National Guard Experience Translates to OWASA for Millie Zeno-Chapman

Millie Zeno-Chapman made her way to OWASA as a Water Treatment Plant Operator after serving in the Army National Guard. At OWASA, Millie knew she could use the skills she had developed in her new career.

“I was looking to get into the civilian side of water treatment,” Millie says. “OWASA gave me an opportunity to do that.”

Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Millie served in the National Guard for six years, working as a water treatment specialist and chemical equipment mechanic before joining OWASA in September 2016.

There is always an operator on duty at the Water Treatment Plant, which can lead to some early start times to Millie’s workday.

“Starting around 6 a.m., you start with doing labs,” Millie says. “Labs are like quality control. We’re verifying what we see on SCADA (Supervising Control and Data Acquisition). We can see our filter pH, but sometimes we need to look back on our labs to make sure it matches what meters read out.

“You look over the water plant, get info from the night shift, then you take over the plant,” Millie continues. “If anything particular is going out in distribution, such as flushing, you make sure to put more water in the system. I can see dips in the tanks, any possible breaks in the water mains, and I let people know to check out areas where we might be losing water.”

The importance of her work on our community is something Mille recognizes every day.

“Everyone uses water!” Millie says. “Every day, kids are drinking it, the hospital uses it. I feel the responsibility to keep the water in the community of Carrboro and Chapel Hill good.”

Along with visiting family back in Virginia, Millie also enjoys playing video games, as well as benefiting from the work she does by visiting the OWASA reservoirs.