Birmingham Water Works Lands on Cover of Municipal Sewer & Water


General Manager Michael Johnson is featured on the cover of the March 2021 issue of Municipal Sewer & Water magazine.

The cover story, entitled “Systematic Upgrades” (but appearing as Tackling Water System Upgrades in the web version), focuses on Birmingham Water Works’ approach to capital improvements, which includes replacing more than 500 miles of unlined cast iron and galvanized steel distribution pipe.

“That pipe accounts for 14% of the system, but it accounts for two-thirds of our maintenance activity. Some of the galvanized pipe is more than 90 years old,” said Johnson.

Johnson also discusses water rates, procurement, pipe replacement methods, and leak detection and repair, and communications with ratepayers.

A sidebar to the cover story dives into Johnson’s background, including his service in the US Marine Corps, where his work in fiscal planning and logistics prepared him for his current role.

“When you fight a fight, you organize water and other supplies. You maintain equipment in forward positions. So much logistical thinking goes into supplying and maintaining people and equipment. That thinking, coupled with my financial background, serves me well in this position,” he said.

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