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NAWC is pleased to announce Jeff Harrison of EPCOR Water USA has been selected as a recipient of the NAWC Living Water Awards. The Living Water Awards program, established in 2012, celebrates exemplary private water industry professionals who are “living water” through their commitment to quality, service and community.
Harrison, a 6-year EPCOR Water USA field service representative in the company’s Anthem, Arizona, service district, handles more than 730 service calls a month. Recently, Harrison noticed that a 6-inch reclaimed meter feeding a local park was registering zero usage. He tested the meter, checked the entire area and determined that the meter had never been entered into the billing system. That meant millions of gallons of unaccounted for reclaimed water had been passing through it each month since the park was first built in 2000.
In what could have been a troublesome situation, Harrison worked with the community homeowner’s association to apprise them of the situation and to assist them with planning and budgeting for future use of the reclaimed water that passed through the meter. His attentiveness saved the company significant lost revenue by identifying the problem, and he effectively facilitated an otherwise difficult transition with the customer for the previously unbilled account.
“Providing exceptional customer service sometimes means working with the community through potentially contentious situations,” said Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “But because Jeff had already established a positive reputation and productive working relationship with his customers he was able to navigate the matter with integrity while benefitting his company. This type of work ethic and attitude embodies the qualities of a Living Water Award recipient, and Jeff is certainly deserving of this recognition.”
NAWC’s New Jersey Chapter recently awarded a $2,500 scholarship to Jessica Aragona of Burlington, New Jersey, and Brendan Milvihill of Clark, New Jersey. Jessica Aragona, who will be attending Seton Hall University, will be majoring in Chemical Engineering, with an interest in turning raw materials into useful resources. In her scholarship essay, Jessica wrote “There are parts of this world where water is not readily available to much of the population, and by investing time and effort into sterilizing water to aid the less fortunate we can rid this problem from the world and uplift the health of said people.”
Brendan Milvihill, who will be attending Rowan University, will be majoring in Civil Engineering, with an emphasis on urban planning. In his scholarship essay, Brendan wrote “I am passionate about the idea of green building to intelligently minimize the consumption of clean water and other resources, diminish energy consumption, and utilize passive and clean energy sources, both in the construction, and operation of the structure.”
Jessica and Brendan and their parents were honored at a dinner sponsored by the NAWC – NJ on August 6. The Scholarship Committee and many Board Members of the NJ Chapter of NAWC were on hand to make the scholarship presentations.
The full press release is available online.
The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) is pleased to announce Elizabeth Watson of SUEZ North America has been selected as a recipient of the NAWC Living Water Awards.
Watson, energy manager for SUEZ, has spent the past five years studying energy issues at SUEZ sites and looking for new opportunities to reduce energy consumption and lower costs. She has identified several innovative methods – advanced metering and process control, comprehensive energy audits and staff mentoring – to help meet these objectives.
Watson’s efforts have led to the delivery of energy efficient processes, renewable energy systems, green infrastructure solutions and demand response to municipal, institutional and industrial clients across the United States. Her global vision of the company’s energy consumption is a 5% reduction by 2016. Watson’s focus on energy efficiency not only helps every local SUEZ site, it benefits the environment and everyone.
“While all water professionals carry a great responsibility of being stewards of the environment, most people assume that means protecting the water itself,” said Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “Elizabeth is a perfect example of someone in our industry that is finding other ways to protect the environment and improve her company’s bottom line at the same time. I applaud her for her ingenuity and perseverance. She is certainly deserving of a Living Water Award.”
Congratulations to American Water’s Director of Innovation & Environmental Stewardship, Dr. Mark LeChevallier, on being selected by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) to receive the 2015 A.P. Black Research Award. This award was established in 1967 in honor of Dr. A. P. Black to recognize outstanding research contributions to water science and water supply rendered over an appreciable period of time.
Dr. LeChevallier has worked for American Water since 1985. In his current position, he directs the research and environmental compliance programs, including the development of environmental management plans for more than 1,000 operating centers, environmental audits to ensure compliance, development of a national cross connection control program, and implementation of environmental stewardship and greenhouse gas control programs. Dr. LeChevallier also leads the company’s Innovation Development Process (IDP), which tests and develops new technologies and processes for use in the company and the water industry.
“Mark is an extraordinary leader in both American Water and the entire water industry, and is most deserving of this prestigious honor,” said Susan Story, President and CEO of American Water. “Mark is committed every day to leading efforts to ensure the sustainability, safety and quality of the water and water services that are provided to our customers and communities, and he is highly engaged in national efforts to do the same. The entire industry has benefited from his knowledge and world-class research, which has helped pave the way for innovations and advancements in drinking water treatment, water recycling and reuse, and technological advances. American Water is extremely proud of Mark and all that he has accomplished and the legacy that he is creating.”
Read the full release on American Water’s Website.
The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) is pleased to announce Shannon Jeffers of West Virginia American Water has been selected as a recipient of the NAWC Living Water Awards.
“Shannon’s determination and outside of the box thinking exemplifies the true spirit of service and dedication shared by professionals in the water industry,” said Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “His work, which has direct benefits for the environment and the community he serves, embodies the qualities we look for in Living Water Awards recipients. Through these awards, NAWC recognizes the efforts of exceptional water industry professionals who work tirelessly to serve their communities, and Shannon certainly fits the description.”
Jeffers, an Instrument Maintenance Technician at West Virginia American Water’s Huntington Water Treatment Plant, recently observed that source water drawn from the Ohio River contained a large amount of sand, which caused maintenance issues with some of the system’s water treatment equipment. Familiar with the use of grit removers from prior wastewater experience, Shannon experimented with grit removal technology as a part of the plant’s pretreatment.
