Lessons from Flint

Iowa Events Center, HyVee Hall
Friday, June 17th, 2016 9:45 AM to 11:15 AM


  • Shelli Lovell

    Shelli Lovell

    Central Iowa Water Association

    Shelli has been in the water industry for over 25 years, holding positions with Iowa DNR as Environmental Specialist and Water Quality Bureau Chief and with two water utilities.  She was a water quality and compliance manager for the Cedar Rapids Water Department, working with Barb and John [two of the panel members], and she is currently the Chief Operating Office for Central Iowa Water Association.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from San Diego State University and holds Grade 3 Water Treatment, Grade 2 Water Distribution and Backflow Device Tester certifications in Iowa. 


  • Joyce Zhu

    Joyce Zhu

    Virginia Tech / Flint Water Study

    Ni (Joyce) Zhu is a doctoral student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. Prior to joining Dr. Marc Edwards’ Flint Water Study, she earned an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from National University of Singapore and a Masters of Engineering degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her doctoral research focuses on the effects of water chemistry on the attenuation of emerging microbial contaminants and antibiotic resistant gene/bacteria in recycled water distribution systems, using the next-generation metagenomics sequencing technology. Since Professor Edwards started independent research on Flint water contamination last summer, she has been a core member of the Flint Water Study Team, helping with sampling processing and analysis in the laboratory. She has also traveled to Flint to sample identified hot spot buildings in Flint.

  • Jon Tack

    Jon Tack

    Iowa Department of Natural Resources

    Jon Tack is the Water Quality Bureau Chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  The Water Quality Bureau includes the state’s wastewater and drinking water programs as well as the water monitoring and watershed improvement sections.  Jon is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the University’s College of Law and has obtained a Certified Public Manager designation from the Drake University College of Business and Public Administration.  He has been with the Iowa DNR since 1998.

  • John North

    John North

    Iowa Association of Water Agencies

    John is now semi-retired but has remained active in the drinking water field by serving as the Co-Executive Director of the Iowa Association of Iowa Water Agencies. John served as the Water Utility Director for the city of Cedar Rapids Water Department from 1993 through June of 2007. He has over 40 years of experience in the water and wastewater treatment fields. John's undergraduate degree was in chemistry and he began his career with the city of Dubuque where he served as a chemist, lab manager and water plant manager.


    Unfortunately, in 1992 the city of Cedar Rapids Water Department (CRWD) found itself in violation of the newly enacted standard for lead levels in first-draw drinking water samples. The CRWD initiated extensive research and monitoring programs to determine the optimal water chemistry that would minimize the potential for lead leaching. The CRWD achieved and has been in full compliance with the lead standard since about 1996. Despite having a significant number of lead service lines, brass faucets and solder joints were determined to be the primary sources for the lead corrosion in Cedar Rapids. 

  • Barb Wagner

    Barb Wagner

    Cedar Rapids Water

    Barb has been employed in the environmental industry for over 30 years. She has held the position of a laboratory supervisor for an Independent testing lab in Louisiana and at a wastewater treatment facility in Independence, Missouri. She worked as a laboratory analyst for the City of Cedar Rapids for 18 years before accepting her current position as Utilities Water Quality Specialist 8 years ago. She received her Bachelor of Science degree In Microbiology from Louisiana Tech University and proudly served in the United States Air Force for a single enlistment. She has been happily married for 37 years and is the proud mom of two sons.

  • Mike Ricks

    Mike Ricks

    Water Solutions Unlimited

    Mike Ricks has an Economics degree from Wabash College.  He spent over 20 years in the Pharmaceutical business before transitioning to the Municipal Drinking Water in 2010.  He is Co-owner and in charge of research/development and sales for Water Solutions Unlimited in Indiana.  Water Solutions Unlimited works with over 450 small to medium cities throughout the Midwest with issues concerning corrosion, high iron and manganese levels, high disinfection by products, high natural ammonia, and many other troublesome issues encountered by Water Operators/Superintendents.