Silverdale Water District welcomes new commissioner

John Poppe - Photo by Paul Balcerak
John Poppe
— image credit: Photo by Paul Balcerak


Staff writer

The Silverdale Water District welcomed a new face to its Board of Commissioners at its first meeting of the year Thursday. John Poppe was officially sworn in as Position 2 Commissioner, taking the reins from the recently retired Seley Moore, who served the board for 18 years.

“Seley was an engineering-type guy and having another skill set like that is really valuable,” Commissioner Marcus Hoffman said. “Filling Seley’s shoes would be really hard to do, but I think John will do a good job.”

Poppe started at the water district earlier this week and hasn’t had much trouble acclimating himself to the office, thanks to his experience, he said.

Poppe doesn’t have a formal education in engineering like Moore, but he does bring with him experience in working with waste water and water treatment facilities. He’s currently a treatment plant manager with the West Sound Utility District and serves on the Kitsap County Solid Waste Advisory Committee, advising Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown. He has previously worked with CH2M HILL, an international engineering and consulting firm. He’s also a member of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Civil Service Commission.

“It’s a hard act to follow. It’s hard to meet the bar that he’s established,” Poppe said of succeeding Moore.

In the meantime, Poppe plans to increase publicity of the district and promote water conservation in the area.

“Right now, my biggest interest is taking advantage of Silverdale water,” he said. “Silverdale Water District has a great reputation. Let’s just try to maintain the momentum they’ve made.”

He’s also hoping to introduce some new technology to the area. He was involved with the expansion of the Joint Wastewater Treatment Facility in Port Orchard, which has implemented a biological membrane technology to filter and clean wastewater. The treated water that’s produced is even cleaner than most drinking water, Poppe said.

Poppe became aware of the technology on a trip to Europe with the commissioners of the Utility District a few years ago. The technology has been used there for years, where smaller treatment facilities, as opposed to large, centrally located facilities, service single homes or small bunches of homes.

“It’s new to us, but not new to the world,” he said.

There are no immediate plans to incorporate the technology into the Silverdale Water District.

In other district news:

• The board elected new officers for the 2008 term during the meeting. Dave Cook was unanimously elected as the new chairman and Hoffman was similarly chosen as the new secretary.

• The board approved a water relief request of $751 made by a local homeowner whose water bill shot up because of a burst pipe during the December floods. The district has a long-standing “water relief policy” that allows customers to receive financial aid once every five years for extreme or unusual changes to their water bills. To qualify for the aid, the bill must be 150 percent more than the customer’s average bill during the past two years. A computer algorithm decides what percentage of the total bill is paid by the customer and what’s paid by the district. Payouts totaling more than $150 have to be approved by the board.

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