By Greg Garrett
Tehachapi City Manager 

City water and wastewater operations

From the City Manager


I am often amazed at the quality of work performed by the employees here at the City of Tehachapi. The work required in several departments is performed on a daily basis by educated and talented individuals that keep the City running.

One of the more important areas is our water and wastewater operations. For you, the residents, you expect clean water to be in the tap, and wastewater to leave your homes and businesses in the City sewer system. One of the many tasks of a full-service City like Tehachapi.

Leading the process is our Public Works Director, Ryan Montgomery, whose oversight has helped build a tremendous team. On the potable water side Tyler Napier helps lead that group and, with his 15 years of experience, serves as our legal responsible official. Those responsibilities include six groundwater wells where we are allowed to pump 1,847 acre-feet of water every year. That equates to 601-million gallons of water per year, and all of it needs to be clean and potable. Testing is a major part of our operation, and our contract State Certified labs are busy with continual State-mandated testing.

Tyler is joined by the Lead Water System Operator, JR Aguirre, with over 25 years of experience in the water industry. Tom Brown and Tony Macias both have over 20 years of experience in the business, the newest member of our team Bernie Dominguez brought almost five years of experience and licenses to the City of Tehachapi when he was hired last fall.

As a matter of fact, both the water and wastewater teams are essentially responsible for our water from the time it leaves the ground, goes into your home, leaves as wastewater, is treated and then sent for reclamation. It's a non-stop process.

Wastewater is another fascinating example of good people doing excellent work. Wyatt Misiura serves as our chief wastewater operator and legally responsible official at our Wastewater Treatment Facility. Wyatt holds the highest level of certification by the State of California as a Grade Five Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator. He's joined by Brad Aboltin and Bryan Heffernan, who help oversee the intake and collection system, sewer lift stations throughout the City, our wastewater treatment and reclamation processes. This work totals out to nearly 300-million gallons of treated water each year.

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As we continue to grow, we have set the goal of upgrading the wastewater treatment process at our facility and redirecting the treated water for groundwater recharge. This process would be a direct benefit to our pumping allocation and the first project of its kind in Kern County.

Education and licensing is required in this line of work, and it's not a one-time thing. Both the drinking water and wastewater teams are subject to continued education to keep up with ever-changing State mandates. Their licenses and certifications are an integral part of water quality and wastewater operations. They respond to water and wastewater emergencies 24 hours a day through our on-call process and are assisted administratively by Roxanne Davis and physically by our public works staff in the maintenance and emergency response efforts.

I invite you this summer to take part in an open house we are planning at our Wastewater Treatment Facility, so you too can appreciate the work and the talent that goes into the seemingly simple tasks of potable and wastewater operations in our City. I look forward to showcasing more of our great projects and departments in the near future.

Notice: This year the City of Tehachapi is still following the mandatory Stage 2 water restrictions imposed last year. Check the regulations enclosed in your water bill or online at


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