Sweigard was hired as general manager at the Merced Irrigation District in December.
Rietkerk, who lives in Roseville, plans to move his family to the West Side soon. Still, he’s no stranger to Patterson: He spent a summer in town from June to August 2005 as an engineering intern.
“Patterson Irrigation District has been a very progressive district, and they’ve had a good track record of providing quality water service at low rates,” Rietkerk said. “I intend on continuing that reputation for the district. I’m looking forward to working in Patterson.”
John Azevedo, chairman of the five-member board that hired Rietkerk, said having him on board five summers ago enabled the directors to get to know Rietkerk before hiring him.
“Pete did intern work here while he was going to Cal Poly,” Azevedo said. “He helped design one of our reservoirs on the south side of the district.”
Rietkerk earned his Bachelor of Science degree in bioresources and agricultural engineering in 2005 from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and his Master of Science degree in civil and environmental engineering in 2007 from University of California, Davis. Most recently, he was project engineer for West-Yost Associates in Davis.
Rietkerk, who will oversee Patterson Irrigation District employees and make sure things run smoothly, has experience in agricultural water conservation, crop water-use estimation and modernization of irrigation systems. He also has experience preparing construction documents and technical reports, among other aspects of agricultural engineering.