20 Feb Marcus Fuller Keeps the Water Flowing
Valve Maintenance Crew Leader Marcus Fuller knows Carrboro-Chapel Hill’s water works inside and out. Over nearly two decades, he has helped to build, maintain, and upgrade the community’s water system.
“Nineteen years ago, I got a newspaper and found a listing for a progressive water and sewer company hiring utility mechanics,” Fuller said. “I started on a construction crew at OWASA and haven’t looked back.”
Fuller took to the task like a fish to water and worked his way up to his current role as Crew Leader. He started out as a Utility Mechanic I on a construction crew for four years. After receiving a promotion to Utility Mechanic II, he worked in the meter shop for a few more years, then got promoted again to Utility Mechanic III and went to the water service and maintenance crew. From there, he became a leader on what’s now known as the valve maintenance crew.
Fuller and his team of four mechanics come in at 7 a.m. to review their system map, picking out any valves needing maintenance within OWASA’s service area. They try to exercise 20-25 valves every day. Their work is critical to ensuring system resiliency because valves in a community’s water system are much like faucet taps in a kitchen; they enable OWASA crews to stop and start water flow at different sections of underground pipes, to ensure quick access to them when repairs need to be made.
Outside of OWASA operations, Fuller is an avid sports fan.
“I’m a Tar Heel basketball fan,” he said as a smile spread across his face. “I like going to basketball and football games, and I have a daughter who’s into soccer.”
He also has a penchant for motorcycles and classic cars.
“I’ve got a ‘93 Ford Mustang Cobra — when I can keep it out of the shop,” he said through a chuckle. “A lot of the Chevy guys here give me a hard time about it.”
Originally from Cedar Grove, five minutes outside of Hillsborough, Fuller grew up on a farm. As someone who has always enjoyed working outside, he finds great value in providing his community with high-quality drinking water and considers OWASA one of the top utilities in the state.
“It’s always been a pleasure for me to work out in the community. This place has been good to me, 19 years and counting.”