Trinity River Authority Project: Steve Price
When most people flush their toilets that is the end of it of it. Out of site out of mind. What is neglected is the careers and innovation that sit at the other end of the toilets. Steve Price has made the flushing of Dallas, Texas toilets his lifelong career and forged a deeper relationship with water and waste management at the same time.
In the digital age of 2023, many tend to overlook physical jobs, we tend to only see innovation as things with artificial intelligence or reaching out deeper into space. The story of Steve career illuminates the innovations that are occurring in a more natural world, and ones that will help in managing ever expanding populations, especially in North Texas and the Dallas Metroplex. Steve started with the Trinity River Authority in waste management right out of high school and “as green as could be”. He moved up the ranks, gaining educational opportunity and showing the benefits of staying with one company long term. While traditional, university-based educations are increasingly considered to be of higher value than on the job learned experience we see the many things you can learn and gain through technical experience. Steve and his team have competed and won in nationwide waste management competitions that go to prove the direct usefulness of their job specific knowledge and training. The advancements in wastewater management also play an important role in the understanding of how solid waste careers have been altered over time. The mechanics of removing solid waste have remained largely the same, but they have been improved upon by chemical advancements that have made flushed byproducts safer, easier to dispose of, and increasingly more environmentally friendly. Various chemicals, microorganisms and mechanical methods have been homed in over the past decades that are directly benefiting the lives of Texans and beyond.
When most see what can easily be passed off as a “poop plant” ideas of unclean, and polluting conditions are conjured. However, through innovation and the long career of TRA employees like Steve Price, we get a greater understanding of how well cared for the water quality of the Trinity River is and the employees who are responsible for the waters condition and return to the Trinity River. Additionally, it is important to see that even in what is perceived to be a dirty, blue-collar job, there is community, room for growth and fulfillment that today does not get enough recognition for the ways it keeps our daily lives running smoothly.