When Sam Rinortner tells people she works in wastewater operations, their first response is to wrinkle up their nose.
"It sounds like we have to physically touch and handle the waste that gets flushed down people's toilets, when it’s really not the case.
"I get a giggle every time the 'that job sounds like crap’ line gets pulled," she says.
Sam joined Hunter Water during the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns in July 2020.
She is a process engineer in our Wastewater Treatment Operations team, with her primary role to help the crew throughout major capital works projects, while also assisting with routine duties.
Sam actively participates in the design, construction and commissioning phases of upgrades, provides support with the regulatory requirements, which involves annual reporting of our overall Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) performance, including addressing any non-compliances with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), and assists our contractor, Veolia, with WWTW performance optimisation and process troubleshooting.
She believes taking on the role at Hunter Water has been the "best decision I've ever made for my career".
"My role is very diverse and always changes depending on the team's priorities.
"I had been very eager to get more operations-based experience.
"I knew that I would have regretted not taking the opportunity to get the experience that I was after, so I followed my own advice and got out of my comfort zone in order to grow.
"I think it’s paid off," she says.