The Clear Take on Water and Wastewater Today

Chris Cowell

Staff feature

Chris Cowell

Southern Iowa/Missouri Assistant Region Manager

Chris Cowell joined PeopleService more than six years ago as an Operator 2. Experience, tenacity and care earned him the promotion to Assistant Region Manager. While some things have changed in our industry through the years, Chris will tell you that the PeopleService mission, family nature of the company and commitment to our customers has not. Chris lives on the farm in Martinsville, Missouri that has been in his family for four generations with his wife Kelli, son Hunter and daughter Laramie. The whole family enjoys fishing, hunting and camping. When Chris and his family are not enjoying the outdoors, he’s composing original music and playing lead guitar in his band, Bridges Burnt, that has played throughout the Midwest.

Chris agrees wholeheartedly with the PeopleService requirement that operators live within 30 miles of the systems we manage, operate and maintain. “This means we can provide operational support quickly when needed, and that it’s easy to maintain and manage the plants daily. More than that, when our operators live in or very near a community, they become a key part of that community – coaching teams, shopping, worshiping and serving. So, the commitment is not to the job as much as it is to our neighbors.”

When asked how PeopleService operators stay up-to-date on EPA and DNR regulations, earn higher certifications, and maintain water and wastewater systems, Chris complimented the learning culture of PeopleService. “The people I work with at PeopleService all have a thirst for knowledge – and they are generous in sharing what they’ve learned. Collectively, our staff has spent so much time working in a variety of plants, that all it takes is a phone call to gain from that experience. This experience also gives us this sense of looking around the corner to see what’s coming next. For instance, we know what to pay attention to and how to sort through upcoming regulation and permit changes. It helps to know what may be coming down the pipe and how to anticipate that.

Chris is excited about PeopleService’s new contract in Eudora, Kansas. “We were hired to make this system sing and it’s coming along nicely. We’re making the modifications needed for the system to run smoothly and efficiently and are grateful for our new partner’s faith and trust in us.”

We asked Chris what the biggest misunderstanding is about what PeopleService does. “Some people are cynical about our role as city contractors. They think we are just in it for the money. I wish they would set this impression aside and look deeper into our mission, which has always been to become a long-term partner with each community we are fortunate enough to do business with. I also wish that the public had a greater appreciation for the considerable skill set and dedication required to keep the water and wastewater in their community safe and clean. We are truly honored when communities partner with us to steadfastly provide this important benefit to their citizens.”

Chris has the following certifications

  • Missouri Class A Water Treatment
  • Missouri Class A Wastewater Treatment
  • Missouri DS-III Distribution
  • Missouri Class B CDL
  • Kansas Grade IV Water License
  • Kansas Grade IV Wastewater License