Results from the pilot test were so promising that a permanent grit remover was added to the pretreatment process, marking the first use of this technology in potable water treatment in the nation.
Removing sand prior to the introduction of chemicals in pretreatment reduces wear and tear on the equipment, lowers operational costs and reduces the overall amount of sludge requiring disposal. It’s also environmentally friendly, making it possible to repurpose the sand for use as fill material for construction projects and reducing the amount of waste that might ultimately be diverted into landfills.
The private water industry is moving water forward every day with the help of dedicated professionals, innovative thinkers, inspiring leaders and engaged environmentalists. NAWC’s Living Water Awards program was established in 2012 to celebrate the exemplary private water industry professionals who are “living water” through their commitment to quality, service and community.
The NAWC Living Water Awards program is an ongoing initiative and NAWC member company employees are encouraged to participate by nominating a colleague online.
The Value of Water Coalition has announced a new national education campaign to raise awareness of and build public support for investment in water. The Imagine A Day Without Water campaign includes a new website, and will feature a series of events between October 6-8, 2015 across the country with participation from partner organizations, water providers, local elected officials, and more.
Partners who are interested in participating are encouraged to create their own event or content to spread the message about the importance of investing in water infrastructure. Examples of what organizations can do to participate include: invite local leaders and the press to tour a water treatment facility, work with the local mayor or city council on a proclamation or resolution, create a social media campaign, write an op-ed, and more.
ImagineADayWithoutWater.org offers participating organizations a central location for accessing materials to assist in the planning and production of events. Site materials include:
- 11 ideas for how to participate
- Messaging Guide
- Tips for planning a press event
- Op-Ed Template
- A toolkit for ads, with horizontal and vertical print ads, billboards and more.
Organizations interested in hosting an Imagine A Day Without Water event can sign up through www.ImagineADayWithoutWater.org and should contact Abigail Gardner to coordinate event planning and strategy.
To the editor:
I read with great interest Sara Jerome’s August 17 article “Public, Private Showdown: Which Water Utility Model Is Best?” which reported on the soon-to-be-released findings of a recent study examining public and private utility models. “Which are more effective?” the article asks. The answer isn’t black or white. While the private water industry would certainly agree with some of the study’s observations, such as the private sector’s strong record of compliance, the truth is that this narrative starts with the wrong premise. The water challenges this nation faces are significant and it requires a holistic approach where the public and private sectors work together — not as opposing forces.
The article also included information from the study that needs correction. First, the piece implied that private utilities have little incentive to conserve. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Private water companies promote water conservation every day and have robust conservation programs that include customer education, free retrofit fixtures, rebate and incentive programs, and leak detection kits to name a few. These are things all well-managed utilities should be doing. Being a steward of water is critical for all of us, whether public utility, private utility, or the customer.
Secondly, the article quotes Atlantic CityLab reporting that confuses the term “tiered rate structure” by implying it pertains to reduced rates for low-income households. This is not correct. Tiered rate pricing is primarily about conservation, not household income. The idea is simple — price is determined on the amount of water a customer uses, rewarding those who use less. That said, many private utilities do in fact have programs designed specifically for low-income households.
The reality is that there is no “showdown” between public and private water utilities. It’s up to individual communities to explore all options including private water companies that have been providing quality service to American communities for well over 200 years.
Click here to read Michael Deane’s guest Column in Water Online.
Aqua America has announced that Kimberly Joyce has been promoted to the newly created position of regulatory counsel and director of public and legislative affairs. The promotion is part of a reorganization that expands her former role.
In her new position, Joyce adds communications, community relations and the company’s charitable trust to her responsibilities for legislative affairs and regulatory counsel in which she leads the team that oversees all legislative policy at the federal and state levels, regulatory filings, and base rate cases.
Joyce, an attorney, spent five years with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) before joining Aqua in 2007. During her tenure at the PUC, she advised the commission on electric, gas and telecommunication matters and defended commission orders before state and federal courts. She previously clerked for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge James Gardner Colins and worked for Baker & Botts, LLP in their Washington, DC energy and natural resources office.
Joyce earned her J.D. at the University of Pittsburgh and both her B.A. in economics and M.B.A. from Villanova University. She serves on the board of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.
Read the full press release online.
In the first of what will be a series of articles for Water Online, NAWC executive director Michael Deane shares his perspectives on how valuable it can be for the public sector and private companies to work together to tackle challenges in the face of adversity.
Water professionals, no matter if they work directly for a municipal government or private company, are facing ever growing concerns regarding infrastructure, environment and conservation. In facing these challenges water professionals must contend with limited financial resources.
In his new series, Deane highlights projects from around the nation and dives into how communities benefit from working with experts from private water companies to better serve their constituencies.
Click here to read the article at Water Online.
NAWC congratulates California American Water’s Victor Munguia for receiving a NAWC Living Water Award. The Living Water Awards program, established in 2012, celebrates the exemplary private water industry professionals who are “living water” through their commitment to quality, service and community.
“Workplace safety is something that all NAWC member companies strongly emphasize, and that commitment to safety extends to the communities and customers they serve,” said Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “Because of Victor’s keen situational awareness, he was able to prevent a tragedy from occurring and ensure the safety of an infant. His actions demonstrate the true spirit of service and dedication shared by professionals in the private water industry, exemplifying ‘living water’ through his life-saving actions.”
Click here to learn more about Victor’s extraordinary efforts.
The NAWC Living Water Awards program is an ongoing initiative and NAWC member company employees are encouraged to participate by nominating a colleague online .
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