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KRWA Recognition
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Kansas Rurual Water Association recognized David Gehrke as Municipal Water Operator of the Year.


Contact: Elmer Ronnebaum, General Manager

                Kansas Rural Water Association

                Ph. 785.336.3760


                Web site:



Herington Water Operator David Gehrke recognized by Kansas Rural Water Association


Wichita, KS, March 28, 2014: David Gehrke, Water Specialist for the City of Herington, has been recognized by the Kansas Rural Water Association as Municipal Water Operator of the Year. The award was presented this past week during the Association’s 47th Annual Conference & Exhibition. The conference, which was attended by nearly 2,300 people from more than 300 cities and 190 rural water districts, was held at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita.

Gehrke is a life-long resident of the area; he began work with Herington in 1977. With the exception of a two-year break when he worked at the wastewater plant, Gehrke spent his entire career working in both the city’s surface water plant and the city’s power plants. During his time as water plant superintendent since 1982, he has been directly involved with numerous plant improvements including construction of a new clarifier and rehabbing an existing clarifier, construction of a chlorine contact basin, updating controls on the sand filters, and installing variable frequency drives on the raw water pumps that deliver water to town from the city’s reservoir a new reservoir constructed in the 1980s. He was named water plant superintendent in 1982 and was named foreman of the city’s power plant in 1986; he has continued to serve in that dual role. Gehrke is responsible for preparing budgets, managing water treatment chemical purchasing and addition, computer upgrades and other operational duties.
Gehrke holds certification as a Class IV water operator and a Class III wastewater operator. He has also been involved in replacement of the city’s electrical sub-station and maintaining the city’s power lines. His time away from his work include helping his father with farm work; he and his wife Rita are actively involved with the Sons of Legionnaires in the American Legion.
Others recognized during the conference included the following: Municipal City Administrator Jonathan Mitchell, city of Hoisington; Rural Water Manager Greg Drinovsky, Jackson County RWD 1; City Clerk Brenda Chance, city of Phillipsburg; Municipal Wastewater Operator G. D. Hite, city of Abilene; Rural Water Manager Greg Drinovsky, Jackson RWD 1; Rural Water Office Manager Mary Jane Gouvion, Crawford County RWD 6; and, Rural Water Operator Dan Hoobler, Pottawatomie RWD 4. The Association gave special recognition to Ron Grage of Stuart, Florida for his many years of providing training concerning chlorine safety and chlorinator maintenance, and to Ned Marks, owner of Terrane Resources in Stafford, Kan., for work in addressing water well construction and groundwater protection. The Association also recognized Rural Water District No. 2 of Pottawatomie

County as the most improved water system in the state. Public Wholesale District No. 4, which treats water from Bill Hill Reservoir near Cherryvale, placed first in the "Best Tasting Water in Kansas" contest.

Technical sessions at the conference included 56 seminars on all aspects of water and wastewater utility operations and management and 327 exhibits of products and services for municipal water and wastewater utilities. Special guest speakers included John Padalino, Administrator of USDA Rural Development, Washington, D.C.; Tracy Streeter, Director of the Kansas Water Office, Topeka, and Charles Hilton, Exec. Vice-President of the National Rural Water Association.

The Kansas Rural Water Association provides training and technical assistance to cities and rural water districts and also supports a variety of other community programs from GPS mapping to the popular KAN STEP self-help program through the Department of Commerce. The Association is based in Seneca and has a staff of 18.

See the Association’s Web site at to learn more about the Association.


City of Herington 17 N. Broadway,   Herington, KS 67449    -    785-258-2271
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