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Utility Workers Compete for Top Honors as Part of Public Works Day

Public utility employees from cities including Clearwater, Largo, Dunedin, Safety Harbor and Tarpon Springs will compete in events using vacuum trucks and backhoes during Public Works Day May 22 in Clearwater.

Make a basketball shot with a vacuum truck. Navigate and maneuver a backhoe.

These are just some of the events in which public utility employees from throughout the county will compete as part of Public Works Day on Wednesday, May 22, in Clearwater.

The event, which showcases the importance of public works, features water reclamation facility tours, demonstrations and vehicle and equipment displays.

“Public works is an integral, necessary part of our life in the Clearwater community through services such as water, sewer, reclaimed water, stormwater, traffic engineering, sidewalks, and streets and highways,” Tracy Mercer, public utilities director, said in a release.

For the first time the event includes the North Pinellas Top Ops Competition, where utility and field crews from Pinellas County compete for top honors and trophies.

Teams and individual competitors are from Clearwater, Dunedin, Largo, Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs and the Town of Belleair.

Residents are invited to watch the formal competitions of skill from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Events include:

  • Backhoe Operation, maneuver objects using a backhoe bucket;
  • Vacuum Truck Operation, make a basket with a basketball/hoop.
  • Hard Tap, where competitors open a ductile iron pipe and install a tap.
  • Fun Tap, where they open a PVC pipe and install a tap.
  • Meter Madness, assemble a water meter from a bucket of parts.
  • Director's Challenge, which tests the director's ability to successfully do the backhoe challenge.

Water reclamation facility tours are available at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Shuttles by van will be available to and from the facility.

If you go:

What: Public Works Day and Top Ops Competition

When: from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 22

Where: Public Works Complex, 1650 N. Arcturas Ave.

Call 727-562-4960 or visit myclearwater.com.

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