Gwinnett County Administrator Glenn Stephens has promoted Tyler Richards from assistant director to director of the Department of Water Resources.

Richards, who has worked for Gwinnett County for more than 18 years, has served as acting director since Ron Seibenhener retired as director earlier this year.

"Tyler brings a wealth of knowledge to the position," Stephens said. "She is well-versed in all facets of the department and is a top-notch manager. We need someone with the understanding and experience to help us navigate the challenges of water and wastewater as the county continues to grow. Our Department of Water Resources is one of the premier agencies of its kind in the country, and Tyler is the right person to continue and expand upon the great work that has been done in the past and to continue that work well into the future."

The department handles water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and stormwater management. Assets include 1,400 miles of stormwater pipe, two water filter plants that produce 70 million gallons of drinking water per day, 3,000 miles of wastewater pipes, and the internationally recognized F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center, which can treat up to 60 million gallons of effluent per day.

"I'm honored to have been named director of such an outstanding organization," Richards said. "I am the beneficiary of the hard work and vision of many people who came before, and I will work diligently to continue their legacy of providing these essential services to Gwinnett's current and future residents and businesses."

In her tenure with Gwinnett County, Richards has been in charge of almost all aspects of the department, including wastewater, water, field operations, and stormwater programs.

Richards graduated from Rollins College with a bachelor's degree in biology and then earned a master's degree in environmental engineering from Georgia Tech. She started with the city of Atlanta as a project engineer in 1982 and worked her way to Public Works manager in 1995.

She joined Gwinnett County in 2001 as division director of Water Reclamation managing nine water reclamation centers. In 2007, she became deputy director of Operations and Environmental Services overseeing water reclamation, water treatment, water collection and distribution, and stormwater. Five years later, Richards became deputy director of Technical Services in charge of the divisions of Engineering and Construction, Operations Technical Support, Laboratory, and Industrial Pretreatment, Asset Management, and Training. In 2014, Richards was appointed assistant director managing the divisions of Customer Service, Training, Safety, and Finance.

She is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the Charles H. Jones Award for extraordinary service and contributions to the Water Environment Federation and the Georgia Water and Pollution Control Association, and has served on several boards and associations, including the Georgia Association of Water Professionals.