Tapping into Glory


Board of Water & Light’s Women’s Water Tapping Team brings home the gold from Philadelphia

Part of the daily work that’s being done by employees of the Board of Water & Light (BWL) is the act of creating new waterlines for businesses, homes and more; the physical labor involved in the creation of these waterlines is arduous, meticulous and often grueling. Tapping into a water main is simply a part of the job, but did you know that it’s demanding enough to be done competitively?

According to the American Water Works Association “Hall of Fame,” men began partaking in water tapping competitions in 1986, and women formed teams to join the fray in in 1998. During these laborious competitions, teams simulate the installation of a new house water service, which includes installing a copper line and adding an on-off valve at the water main and curb stop.

What’s more interesting is the success of the BWL’s Women’s Water Tapping Team – the Lansing Lethal Ladies. The group has been hard at work perfecting the art behind the construction, and it recently paid off as they brought home their fourth straight national championship title, setting the bar higher for the number of consecutive wins by a single team.

The winning team consists of Marissa Klimkiewicz, Copper; Kelly Gleason, Cranker; Beth Zimpfer, Setup; Maggie Emerson-Rich, Alternate; and Remecho Sanders, a world-famous coach. None of the women perform regular water service installs for the BWL, but they do work as chemists, an engineering technician and a journeyman instrument control technician. The illustrious team of professionals sharpen their skills on their own time after work, well ahead of the big competitions.

Their new hardware was earned in spectacular fashion during the ACE17 competition in Philadelphia. The competition was marked by loose machines and, thus, an extraordinary number of no taps. That did not hinder the ladies whatsoever, as they ran an impressive 2:23:25 run — 2 minutes, 23 seconds, 25 milliseconds — to take the win.

The Lethal Ladies triumphed over the competition by 18.65 seconds, beating out second place recipients, the Smooth Operators from Troy, Mich. and third place recipients, the Ductile Iron Divas from Cincinnati, Ohio.

The BWL is adamant about making their mark on this unique contest, and it hopes to continue dominating the competition for years to come. The acknowledgment of winning places the BWL on a national stage and allows its efforts, values and commitment to building strong teams of cooperative workers to be showcased on a larger scale.


Adam Lansdell

Adam Lansdell

Adam Lansdell is an Alumni of Grand Valley State University, and currently a Communication Specialist with M3 Group of Lansing. With a passionate for all things creative it comes as no surprise that he’s also a musician, movie buff and graphic designer. Adam spends his down time biking, and spending too much of his personal income on concert tickets or vinyl records

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