My River POV: Leamon Anderson

The River Authority
Jan 18, 2022

The "My River POV" series provides readers the opportunity to learn about the unique insight and experiences of the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) staff and their personal connection to the San Antonio River in hopes of inspiring stewardship of area creeks and rivers.

Leamon Anderson headshot

Leamon Anderson, Utilities Manager

Growing up in Southeast Texas, San Antonio vacations were a given. I have fond memories of family trips that included the Alamo, Imax, Planet Hollywood (when it was still around), and of course, the historic, downtown San Antonio River Walk. I even made educational visits with my high school Spanish Club as a participant in the Pan-American Student Forum.

When a career change brought me, my wife, and my 1-year-old daughter to San Antonio in 2013, it already felt like a second home. The transition to making San Antonio, with big-city amenities and a small-town feel, our home was an easy one. We recognized friendly faces everywhere we went, and the hills of far north Bexar County reminded my wife of her Midwestern roots. In 2015, we welcomed our second daughter and continued to cement our San Antonio foundation. As a family, we enjoy the beautiful outdoors by exploring nearby parks and trails and learning the vast history of Central and South Texas.

Utilities Martinez II

Martinez II Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)

While I started my career in financial sales, I have been working in public service with a focus on utilities since 2017. Learning a new industry was not without its hardships. Still, I found the ultimate goal - providing the basic needs and services to maintain life - very easy to adopt. Utility work is often a thankless job. We, myself included, expect the lights to turn on, water to flow from our faucets, and toilets to flush. We only truly appreciate these things when they don't work. There is so much behind the scenes to ensure that happens. Integral parts of the services we often take for granted include countless hours monitoring and sampling at treatment plants, maintaining equipment and machinery, and responding to routine and emergency calls at all hours. Everyone has their role, from our newest family member to those who have served for over 30 years. But the thing that we do best is work as a single unit to accomplish our goals and ensure that our customers receive the service they deserve.

Group of students observe water runoff at the Martinez II waste water treatment plant.

 Students view effluent outfall during a Martinez II Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) tour.

As I mentioned before, many of us, myself included, do not always consider the work it takes to have energy at the flip of a switch and water at the turn of a faucet. However, we can still do our part to help out the community. This includes being mindful of what we put into our kitchen sinks or flush down our toilets to prevent a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO). The biggest culprits of a build-up are fats, oils, grease – known as FOGs - and wipes. These materials can restrict the flow of wastewater from our homes and even businesses leading to clogged pipes which can trigger an SSO. The best deterrent is preventative measures.

Don't dump fats, oils, or grease down the drain.

In the Utilities Department, we are committed to safe, clean, and enjoyable creeks and rivers. We do this by producing the highest possible quality effluent, which is the water discharged from a treatment plant, sewer line, or outfall into a body of water. High-quality effluent is essential in maintaining the quality of life and environment we all expect here in the San Antonio River Basin. River Authority Utility staff's stewardship, integrity, and excellence ensure that the San Antonio River will be enjoyed for generations to come. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Utilities Department as we continue to provide wastewater treatment utility services that support the vitality of the communities we serve.

Effluent outfall at Upper Martinez Wastewater Treatments Plant

Effluent outfall at Upper Martinez Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).