We Are Partners With Our Customers
Johnson County Wastewater believes that the most effective form of wastewater treatment results from a partnership with those we serve. This partnership is based on two-way, continuous communication between the two. Interactive communication is important. One way we accomplish this is through public hearings or informational meetings held by the Board of County Commissioners and the active participation of our customers. Another hands-on opportunity we offer is our plant tour which is free and available by appointment.
We Are Partners With the Board of County Commissioners
The Johnson County Board of Commissioners is a seven-member board. Board members are elected to four-year terms by voters in their respective districts. They hold regular business sessions every Thursday, except observable holidays, at the Board of County Commissioners Hearing Room, 111 South Cherry, 3rd Floor, Olathe, Kan.
The Board holds public hearings and information meetings on wastewater projects and district creations. Normally, these meetings are advertised 10 days prior to the meeting date in the Olathe Daily News. Notices concerning wastewater issues are mailed 14 days prior to the meeting date to those property owners who are potentially affected .
We Are Partners Within Our Department - Leadership Team & Divisions
Chief Engineer, Asset Management, Planning, and Public Projects (AMP3) Division - Susan Pekarek
Susan Pekarek is the department's Chief Engineer and is responsible for leading engineering planning and the department's capital improvement activities, as well as overseeing all engineering functions in the department. She joined Johnson County Wastewater in 2001, and served as Managing Engineer - treatment/wastewater treatment projects in the Existing Infrastructure group, Operations and Maintenance Division, since 2002. Prior to 2001, Ms. Pekarek worked for Burns & McDonnell for four (4) years as an Environmental Engineer.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Environmental focus) from Kansas State University. She is a Kansas Registered Professional Engineer and has a Kansas Wastewater Treatment Operator, Class IV license. Ms. Pekarek is a member of the following professional organizations: KWEA (Government Affairs Committee Chair), WEF, the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), and Chi Epsilon Society.
Director of Business Operations & Planning (BOP) Division - Beth Brandel
As identified in Johnson County Wastewater's Strategic Business Plan, Beth Brandel, director of Business Operations & Planning, is responsible for moving the department ahead with regard to the plan's goals and objectives. She also supervises the financial, human resources, and information technology departmental functions.
The Business Operations & Planning Division provides vital support services to the other divisions of Johnson County Wastewater. These include accounting, budgeting, computer operations, human resources, payroll, and employee relations. Business Operations & Planning employees are involved in many ongoing projects aimed at automating and improving processes at Johnson County Wastewater for the betterment of all its employees and the service that the department provides.
Prior to her work with wastewater, Ms. Brandel served as Manager of Personal Property for the Johnson County Appraiser’s Office. She also worked for Sprint Corporation as a Financial Analysis Manager and as an auditor for the Missouri Public Service Commission where she was involved in utility rate cases. Ms. Brandel holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from Pittsburg State University, and is a CPA, licensed in the State of Missouri.
Director of Communications - Lori Sand
Lori Sand, director of communications, is very familiar with the Kansas City metro area and Johnson County, having previously served for nearly 15 years as the Director of Communications for the Blue Valley School District.
Communications is a focal point for Johnson County Wastewater, providing relevant information to the customers, media, departmental staff, and the general public, as well as soliciting input from our partners.
Ms. Sand, who came to work with the department in May 2008, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications from Iowa State University and is a member of the Regional Association of Public Information Officers.
Director of Customer Relations Division - Lisa Davis
Lisa Davis, Customer Relations director, previously served the department for five (5) years as User Charge Manager. She helped establish and oversee the growth of this vital section of the department.
The Customer Relations Division serves as a single source for all key customer service activities, including informational needs. It links business functions such as inspections, permitting, and system expansion activities as well as billing and collections. The ability for staff to meet peak workloads between the various functions and cross-train is enhanced by the creation of this division.
Director of Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Division - Kurt Winters
Johnson County Wastewater's Director of Operations & Maintenance, Kurt Winters, provides leadership to personnel responsible for the collection, transportation, and treatment of wastewater generated in our service area. He also provides leadership for the Engineering section in Existing Infrastructure. Section responsibilities include planning, inspecting, and repairing or upgrading the department’s sewer lines, pump stations, and treatment facilities.
The O&M Division has the responsibility of ensuring that wastewater discharged to the collection system is safely transported to one of the county's treatment plants. There it is treated to levels consistent with operating permits issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment prior to being discharged in receiving streams. The O&M staff operates and maintains the collection system (gravity lines, manholes, pump stations, and force mains) and treatment facilities to ensure they perform to their design intent which is to protect the water quality in the receiving streams and the health of area residents.
Mr. Winters earned an Associate of Arts with an emphasis in Science and Mathematics from Johnson County Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas. He is currently a member of the WEF and the KWEA.
Director of the Water Quality Lab Division – Tony Holt
Tony Holt, director of the Water Quality Lab, plans and oversees all new projects, researches new technologies and methods, and sets the direction and priority of lab work. The director also acts as a technician in the field and as a lab tech whenever needed. He spent six (6) years in the custom lab business before coming to Johnson County in January 1987.
The Water Quality Laboratory employs sampling strategies, National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC)-accrediated equipment, and techniques perfected over 35 years of continuous operation to accurately determine the chemical properties or constituents of waste and surface waters.
Mr. Holt assumed his duties as the Lab Director in 1990. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (ACS) from UW River Falls in 1981. He is a member of WEF, the Kansas Laboratory Education Association, and the WERF Emerging Contaminant Work Group.