Rhinelander receives DNR ‘Laboratory of the Year’ honors
Mayor Johns recognizes wastewater lab tech Jody Flannery
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Rhinelander Wastewater Treatment Plant lab technician Jody Flannery was recognized at Monday night’s City Council meeting in a proclamation read by Mayor Dick Johns, who praised Flannery for her efforts to have the city honored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as one of two municipalities named as having the “Laboratory of the Year.”
“I’d like to honor Jody tonight for the years of valued service to the city, but also look forward to her continued service, and thank her for her strong commitment to the city of Rhinelander,” Johns said.
Rhinelander’s wastewater treatment plant, which shared this year’s Laboratory of the Year award with the Town of Sullivan Sanitary District, had been nominated by DNR audit chemist Brandy Baker-Muhich. The city had also been nominated for the award back in 2013.
“Jody Flannery, along with (public works director) Tim Kingman has worked to develop and manage an excellent QA (Quality Assurance) program for the laboratory,” Baker-Muhich wrote in nominating the city for the 2017 award. “The SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and Quality Manual are very well written – and are examples for other regional laboratories to emulate, by including very specific step by step instructions, and all the quality control criteria and recovery requirements.”
Though many Quality Assurance programs are developed to meet a minimum set of requirements, Baker-Muhich said Rhinelander’s laboratory “has the support and professional knowledge that strive to do much better.”
“If a requirement is required only once, or quarterly, the laboratory will complete them monthly or even daily as a preventative measure,” she said.
Baker-Muhich went on to state that the Rhinelander laboratory has “incredibly low QC (Quality Control) exceedances.”
“The lab data produced is accurate and additional work is done to prevent issues from occurring,” she said. “Jody’s organizational, management and laboratory skills would be a great example for others.”