BPUB Expert Spotlight: Albert Gomez Jr.
This is a new segment to introduce the BPUB professionals whose priority is to deliver high quality service to you every day. Since our customers are the primary reason we are here, we’d like to acquaint our readers with the people with the skills and passion that make BPUB one of the most respected and reliable utilities in Texas.
Name: Albert Gomez Jr.
Birthplace: Brownsville, TX
High School: Porter High School in Brownsville
College: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&I (now Texas A&M Kingsville)
Length of time at BPUB: 22 years
Career track: Environmental Services Division – 22 years
Despite departmental changes, there has been one constant in the Environmental Services Division in the last couple of decades: Albert Gomez Jr.
Gomez’s early interest in engineering was stoked by his father, who worked at BPUB’s Silas Ray Power Plant. Gomez has been with the Brownsville Public Utilities Board for 22 years, all of which has been spent in the division he now heads. Gomez was appointed director of Environmental Services 14 years ago after starting as an environmental coordinator and serving time as a supervisor and manager.
The Environmental Services Division plays a critical role in BPUB’s operations and ensuring the safety of BPUB employees and customers. The division is responsible for overseeing all environmental aspects of the company. This includes all facilities, from the main Administration Building to Silas Ray Power Plant and everything in between. All of these facilities must meet all current state, federal and local laws and regulations.
Achieving that compliance is a big task that requires Gomez and his team to take on many different roles. They must act as trainers for other departments within BPUB. They must obtain necessary permits. They must conduct daily testing and analysis. They must lead up teams responsible for cleanups, and this only touches on a few of the important tasks this division spearheads.
While some utilities might have one main focus, Gomez must keep abreast with changes in laws for water, wastewater and electricity. When the government speaks, Gomez must act and come up with whatever solutions are necessary to meet those new demands. This requires him to be vigilant not only on current plant operations but also toward the future and what changes might be coming to this industry. It’s a process that keeps him learning every day.
Gomez also oversees departments responsible for trying to prevent things from going wrong within BPUB’s infrastructure. Customer actions can have a profound impact on BPUB’s system, so BPUB’s Pretreatment Department performs outreach to educate customers about the proper ways to dispose of fats, oils and grease (FOG). Backflow Prevention also falls under Gomez’s command. Backflow devices prevent contamination from one water source to another. It ensures that chemicals or other harmful elements can’t find their way into BPUB’s water supply.
When not on the job, Gomez says he enjoys cooking and working on various projects around his home. He also places a high priority on fitness, something that is necessary to keep up with his son and daughter.