently on a water distribution system improvement project and an arsenic remediation study.

“He has done a very good job of making sure these projects have stayed on track,” says Woodbeck.

“Based on the results of the two most recent sanitary surveys of the Village of Wauneta by the Department of Health and Human Services, and the observations made by DHHS staff, Bill corrected a list of seven deficiencies in 2008 and had no deficiencies just three short years later in 2011. Bill has an outstanding record keeping system and pays attention to getting the job done right. He should be proud of his accomplishments for the Village of Wauneta,” says Woodbeck.

Wauneta Village Board member Tony Cribelli commends Bischoff’s dedication to maintaining a quality water supply for the Village and simultaneously, his work to mitigate costs.

“The research Bill has done to try to control the arsenic in our water has been extensive. If the variable speed drive works as a way to lessen the arsenic levels in our water it could save the Village over $1 million — and that’s just one of the things he’s done for the Village of Wauneta.”

Cribelli explained further that Bischoff’s research into rectification of the Village’s water issue is a cost effective means to fix the issue. The alternative solution if the variable speed drive doesn’t work is essentially a whole new water system for the Village.

As it’s been explained at Village Board meetings, the variable speed drive is intended to slow the rate of flow as water is taken out of the Village’s water wells. This, in turn, should lesson or eliminate arsenic in the water supply. Currently, Wauneta’s water has just over the allowable limit of arsenic in the water.

Bischoff is the go-to man when it comes to water in Wauneta. He has a Grade IV water operator license and also holds wastewater, pesticide applicator and swimming pool operator licenses.

“The knowledge that Bischoff brings to the community is commendable and it is a great honor that his dedication has put Wauneta on the map at the Nebraska Rural Water Association’s spring conference” says Cribelli.