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Public Works Day Features Competition of North Pinellas Utility Professionals

5/13/2014 12:09:20 PM

Contact: Clearwater Public Utilities, (727) 562-4960


May 13, 2014

Public Works Day Features Competition of North Pinellas Utility Professionals

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The City of Clearwater invites residents to attend Public Works Day on Thursday, May 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Public Works Complex, 1650 N. Arcturas Ave. in Clearwater. This free, family-friendly event features the 2nd annual North Pinellas Top Ops Competition, in which utility and field crews from Pinellas County compete for top honors among local industry professionals. The event also includes free tours of the cityís groundwater replenishment pilot plant, demonstrations, and vehicle and equipment displays to show the importance of public works in community life.

The North Pinellas Top Ops Competition will include teams and individual competitors from the cities of Clearwater, Dunedin, Largo, Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor, and Tarpon Springs, and the town of Belleair and Pinellas County. Formal competitions begin at 8 a.m. and go to 1 p.m., and include: Best Tasting Water Contest (utilities compete in a judged taste test), Hard Tap (open a ductile iron pipe/install a tap), Fun Tap (open a PVC pipe/install a tap), Meter Madness (assemble a water meter from a bucket of parts), Backhoe Egg Drop (place an egg in a 5-gallon bucket), Vac Truck Basketball (make a basket with a basketball/hoop), Wastewater Operator Challenge ("college-bowl" style Q&A), Water Operator Challenge ("college-bowl" style Q&A), Admin Challenge (same as backhoe), and a Hot Dog Eating Contest. Residents are invited to cheer on the teams and participate in the Best Motorcycle Contest and open Volleyball and Corn Toss games.

Tours of the groundwater replenishment pilot plant will be available at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shuttles by van will be available to and from the facility by licensed CDL city drivers. The city, Southwest Florida Water Management District, and consultants are currently in the pilot demonstration phase to determine the feasibility of groundwater replenishment technology in Clearwater. This project, if implemented in a full-scale facility, would improve water levels within the aquifer. To learn more about this important project, visit

Tracy Mercer, Public Utilities Director, will be presented with a national award in honor of being named one of American Public Works Associationís Top Ten Leaders of the Year for 2014. Her award will be presented during the Top Ops Award Ceremony scheduled to begin around 1 p.m. Cake reception to follow.

"Public works is an integral, necessary part of life in the Clearwater community through services such as water, sewer, reclaimed water, stormwater, traffic engineering, sidewalks, and streets and highways," says Tracy Mercer, Public Utilities Director. "Today, public works employees are in the forefront of using the best sustainable practices to ensure our environment and infrastructure is well maintained for the public's use and enjoyment in the future."

The Top Ops Competition is hosted by the City of Clearwater and is supported by North Pinellas Municipal Utilities Forum. To learn more, call (727) 562-4960.

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