Progress 2011: The Sewer Saver

Published 6:00 pm Monday, March 7, 2011

Hero: Ryan Hajek

Secret identity: senior utility maintenance worker

Ryan Hajek, an employee with the Utilities Department within the city of Albert Lea, stands next to a piece of equipment he uses regularly. Hajek is part of a team of city workers who maintains the water distribution system and sewer system for the city. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Base of operations: City Garage, Utilities Department, city of Albert Lea

Superpowers: ability to get along with people and easily make friends, always likes challenges, likes helping people, likes seeing progress, likes to give credit where credit is due, good at operating machinery

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Kryptonite: not as outgoing as he should be sometimes, doesn’t always tell people how he’s feeling

Affiliations: wife, Lisa, two sons, Logan, 6, and Ethan, 3

Origin: Living on an acreage between Myrtle and Glenville, Hajek began working for Albert Lea 11 years ago in March.

He had previously worked at Wangen Excavating and credits many of the skills he uses in his city job to this company.

He helps maintain the water distribution system and the sewer system, both above ground and below ground in Albert Lea. This could include fixing water main leaks and sewer leaks, too.

He specializes in running a backhoe and also has his Class B water operator’s license.

During the winter, he also snowplows for the city.

Outside of his employment with the city of Albert Lea, Hajek farms corn and soybeans and raises cattle.