New Mexico Water announced that Jeremiah Mecham will lead the utility’s water and wastewater operations, effective today. He succeeds longtime manager Paul Risso, who retired on March 31, 2017.
Mecham joins New Mexico Water with more than 17 years of experience in water operations and management. For the last five years, he worked at CH2MHill as a project manager and director, where he developed a culture of successful change management, increased awareness and performance around safety, strengthened relationships with clients, and was responsible for all operational and compliance activities.
Mecham started his career as a utility worker with American Water, before advancing to water plant operations superintendent. He holds Water Treatment Grade 4, Wastewater Treatment Grade 4, Water Distribution Grade 3, and Wastewater Collections Grade 2 certifications. Mecham also holds a degree in applied science water resource technologies from Gateway Community College in Phoenix, Ariz.
“I am proud to join the ranks of New Mexico Water, a leader in water and wastewater utilities,” said Mecham. “The ethics and values of the company match my own, and I look forward to providing our customers with quality, service, and value.”
Risso, who was with New Mexico Water since 2004, helped the utility acquire four new water systems and transitioned one of the existing sewer plants into a more modern and efficient membrane bio-reactor plant. Risso was also instrumental in getting two pieces of legislation passed; the first helped small water providers adjust their rates without having to navigate a costly and confusing rate case, and the second incorporated wastewater treatment plant providers into the same property tax status as water providers, saving utilities and their customers thousands of dollars. Risso was an active member of the Greater Belen Chamber of Commerce and was named its 2016 Citizen of the Year.