A Tough Day's Wages - Water Treatment Plant - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

A Tough Day's Wages - Water Treatment Plant

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 LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Many East Texans spend the majority of their weeks in situations many couldn't handle for five minutes. These men and women earn a Tough Day's Wages and rarely get recognition for the brutal jobs they tackle.

Jeff Smith has worked at Longview's Water Treatment Plant for 8 years now. His job is to make sure the equipment that cleans your waste water continues to work.  Every flush, every bath, and every drop down the drain goes through here.  

"The water comes in here dirty. By the time it leaves here, you could drink it if you wanted." - Jeff Smith, Maintenance

Smith routinely cleans these trickle pumps.the water that comes in is filtered through these arms but everything that comes into the plant isn't water.  

"We get hair buildup, old rags, and anything people flush down the toilet"

He also finds used condoms, female hygiene products, and items that put his life at risk.  

"Once in awhile we will find syringes in here. So you have to be real careful. Luckily I've never been stuck, and hopefully never will."

Once a month, he has to clean 4 of these trickle filters that clean more than 4 billion gallons of water a year. He says the first day on the job was the toughest.

"An older man showed me how to do it and I almost lost my lunch. It was gross. But in time you get used to it."

He says he has never received a thanks, but he knows his job is vital.  

"If the water wasn't cleaned like this, we would run out of water."

If you know of someone that has a dirty, tough job - email me.  Email at kboyce@cbs19.tv,

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