Project Superintendent Brad Meadows at the Southwest Water Reclamation Facility in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Fresh out of the University of Alabama with a degree in civil engineering, Brad Meadows spent the first three years of his professional career as an assistant project manager with Haskell. Somewhere along the line, he realized that his passion lay in fieldwork, not in an office. Over the next 15 years, he was promoted to project superintendent and delivered numerous projects across the country. Then, for all practical purposes, he started his career over.
“About six years ago, I ended up getting married and have a couple of young children,” Meadows said. “The family travels with me, and it just became too difficult to travel around with the family. So, I requested something more long-term, and Haskell moved me into the Water Division. I’ve been here at the St. Petersburg Water Reclamation Facility for about three-and-a-half years.”
Meadows was the first employee to walk onto the Southwest Water Reclamation Facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the beginning of the Biosolids Waste to Energy Project. A year later, Haskell added a second project at the facility, performing state-mandated capacity upgrades. Both were large and complex jobs.
The biosolids project was commissioned to consolidate the City’s operations and generate enough biogas to fuel its entire trash truck fleet – all while the facility continued operations, and odor and substance handling were kept under control so as not to affect a college and residential neighborhoods nearby.
The wastewater handling upgrade was part of a $326 million commitment made by St. Petersburg officials to overhaul a city-wide sewage system that was overwhelmed during rain events in 2015 and 2016.
Meadows’ new jobs involved large scopes of earthwork, process mechanical, metalwork, changing elevations and penetration embeds. Additionally, Haskell bid for, and won, about $30 million in self-perform work, meaning its permanent craft employees would be performing many of the trades that otherwise would be subcontracted.
“I enjoy it,” Meadows said. “It’s a greater level of difficulty.”
Meadows also found the bandwidth to innovate. His organizational nature was on display in the planning room, where regularly updated boards showed each crew’s work for the coming month. He and fellow superintendent Oni Ramirez held daily meetings so that everyone on the job was apprised of their assignments and status. To track all labor throughout the projects, Meadows employed a software called EcoSys that he helped Haskell develop.
The biosolids project now is finished, and the capacity upgrades work is on track for completion by mid-February. Meadows soon will be due for a new assignment, and he is eager for the next challenge.
“I’ve learned a lot in the past three-and-a-half years,” he said. “It’s challenging. I enjoy it.”
To learn more about Haskell’s municipal and industrial Water/Wastewater service offerings, contact Division Leader Bryan Bedell at firstname.lastname@example.org.