Between October of 2008 through July of 2015 I served as the Town of Farragut, TN’s Stormwater Coordinator with responsibilities for administering the Town’s Phase II NPDES Stormwater permit for it’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). An MS4 is the collection of green (swales, rain gardens, etc.) and gray (pipes, catch basins, etc.) infrastructure that addresses water quality and quantity in a community to mitigate for flooding and preserve the biological and functional use of community water resources. This permit has 6 unique components that include: Education & Outreach, Public Involvement, Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE), Municipal Good Housekeeping, Construction Stormwater and Permanent Stormwater Management. These measures are intended to produce a holistic approach to water resource management by educating and engaging stakeholders, modeling best management practices and assuring others maintain compliance with these standards.
How did I get into the stormwater industry in the first place? Outside of the Public Works/Engineering sectors, many have no idea what that even is. I sure didn’t. After two year of AmeriCorps, an internship with the St Johns River Water Management District and a Master of Environmental Policy & Management I found myself trying to find work in Knoxville when my wife and I were looking to relocate from Jacksonville, Florida for her graduate program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I applied for months to no avail and the deadline for securing employment and housing was coming up and I found myself working at Young Williams Animal Center. It wasn’t exactly what I had anticipated doing for my next step, but if I’d learned anything over the past couple years, rolling with the punches and making the most of the opportunities you are presented with seemed to yield pretty positive outcomes, even if it takes more time than you would personally like. And if you have to take a detour, a detour with dogs and cats isn’t all that bad (We have since adopted 2 dogs and a cat from Young Williams). Four months later, and eight months into my professional job search, I got a call back from the Town of Farragut for an Engineering Technician position I had applied to and the rest is history.
I go into greater detail on a number of projects that I participated in during this period elsewhere on my portfolio including the Rainy Day Brush-Off, Town of Farragut, Outdoor Classroom and Tennessee Stormwater Association (TNSA). These projects are called out in their own space because they all represent substantial multi-year efforts that involved broad constituencies to accomplish things that define this period of my professional life.