WFX Welcomes Tommy Ricks to Lead Alabama Expansion

Water Finance Exchange (WFX) is hiring its first Community Support Director in Alabama, demonstrating commitment to water and wastewater solutions in the state. Tommy Ricks will work closely with communities, partner organizations, and state agencies in Alabama to provide technical assistance to small, rural, and underserved communities around the state and identify regional approaches to wastewater management in the Black Belt.

“The needs in rural Alabama are great, but so are the opportunities for sustainable water and wastewater solutions,” said Brent Fewell, WFX Co-Founder. “We are excited to bring on Tommy to help deliver those solutions to underserved areas of the state.”

Ricks comes to WFX after 35 years of operating, managing, and providing technical assistance and training to community water and wastewater systems in the rural South.

WFX has been expanding its work in Alabama since WFX, the Consortium for Alabama Rural Water and Wastewater Management (CARWW), and Communities Unlimited (CU) held a workshop, Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Opportunities in Alabama, in Montgomery in January 2023. The new Alabama Community Support Director will allow WFX to better deliver its demonstrated models of comprehensive technical assistance and regional solutions to Alabama communities.

Working with partners to execute a strategy for wastewater management in Alabama’s Black Belt region is among the top priorities for WFX in Alabama. A high incidence of straight piping, or discharge of wastewater to the ground surface, has resulted in significant public health concerns and impacts to water resources. Low levels of income and soil conditions in the Black Belt make traditional on-site wastewater systems impractical. WFX and other partners are working to create a management approach that could provide appropriate infrastructure solutions for the region.

WFX will also expand its comprehensive technical assistance services throughout Alabama by working with communities to identify sustainable water and wastewater infrastructure solutions and pursuing funding opportunities to implement them.