Water Infrastructure Woes: Coming Out Of Retirement To Help A Local Water Plant

Jun 4, 2019

If you don’t know exactly where the Tompkinsville water plant is you probably won’t be able to find it.

I drive past a high school, over a bridge and take a left into a narrow driveway. Down the hill, a small gray building comes into view. Walking up the road is Jonathan Shaw, the supervisor of this small water plant. He said he’s proud to be the one responsible for delivering clean, potable water to the people of Tompkinsville.

“I tell people all the time...I say I’m the water boy,” Shaw said.  

Kentucky is a water-rich state, with 90,000 miles of rivers, lakes, and streams. So managing that resource is important, and the Commonwealth is struggling to find people to operate water treatment plants. Some operators are even coming out of retirement to train people in other districts.

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