The Helix Water District Board of Directors announced that Brian Olney will be the organization’s new general manager, effective Sept. 1. Olney was appointed to Helix’s director of water quality and system operations position in 2016 and to the assistant general manager position in 2021. He has 28 years of experience in the water industry.
“Brian’s experience spans system operations, water treatment plant operations and maintenance, water distribution and construction,” said Helix Board President Kathleen Coates Hedberg. “He’s been a member of the executive team since 2016 and he is knowledgeable about local and regional water issues. Brian is a leader and will make a smooth transition into the general manager role.”
“I am honored to be the next general manager of Helix Water District,” said Olney. “We provide an essential service to hardworking people, who expect us to do our jobs correctly and efficiently, and provide clean, safe water at a reasonable price. I agree with that, and we meet and exceed those expectations every day.
“We are fortunate at Helix. The board of directors are actively involved in the community and serve the district and our customers very well. Our employees are qualified, compassionate and dedicated. I will continue to reinforce our values, and our goals and objectives, and we will work through the challenges we face.”
Olney is a native San Diegan who grew up in East County. He and his wife Brenda have been married 21 years, live in Santee and have two children, one granddaughter and two dogs. Olney went to Santana High School, earned an associate’s degree in water science technology and then completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public administration at San Diego State University.
A summer construction job introduced him to water. “I quickly realized how rewarding it was and embraced the public service aspect. It is truly enjoyable to meet customers and explain what we do or help them through an issue.”
Olney worked in field operations for Lakeside Water District and as a water system operator for Otay Water District before joining Helix in 2000 as a water treatment plant operator. Today, Olney maintains grade 5 certifications from the State of California in water treatment and water distribution.
Helix Water District was formed in 1913 and, today, operates a regional water treatment plant serving four public water utilities and a water distribution system serving 277,000 people in La Mesa, El Cajon, Lemon Grove and parts of Spring Valley, Lakeside and unincorporated San Diego County.