Howard Colburn, Design and Quality Control

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October 1970 to 1978


I began my present career in 1970 when I accepted employment as a Service Worker for the City of Huntington Beach Water Department in Huntington Beach, California. I performed the duties of a service worker just long enough to learn the methods and materials used in underground construction.


Knowledge gained in the field and classes in record management led to my advancement to storekeeper. In this position I developed a filing and records management system to manage the materials and required records for the department.  I developed a program that provided for adequate emergency stock and the acquisition of materials for capital improvement projects.


The personal safety requirements of a young OSHA program were a constant focus as I trained and outfitted our field and operations staff for safe operations. 


I developed and initiated a preventative maintenance program that reduced almost constant equipment failures and the associated down time by more than 75%.


During my service with the Water Department, I attended college at night in pursuit of a degree in civil engineering. After my graduation with an Associate in Arts Degree from Golden West College, I was promoted to Civil Engineering Assistant for the Department. My duties in this position began with facilities atlas maintenance. Over the next two years I expanded my capabilities to include the design of new facilities, production of specifications for capital improvement projects and construction management for the installation of facilities.


My responsibility included the preparation and submittal records required by the State Health Department for the treatment and monitoring of domestic water delivered to the 20,000 services for the district.


Certifications awarded during my 8-year tenure at the Huntington Beach Water Department included the Associates in Arts Degree mentioned above and a certification by the State Department of Health as a Water Treatment Operator, Class IV.


I terminated my employment with the City of Huntington Beach Water Department in January of 1978 to enter private engineering practice