Employees at Air Tractor Inc. are doing their part to help conserve water during the ongoing drought, and over the past nine months have saved more than 1 million gallons. The measures put into place at the agricultural airplane manufacturing facility have been simple, according to Rick Turner, general manager, but have proven effective.
“We’ve seen significant numbers in water we’ve saved from making our employees more aware of the problem,” Turner said.
Efforts started with awareness, with memos sent to employees and notices on bulletin boards asking them to conserve water.
“Management really didn’t do anything,” Marshall Leemann, Air Tractor engineer and Olney City Council member, said. “The employees took the bull by the horns and saved water.”
Aerators have been placed on the 40 to 50 faucets located throughout all of the company’s plants, employees were asked to voluntarily reduce flushes in bathrooms and valves have been turned down to reduce water output where possible. Some essential processes were also changed to help save several thousand gallons of water at a time.
All Air Tractor planes, Turner said, must have “hopper checks” that involve filling the water tanks to the top to check for leaks. Before conservation efforts really began, Turner said the water would be dumped out onto the ground when each plane was finished. That is no longer the case.
(For more of this story, check out this week's edition)