Public Works department members share how they contribute to Provo’s functionality

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In honor of National Public Works Week, members of two different sections of Provo Public Works shared how they contribute to the city’s convenience and functionality.

From ensuring clean drinking water to managing garbage pickup, the department includes water resources, engineering, public services and — somewhat unique to Provo — the local Provo Airport.

At the airport, the staff works closely with the public works department to ensure a smooth running system for those flying in and out of Provo.

“They’ve helped us on just about every single issue that we’ve had out here,” Matt Jensen, Provo Airport’s operations manager, said. “Without the support of our public works friends, we wouldn’t be able to have the airport where it is now — we greatly appreciate them here.”

Sam Francis and Jason Christensen have been a part of the Wastewater Collections team for 25 years.

The sewer maintenance truck they use contains a vacuum and jet cleaning system to clean the inside of the sewage pipes.

“We’re the guys that are out in the middle of the road that cause all you who have to drive around and we cause trouble,” Francis said. “But your patience is good for us — that’s how we get our job done.”

Francis and Christensen said their team takes care of overseeing and maintaining around 400 miles of sewage pipes in Provo. Many of the pipes were installed in the 1950s and more are being added as the city continues to grow.

“It’s a never ending deal,” Christensen said. “If you say you ain’t got nothing to do, you can’t say it in this job because there’s something to do every day.”

Francis and Christensen are on call for emergency situations having to do with the sewer system, they said. According to them, blocked pipes can lead to homes and businesses flooding and it is up to them to respond quickly and fix the problems.

“It’s been a good career, I’ve enjoyed it. Love coming to work,” Christensen said. “It’s not the most glamorous job by any means but its a good job and I feel fortunate to have it.”

The Provo Public Works department is dedicated to providing the essential services that make life easier for residents.

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