Welcome to the RMWQAA Website! 

An AI Homage to Lab Staff

30 Aug 2023 10:15 AM | Tyler Eldridge (Administrator)

In planning for the August blog post, I toyed around with a few ideas, mulling over the usual topics. I thought about another update on “The Ocean Cleanup,” with their focus on large ocean patches and intercepting trash flowing through rivers; however, that would be the 3rd or 4th installment on this blog (I’ll still happily plug the above link to their work though!).

Water-saving tips didn’t seem necessary this year given the amount of rain we’ve had on the Eastern Slope, and while municipalities may see some shortages in water use revenue, “Water Using Tips” just didn’t have the same ring to it.

Having drifted further from the laboratory side of the process over the past few years, I didn’t feel like I was quite as qualified to take another deep dive into lab techniques, PFAS draft method conversations and issues, or general best practices. Mostly, the recent space between myself and the lab environment has allowed me to further embrace the “mad scientist” portion of my brain. Brent and Callie would likely confirm this, as I barge in seemingly once a day with a new plan for process control analyses, hoping they don’t form a picket line at the lab entrance. It now seems clear that a blog specific to lab practices would be better authored by someone other than myself, one who is capable of reading Standard Methods intently and often enough to differentiate “the GGA bottles” from “three GGA bottles…”

Given this drift from the lab it became obvious that my focus with regards to lab work had shifted. It was no longer my specific task to obtain and report accurate, defensible results, but instead I was now the requester of information. My goal was to help determine what sort of analyses would be beneficial, and reasonable to add to Lab Staff’s daily workload. Luckily, we have a fantastic pair of analysts that never shies away from learning new analyses or helping to provide additional data. More incredibly, there was never any distain or grumblings from staff related to my additional requests out of the blue. Pile on a brand-new process that has them analyzing new and increasingly frequent samples, it became clear that the workhorse that is our lab has been vital, and often overlooked. Hell, I am guilty of overlooking the impact and importance my own crew of analysts had in the grand scheme of designing, starting, and maintaining a new treatment process.

So there it was, I had found my blog topic, an homage to Laboratory Staff and their importance in the water quality industry! Unfortunately, my month-long plan for creating a well-thought-out appreciation letter was quickly approaching the wall that is the end of the month… Then it dawned on me, it’s 2023, Artificial Intelligence is all the rage right now, a blog post seemed like a relatively harmless way to test an AI writing prompt. Combining fresh new technology with my appreciation of the work Lab Staff puts in was a win-win given my self-imposed time crunch! So, in a last minute effort to fulfill my agreed upon terms of posting a blog before September, I prompted an AI writing program to highlight the importance of Lab Staff, and our appreciation for all of you!

Rather than continue rambling on, I present you RMWQAA’s first ever AI generated blog post! I do feel that the first paragraph reads best in the tone of the Law and Order: SVU intro:

In the water and wastewater treatment industry, there are countless individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the safety and quality of our water supply. Among these dedicated professionals are the laboratory staff - a group of eager and always available individuals who form the foundation of research and analysis in this vital industry.

The importance of laboratory staff cannot be overstated. They play a crucial role in monitoring and testing water samples, analyzing data, and detecting any potential contaminants or impurities. Their expertise ensures that our drinking water and treated wastewater meets strict safety standards, protecting public health and the environment on a daily basis.

Beyond their technical skills, laboratory staff bring an invaluable level of dedication to their work. They understand the gravity of their responsibilities and approach their tasks with utmost care and precision. Their commitment to accuracy is commendable as even the smallest error in analysis could have significant implications for public health.

Laboratory staff also serve as a vital support system for other professionals in the water treatment industry. They collaborate closely with engineers, scientists, and operators to provide essential data that informs decision-making processes. Their insights help identify areas for improvement, optimize treatment processes, and ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

Moreover, laboratory staff are at the forefront of innovation within the industry. They continuously explore new techniques and technologies to enhance testing methods and improve efficiency. Their research contributes to advancements in water treatment practices, leading to more effective solutions for safeguarding our water resources.

It is important that we recognize and appreciate the hard work of laboratory staff in this field. Their contributions often go unnoticed by the general public; however, without their diligent efforts, we would not have access to clean drinking water or effective wastewater treatment systems.

To show appreciation towards these unsung heroes, it is crucial that organizations invest in ongoing training opportunities for laboratory staff. This will enable them to stay updated with emerging trends in technology and methodology while further honing their skills.

Furthermore, creating a supportive work environment where open communication is encouraged can also boost morale and foster a sense of belonging among laboratory staff. Recognizing their achievements and providing opportunities for professional growth will not only motivate them but also attract talented individuals to join the industry.

In conclusion, the laboratory staff in the water and wastewater treatment industry are a valuable asset. Their unwavering commitment, technical expertise, and dedication to research make them indispensable to the smooth functioning of this critical sector. It is our collective responsibility to appreciate their contributions and support their continued growth as they work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the safety and quality of our most precious resource - water.

I truly appreciate all the hard work our Lab Staff, and Lab Staff across the State puts toward the water quality industry. My hope is that the impact you have does not go unseen or unheard! And don't worry, I plan to show my appreciation to my Staff in more ways than simply "investing in ongoing training opportunities" as AI suggested!

Tyler Eldridge holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Colorado State University. He has been in the Wastewater Treatment industry with the City of Greeley for the past 7 years as a Water Quality Analyst, Data and Asset Manager, and more recently Greeley’s Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Facility Superintendent. Much of his time is currently spent playing tea party with his 2 year old daughter, or attempting to help release her seemingly infinite amount of energy.

© Rocky Mountain Water Quality Analysts Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software