Joel Ilseman, the Operations Supervisor for Fox Metro, was presented the Dr. William Hatfield Award by the Illinois Water Environment Association to acknowledge outstanding performance and professionalism by a wastewater treatment plant operator.
In 2007, the District began to implement the first phase of a multi-year capital improvements program. The $50 million first phase program consisted of the implementation of a Temperature Phase Anaerobic Digestion process, a 54 MGD pump station for chemically enhanced primary treatment for wet weather flows, and hydraulic improvement required by the CSO long term control plan. As every operator can attest, maintaining treatment while under construction and while starting new processes is a challenge. Joel through his calm and deliberative leadership approach successfully saw these projects from concept through completion.
Some of the success that the District has had under the leadership of Joel and his staff along with the support of upper management, the maintenance department and laboratory include:
Joel and his staff were instrumental in setting the course for the implementation of Phase II of the $100 million Capital Program which is currently under construction and includes a river crossing, a new 6 MGD liquid train, and various other plant and process improvements.
The best leaders create an inclusive environment, draw ideas from many different sources, distill the ideas to find the best, and lead the team quietly and confidently to action and higher achievement. Mr. Joel Ilseman personifies what it is to be a professional wastewater operator.