Padre Profile: MatT Jones
Matt Jones, Padre Dam's Compliance Specialist, is an integral part of a team that oversees and ensures water quality throughout the District.
When you think about delivering water safely to customers, you might think of how Padre Dam staff test the water quality and monitor the water system on a daily basis to ensure that it continues to meet or exceed all state and federal drinking water standards. What might not immediately come to mind is the more than 3,000 backflow prevention devices that Matt oversees in order to protect Padre Dam's drinking water from harmful chemicals or untreated water. These devices prevent backflow or back siphoning of water from the customer side into the public water system.
"I like to think of the Compliance Department as protectors of our community's drinking water system," commented Matt. "I have pride in coming to work every day and enjoy knowing that I am helping to provide a public service."
Backflow prevention devices are installed at homes or properties that use both Padre Dam water and well water or commercial operations that use chemicals in their operations. They prevent water from residential or business properties from entering the public water system. A 'backflow' condition can occur during main breaks or when a private pumping systems over pressurizes the public water system. Backflow devices ensure that no untreated water or contaminant is able to enter Padre Dam's drinking water system. Backflow devices must be tested annually by customers to ensure they are functioning properly.
Recently, Matt selected and implemented a new system for streamlining and automating the backflow testing process, which helps the District save staff time and streamlines the process to make it easier for customers to understand.
"We should always be looking for the newest, most efficient way to complete our work," said Matt. "It's our responsibility to make processes as easy and cost-effective as we can for customers."
In addition to drinking water safety, members of Matt's team ensure wastewater safety by working with restaurants to ensure they are maintaining grease traps in order to limit the amount of fats, oils and grease (FOG) that flow down their drains into the community's wastewater system. These common cooking substances can harden in sewer systems, causing blockages. By limiting the amount of these substances that travel through our system and performing regular cleaning of our sewer systems, sewer spills can be minimized.
Matt started at Padre Dam six years ago as a Utility Worker. He enjoys the mix of working outside in the community and on the administrative work he does for the District. In his free time, Matt enjoys horseback riding and camping with his wife and two kids. He will receive his Masters in Public Administration from San Diego State University in December.