Hilton Retires From Water Treatment Plant

Water Operator David Hilton retired May 27 from the Water Treatment Plant after 27 years with the city.

“I’ve loved working with everybody,” David said. “I’ve always gotten along with everybody, people from other departments of the city. If I made any enemies, they didn’t tell me.”

Hilton is from Carrollton and was a Mt. Zion graduate. He started work with the city February 9, 1995. Prior to that, David worked 50-70 hours a week in a convenience store.

“I prayed about it and God opened the door,” he said of being hired by the city.

Water Plant Superintendent Connie Nelms noted that operators do everything. For nearly three decades, Hilton’s duties have included plant operations — like water cleaning – and quality processes and testing to make sure Carrollton’s water exceeds drinking standards.

“Everybody has to have water,” said Hilton. “And we always want to put out better water than anybody. We’ve won bunches of awards for the best tasting water in Georgia. I take great pride in that.”

There have been many improvements in the treatment plant’s processes since David came on board, including changing from using chlorine gas and powdered forms of lime and fluoride to liquid versions of these compounds and the installation of larger pipes to accommodate higher quantities. When Hilton started, the city had just upgraded from being permitted to pump eight million gallons per day to 12 million.

David has also trained many employees along the way.

“We’re going to miss David,” said Nelms. “Losing him is about like losing a rib for me.”

And though he’s retired, David isn’t quite completely out of the water game yet. He intends to work part time at the plant for the next several months.

“I will miss working,” David said. “I’ve been working since the eleventh grade, it’s all I’ve ever done. I plan to play more tennis and maybe join a gym because it’s too cold for tennis in the winter.”

David is married to Rhonda Hilton, who works at the county courthouse.