Jackie Jarrell, P.E., OIT, WEF Fellow
Principal Consultant

Jackie Jarrell, P.E., OIT, WEF Fellow


Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Urban & Environmental – University of North Carolina Charlotte 1985

  • Registered North Carolina Professional Engineer #017372
  • NC Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator-in-Training Grade II #985298
  • Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Assoc. Pretreatment Certification Grade C
  • Cross Connection Control – University of Southern California Foundation for Cross Connection
  • Control and Hydraulic Research; NC Section AWWA-WEA Certificate of Training for Testing


About Jackie

Jackie Jarrell has over three decades working in the water sector for one of the strongest public utilities in the country, Charlotte Water. Jackie spent 38 years serving the Charlotte region through various roles held, which included technical, management, and leadership responsibilities. A majority of her career was spent in all aspects of operations from wastewater treatment to water distribution, sanitary sewer collections, and customer service. Throughout her experience, Jackie was instrumental in organizational changes in order to improve work processes, develop employees, and ensure high quality services to the community. Jackie began her career in the Engineering division, completing water distribution and sanitary sewer assessments and modeling, and she was responsible for the development of the Capital Investment Plan. Early on, Jackie recognized the importance of engaging operations staff in the system assessments and in capital planning. She quickly developed relationships and knowledge that provided tools and resources that the operational areas trusted. During her time in Engineering, Jackie also started the Backflow Prevention program for Charlotte Water. From there, Jackie went on to lead the System Protection Division, working with a regulatory staff team and industrial and commercial customers managing the industrial pretreatment program. While in System Protection, Jackie completed a reorganization, and developed initiatives including employee development, training for industries, mechanisms for engaging with industries on a more continuous basis, and an annual recognition program for industries that demonstrated regulatory excellence. Relationships were strengthened with community leaders such as the Chamber of Commerce and economic development.

Jackie then became a Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent and eventually Environmental Management Chief, managing and leading six wastewater treatment facilities operations and the biosolids program, the largest land application program in the Southeast. Under her leadership of over 20 years, the treatment facilities achieved exceptional regulatory experience recognized every year by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies with Silver, Gold, and eventual Platinum awards. She initiated a corporate ISO 14001 certification for the plants and the biosolids program. Jackie also championed many new technological approaches, technologies supporting innovation, and process improvements.

Due to her experience in wastewater treatment operations, Jackie and her staff were tasked with the overall contract management of an adjacent utility wastewater operations. Jackie was a key leader in the development of the MOU for Contract Operations and served as the officer in charge during the actual operations. Charlotte Water worked with Union County, NC to help redevelop the wastewater operations area for a period of three years. The intention was to rebuild and then transition operations back to Union County. Jackie worked with her staff to assess, plan, and improve those operations through employee training, implementing standard operating procedures for various work processes, managing both capital and operational budgets, and monitoring compliance. The partnership was successful and was a unique partnership of a utility supporting another utility to be successful. From 2019-2020, she stepped into the Interim Deputy Director role before becoming a Deputy Director in 2020. She created history again when she became the first Latin American woman to serve in an executive position for Charlotte Water.

Throughout her career, Jackie has been a champion for sustainability, initiating several projects, pilots, and initiatives for Charlotte Water. She has collaborated and partnered with UNC Charlotte on research and supporting opportunities for student internships within the College of Civil and Environmental Engineering. During her time at Charlotte Water, Jackie became a local, state, national, and international leader in the public water sector, earning a series of accomplishments and serving in leadership roles at several organizations and professional groups.

Jackie served as President of the Board of Trustees of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international organization of 35,000 water professionals. She was named a WEF Fellow in 2021. She is currently serving as the chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory to the Board. Jackie served as chair of the N.C. Water Quality Association, of which she was one of the founding members. She was also active in and was Chair of NC OneWater (formerly NC AWWA-WEA). She currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the UNC Charlotte Civil and Environmental Engineering Department College Board of Advisors. Jackie also had the opportunity to travel to Bolivia with Water for People, an international non-profit organization that promotes accessibility to high-quality drinking water and sanitation.