For some people, knowing they share a last name with a piece of sanitary equipment would be strange. But for the Borers, sewer work is in the family.
At 3 p.m. today, a dedication service is to take place for the lift station on SR 100 near Clinton Mobile Home Court. The station, formerly named after factory Hayes Albion, is to be renamed the Borer Lift Station in honor of Brad Borer, who had a 30 year career at the Water Pollution Control Center, including 17 years as superintendent.
"I never had a day where I didn't want to go to work, but there were days where I really wanted to leave early," he joked.
Brad's motivation to begin working at the plant was through his father, Burt Borer, who, after 30 years of pharmaceutical sales, took a position as a chemist for the plant after an expansion in 1968.
"It made for a lot of environmental science projects, and that piqued my interested," said Brad, who was in the 8th grade when Burt started there.
In 1977 an opening at the plant came up. At the time Brad was working with his brother at Acme Electric, and Burt said it would be a good opportunity for him.
Brad joked it was time to look for other work anyway, especially as he and brother are both color blind, which limited them when they went on calls together.
"He always thought I was worthless being as color blind as he is. ... You know how big brothers are, very loving," he said.
After seven years together, Burt retired in 1985. During that time, Brad said he went from working as an operator, which he was hired in as, to working with his father in the lab. But while the work interested him, he said he felt the lab was a little confining.
"Enjoying chemistry, I did like the lab work, it was very interesting. But being an A-type, I found it confining to me to be in a room all day long. I would usually try to get my lab work done by noon and get to work on other projects," he said.
And there was plenty to do. Gene Feasel, superintendent at the time, was a proponent of having work done in house. It's a characteristic of the plant which continues today, and Brad said made for a nice change of pace.
"No day was ever the same in 30 years - nowhere near," he said. "So it was very interesting."
Brad said he took over as superintendent in 1991. And despite a major expansion in 1988, employees continued to make improvements.
"We did a lot of things in house, and to take a small workforce and accomplish the bigger projects took some effort from the guys," he said.
Some of those jobs included revamping the sludge handling process to comply with Environmental Protection Agency, a system still used today, and designing and building the compost and brush grinding facility.
"It's very successful and very green," Brad said. "It's a wonderful project."
Brad retired in 2007, deciding it was his time to go. He said it was a bitter-sweet decision, especially as he would have to say good-bye to his colleagues.
"The guys are what make it happen," he said. "It's a 24/7 operation, although its not manned all the time, but without good help, there's just no way to keep up with it. The guys were great over the years."
Although he said it was his time to go, it would not be long before his son, Chris Borer, would begin a career at the plant.
Chris already was helping Brad part time on smaller sewer plants in the outlying area. Having an interest in the process, Chris took wastewater courses from former superintendent Dan McElhatten to get his foot in the door, and was soon after hired.
As for Brad, he said he keeps busy with the part-time sewer work, now being helped out by sons Joel and Nick, who said they also are pursuing their licenses.
Today's dedication service is significant for two reasons. The first is the remediation of equipment Brad spent years pushing to get taken care of.
The other, is to honor Brad and the three generations of Borers who have given their time and talents to Tiffin. And even though Brad joked his name is being attached only because they needed something to call the lift station, it's another reminder of the mark he has left on the operation.
"He's been an inspiration for me and I appreciate all he has done for me and the department," McElhatten said.