Worked at Louisville Water since April 2016
You could say water has been in Plumber Leader Brent Metcalf’s blood since he was a little kid, not just in the literal sense.
“I didn’t necessarily know I wanted to work directly with water, but I knew I wanted to be something in construction,” Metcalf said.
His father, uncles, and grandfather were all in a trade industry. His father was actually a foreman for Kentucky Turnpike Water District in Shepherdsville. (Fun fact: Thomas Metcalf is currently a Construction Inspector for Louisville Water.)
“I did a lot of ridealongs with him when I was younger. I was able to ride along and see the work, and that kind of got me in the water side of things.”
Getting involved with the Fairdale High School’s Heavy Equipment & Science Program cemented the idea that he was on the right path. That path led him to Louisville Water before he even graduated.
“We came in between our junior and senior year. We were 17 at the time and worked all summer long. (We) went out with crews and did crew work,” Metcalf remembered.
He graduated, worked another summer with Louisville Water, and moved on to a full-time job elsewhere. Metcalf landed back with the water company in 2016. He’s worked in several roles: laborer, apprentice, emergency turner, heavy equipment operator, and plumber leader.
Second shift is not for the faint of heart. The hours can be long and grueling some nights.
Metcalf said, “It’s a different set of challenges for sure because everything we do is in the dark. We don’t have the same access to the resources the day shift has.”
The three-person crew doesn’t call for more manpower, trucks, or concrete and supplies. They really are like a family and rely on each other to complete the jobs they’re assigned.
On one November day, the first task was fairly simple. Metcalf and Heavy Equipment Operator, Jesse Jewell, replaced a broken stop on a meter. Then it was over to a reported leak on the other side of town where they met up with Plumber Leader’s Assistant, Caleb Burton. The leak was actually a small main break which couldn’t be repaired until other utilities marked lines. The third and final job made for a long night. They arrived to find water gushing in a yard, forceful enough to push up the lawn. Once they repaired the break, they confirmed what they suspected: another break was further down the line. That meant emptying the truck filled with mud so they could dig a new spot and do it all over again to fix the other break.
“It’s not for everybody,” Metcalf said.
But they take it in stride and genuinely enjoy their work “family.” As for Metcalf’s family at home, “I spend a lot of time with my kids. I’ve got two little ones.”
He also likes to hunt, hike, and spend time on the water.
“I run a business on the side too, working on boats, on the weekends. I spend a whole lot of time on the (Nolin) lake in the summertime.”
Just another way that water is a big part of Metcalf’s life.