Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

James "JR" FaunceSeptember 2016

 Not all of our customers thank FSE team members for their service in the form of a letter. Some show their satisfaction through actions. This is true of our clients at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration when James "JR" Faunce, Project Manager, took the initiative to solve an ongoing challenge for the complex.

JR, who has been with FSE for 12 years, notes that in his time working at NOAA, there have been multiple occasions when the city water has gone out, leaving the complex vulnerable to system shutdown, resulting from the cooling towers running out of water. As the NOAA facility not only serves as a location for the study and understanding of the ocean, atmosphere and related ecosystems, but also for an emergency response system for ships and vessels around the globe, system failure could be disastrous.

NOAA hired an outside contractor to try to come up with a solution. The consulting team came up with a few solutions, all of which were fairly costly. In the meantime, JR developed a solution of his own: using ground water that came up in the storm pits located in the parking garage. After a test showed that the water was viable, JR and his team installed submersible pumps into the two pits and ran piping up over the roof and into the cooling tower. Though JR notes that his solution is only intended to be temporary, the entire project only cost about $2,000 and gathered almost double the water needed in a worst-case scenario.

In fact, the government was so impressed with JR's ingenuity that the permanent plan, which will include a water storage system, will now be based on what JR and his team built.

"It is incredible what one employee's idea can do for a client," says Reed Tarkington, Vice President at FSE. "Thank you to JR for his resourcefulness and dedication to our client."

Sump pump


View of rooftop