Employee of the Month: Waco’s lead water quality technician Devin Pullin
What is the most rock star job at a surf park? Photographers take center stage when they nail that perfect shot for your Instafeed, and the front desk human is positively drummer-like in getting everyone through the doors in time. CEOs and park managers? Yes, they are the lead singers, the brand face of the surf park that you’d see on the album cover. So it’s fair to say that the dude roaming the grounds with a little water tester kit would definitely be the roadie of the bunch.
And the job is just as crucial to the park’s performance as any other behind-the-scenes work.
There’s a lot of water at Waco Surf scattered across several pools. And the contents of the Lazy River, Wedge slide, swim bar, wave pool and others all needs to be monitored. The company installed a new filtration system in 2019 and it’s a beast, requiring a full-time crew to maintain and monitor. Enter Waco native Devin Pullin, the roadie for Waco Surf.
What is your job title and what do you do at Waco Surf?
I am the Facility Manager/Lead Water Quality Technician here at Waco Surf. I oversee all operations within our filtration systems as well as maintain and build just about everything else you think a 500 acre surf resort might entail. Michael Holder, our Director of Facilities, and I, along with the rest of our facilities crew do everything from groundskeeping and upkeep of our rental properties and venues to constructing just about anything we decide to build here. Another priority of mine has always been safety and functionality at our park, I always am looking for ways to improve our facility to benefit our guests.
Tell us about your background and your surfing (if applicable) experience
I am a Waco, Texas native and have been working at Waco Surf for about the last six years. I started out as a lifeguard and park ambassador and ended up loving the place. After that, I moved over to our facility maintenance department where I spent a year learning all the ins-and-outs of our specific filtration equipment and getting all of the necessary certifications to begin my tenure as our Lead Water Quality Technician. My knowledge and skills gained here have led to work with the local city water department, but Waco Surf is where I want to be!
What’s a typical day like at Waco Surf?
Normally I start out my routine by checking in on our three major filtration systems that filter and sanitize our Lazy River, Wedge Slides and Perfect Swell Surf feature, checking water levels, making sure our chemical levels are correct and ensuring we are getting the maximum utilization out of our filter systems. After all that is taken care of I head over to the Dive Bar, our swim up bar located at the North end of our surf lagoon, and perform a full service on that pool and do the same with our recovery pool that is located near our hotel. Once that is wrapped up I like to make a trip around the Wetlands Waterpark area to get a visual on everything and ensure we are ready to roll before guests arrive. Next is the Lakehouse and the Roadhouse, our rental houses we have here on-site, to service the swimming pools and knock out any other maintenance tasks that are needed. Usually around this time our crew checks back in together and we head off to whatever is lined up for that day. We take care of everything from the groundskeeping of our 500+ acres, to taking care of any type of new construction we have going on at the time. We are constantly looking to improve our facility in any way we can so the possibilities are endless.
Did you know about wave pools before you got this job?
The wave pool world was definitely new for me. Living in Waco, Texas my entire life I never even considered an attraction like what we have built as a possibility. I was around during the construction of our wave lagoon, and even at that time I definitely underestimated the caliber of the attraction we were building and all of the awesome things that were going to come along with it.
What’s the best thing about this job?
We all work extremely hard to make Waco Surf the best that it can possibly be so getting positive feedback and being able to see enjoyment from guests is always a great feeling! Also, getting the opportunity to work with such a great team that has a common goal, I feel like a lot of us are close together and that’s something that always makes the job more enjoyable. The possibilities of where we can take Waco Surf from here are seriously endless. I’m excited to see us continue to grow and thrive while maintaining the overall culture we have instilled. We have a lot of great guests that come out all the time, that we definitely appreciate.
What’s the most difficult thing about this job?
Our team does a really good job of challenging ourselves to be better. Throughout our entire staff we have developed a “never look back” mindset. We are constantly evolving here, pushing ourselves and figuring out how we can improve the entire facility down to the finest details.