Bethel Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Rick Davis is retiring after 20 years working at the facility. Photo by Meira Bienstock

BETHEL — Rick Davis is retiring from the Waste Water Treatment Plant after 20 years. He began his career there in 2001 as an operator, and has been the superintendent for three in a half years.

Davis likes that things are better now than when he first arrived, and says he had a great staff.

Looking back on his career, Davis explains he feels he helped play a part in preventing pollution.

One of the main challenges Davis was faced with was PFAS, known as forever chemicals, or man-made chemicals that people often consume while eating food or drinking water that contains PFAs.

Davis would test the sludge that moves through the plant for these chemicals.

Another main component Davis faced was fog, or the grease, stuck in the wastewater. He said the best way for the public to handle grease is to wipe it out with a paper-towel; don’t dump it down drains. He said restaurants have ordinances in place for maintaining grease traps, and people can always put their own grease traps under sinks.

During the pandemic, Davis explained that COVID-19 could be in wastewater; however, it dies quickly. He and his crew kept up the necessary COVID-19 precautions, which meant that on some workdays only two employees were at the plant.

Davis comes from a mechanical background. He initially went to community college in Key West, Florida, then, went to Massachusetts to repair boats as a mechanic.

Concerning his job as the superintendent of the Waste Water Treatment Plant, Davis says, “I’ve been thankful to work for the town of Bethel, and working with a lot of good people.”

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