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Alan and Alana: When Water Runs in the Family

Alan Cranford, PO, and his family have been involved in the water industry for decades, and now his children are starting to find their fit in the industry as well. We heard firsthand from Alan, and his daughter Alana, about their experiences in being introduced to the water industry through their dads and the impact that had on finding the right career fit!




Alan was introduced to, and began working in the water industry, before most kids even have a concept of what a career is.


“My father worked at the Hamilton Waterworks and Sewer Board in Hamilton, Alabama. I started to work for my dad when I was 7 years old. At that age, most of the work I did was pulling weeds and keeping the area nice and clean, but when I turned 8, I started doing lab tests and chemical work."

Alan said being introduced to the water industry at such a young age was really interesting for him, and he had a passion from the start.


“As soon as I could, I would go riding around with some of the other operators to read meters. And sometimes, if I was in the office and the ladies were busy, if someone were making a payment, I would take the payment and stamp it. I really got to do a little bit of everything at a young age.”

Alan said his first certification class was at the age of 9, and he worked for his dad until the age of 14.


To further his learning and service to others, Alan joined the National Guard at the age of 17 as a water purification specialist. Alan’s father was already in the guard serving as a section sergeant for the water purification section. “When I joined the guard, my dad was my boss there as well.” Alan’s career in the Guard, and water industry progressed rapidly.


Alan's Career Snapshot


From1978-1990, other than the National Guard, Alan was away from the water industry. This was when he was finishing high school and the first part of college. He reentered the industry in 1990 as a laborer for Mobile Water Service System in Mobile, Alabama. At this time, he took and passed the Grade II and Grade III Water Certification from ADEM in Alabama.



After 6 months (1991), he was hired as an Assistant Maintenance and Construction Foreman for Athens Utilities in Athens, Alabama and he took and passed by Grade II Wastewater and Grade IV Water from ADEM. In 1992 he was hired as an Engineering Technician for Cullman County Water Department in Cullman, Alabama.


I had another excellent mentor that was my boss in Athens and Cullman (Mr. Bill Sacra). He is the one that told me that I needed to interview for the position in