With his passion for wastewater, it seemed only fitting to name one of Henderson’s water reclamation centers after Kurt R. Segler, the city of Henderson’s’s first director of utility services.
“That seemed very appropriate,” said Stephanie Stallsmith, Segler’s daughter. “He enjoyed wastewater treatment primarily because it wasn’t like other forms of engineering. It helps make a difference in the quality of water.”
The Kurt R. Segler Water Reclamation Facility is at 240 Athens Ave.
Segler moved to Henderson when he was 12.
“He was pretty much a Henderson guy through and through,” said Kathleen Richards, a spokeswoman with the city who worked under Segler.
He graduated from Basic High School and went on to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he studied engineering. Through his studies, he developed a fascination with wastewater.
Stallsmith said that after graduating, Segler got a job working for Clark County. He joined the city of Henderson in 1991 in the public works department.
At the time, a branch of public works was dedicated to utility services, but it wasn’t its own department yet.
Dennis Porter, the current director of utility services, worked with Segler for 13 years.
“He was a very intelligent man,” Porter said. “He had a memory like a hawk, which made it hard to get away with anything. He demanded a lot, but he didn’t mind making work fun.”
Porter said Segler was responsible for converting the utility system from manual to automated.
“It was a very significant project,” Porter said.
Richards said Segler was in charge of other major projects such as setting up a system that allowed golf courses to use treated water to take care of the greens. Segler also sat on boards such as the Clean Water Coalition.
“He was instrumental in helping Henderson grow,” Richards said.
In 2001, the utility services department was created and Segler was named the director. Porter became his assistant director.
“He was very much a mentor,” Porter said.
Talking about water treatment carried over into his personal life, too.
Stallsmith remembers the family touring wastewater facilities during vacations.
“When he took my mom to France, they went to a wastewater treatment plant for a tour,” Stallsmith said.
His interest in the subject inspired his children, as well.
“I now work with wastewater,” Stallsmith said. “My brother is going to school for engineering.”
After getting her job, Stallsmith remembered talking to her father about it.
“We were at a Pizza Hut, and he was explaining a concept using a pizza plate,” Stallsmith said. “You could see the sparkle in his eye.”
One of the last memories Stallsmith has of her dad was touring the water treatment plant in Henderson, which would later take his name.
Segler died in 2006. He was 49.
“My brother and I always make the joke we were going to flush his ashes down the toilet,” Stallsmith said. “I think he would want to end up in his water treatment plant.”
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 387-5201.