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An Award for What it Takes to Keep our Water Safe and Clean

Ryan Macaulay receiving the "Exemplary Operations Supervisor Award."
  • Jonathan Streeter

The reliability of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's (SFPUC) water supply system relies on the behind-the-scenes work of people like Ryan Macaulay, who received the "Exemplary Operations Supervisor Award" on March 26, 2024.

Each Spring, the American Water Works Association's California-Nevada Section makes this award to an outstanding individual who has demonstrated exemplary performance in their work as an operations supervisor.  

As noted by Water System Manager, Angela Cheung, “Ryan is a consummate water professional who takes his job of providing the public with safe and high-quality water seriously.”

In his role as Superintendent of Water Treatment Facilities, Macaulay helps oversee the operations and maintenance at the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant and other treatment, pumping and water quality monitoring facilities in the West Bay – a critical link in the system that supplies water to customers in San Francisco and on the Peninsula. 

Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant.
Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant.

Just one example of his dedication to the system was dropping everything during a family holiday to immediately address degraded water quality in the San Andreas Reservoir due to the January 2023 New Year’s storm. His knowledge of the treatment system enabled the staff at the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant to address turbidity problems and ensure clean and clear drinking water for millions of customers without interruption.  

Macaulay frequently responds to issues that arise at the facilities after hours and has become the go-to person for troubleshooting when they are in a jam. Like many heroes, he neither wears a cape nor calls attention to himself, preferring to keep a low-profile and remain focused on the work at hand.  

When asked what drives his dedication to this work, Macaulay noted "Knowing how many people throughout the Bay Area depend on the work of our team, my goal is to keep the plant running like a well-oiled machine, no matter what circumstances are thrown at us." 

Macaulay holds a T5 water treatment operator certificate and a D4 water distribution operator certificate. He is part of a talented team of operators that ensure the water treatment plants are kept in optimal condition for the critical job of producing drinking water for millions of customers. 

For more information on how the SFPUC treats water, check out the General Overview of Water Treatment Process.