Member Spotlight

  • Innovative Project Increases Flow Capacity and Reduces Utility Footprint

    Nov 12, 2020
    The Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTWRD) owns and operates the Riverbend Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) in Aubrey, Texas. The plant was originally constructed with a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) process for activated sludge. In January of 2016, UTRWD initiated a project to improve operational reliability and increase flow capacity. Though the goals of the project were challenging, the plan was successfully implemented with both an innovative treatment technology and project delivery method.
  • The Knoxville Utilities Board Develops the Blueprint for Successful Workforce Development

    Oct 14, 2020
    Industry trends indicate that an increasing number of tenured treatment plant operators are reaching retirement age, so developing a new generation of water and wastewater treatment plant operators has become an urgent need. The Knoxville Utilities Board’s (KUB) Operator Qualification Program was established to meet this need. The program ensures a consistent knowledge base for all operators, reduces the probability and potential of incidents caused by human error, and improves plant and operator efficiency.
  • EBMUD Leverages Cleanup Event to Engage Community

    Sep 23, 2020
    For three consecutive years, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) has hosted a cleanup event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline Regional Park in Oakland, California. The shoreline park is a restored wetland and a public recreation space set amidst a densely populated urban area. Trash from littering and from the tides builds up along the shoreline, adversely impacting the park’s beauty and its function as habitat for local wildlife.
  • Effective Community Engagement Garners Public Support for Massive Infrastructure Project

    Aug 26, 2020
    In 2019, the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County began construction on the Clearwater Project, consisting of a 7-mile, 18-foot diameter, almost entirely underground tunnel and outfall system that conveys clean water from its largest wastewater treatment facility to the ocean. The project will ensure the main sewer system's reliability and future capacity needs with serving over 5 million people in Los Angeles County.
  • Art with a Purpose - The City of Richmond’s Creative Take on Water Conservation

    Aug 12, 2020
    The City of Richmond's Stormwater Utility, in collaboration with Richmond Public Elementary Schools, brought the community outreach RVAH2O Rain Barrel Painting Program to life. The program, designed to engage Richmond's population and educate citizens about water quantity and quality, has proven to be practical and has added to the unique beauty of the City. Through the program, elementary school students display their creativity and better the community by painting rain barrels that are distributed free-of-charge to Richmond's citizens. The simple installation of rain barrels helps reduce the amount of runoff experienced with each wet weather occurrence and helps to prevent Richmond's stormwater infrastructure from being overwhelmed. For its efforts, the City of Richmond Stormwater Utility was recognized with a National Environmental Achievement Award in the Public Information & Education Educational Program category during NACWA's Winter Conference in February 2020. Congratulations to the City of Richmond Stormwater Utility and everyone involved!
  • KC Water Creatively Demonstrates the Value of Water

    Jul 29, 2020
    KC Water works to highlight the vital role water plays in everyday life by leveraging the annual awareness effort by the Value of Water Campaign — Imagine A Day Without Water – to help its community better understand the importance of clean and safe water. Recognizing access to clean water is often taken for granted, KC Water produced a short video, social media graphics and promotional items to highlight the simple daily tasks and luxuries that would not be possible without the essential resource.
  • Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) Expands Efforts to Educate and Engage with Secondary Students

    Jul 15, 2020
    In 2018, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) Communications Department set a goal to engage more middle school and high school students in the HRSD service area. To achieve this, the Environmental Education and Outreach program was restructured to include updated versions of lesson plans suitable for secondary school age students. Prior to these updates, the education and outreach program curriculum were most beneficial to elementary school students. The Hampton Roads Sanitation District was recognized with a National Environmental Achievement Award in the Public Information & Education (Educational Program) category during NACWA’s Winter Conference in February 2020. Congratulations to the HRSD and everyone involved!
  • City of Garland Advances Partnerships Through Communication and Training

    Jun 17, 2020
    The City of Garland, Texas continually seeks positive ways to make their mark on the community. To improve communication with the Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) located within the city’s service area, the City of Garland Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP) implemented a quarterly electronic newsletter and an annual training opportunity. The newsletter provides regulatory updates and requirements, reminders, and notices of upcoming events. The goal is to inform and educate the SIUs to improve and maintain compliance with pretreatment regulations.
  • One Water Alexandria – Helping Alexandrians Know Their H2O

    May 13, 2020
    The residents of Alexandria, Virginia sometimes confuse the three water entities that service the city: Virginia American Water (VAW), which provides drinking water; the City of Alexandria, which owns the sanitary sewer system and stormwater infrastructure; and Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew), which owns the water resource recovery facility, interceptors, pump stations, and four combined sewer outfalls. In 2018, the One Water Alexandria partnership was established to provide education and outreach to the community and lessen confusion among shared water customers. The eight-person team, which represents the three water entities and RiverRenew (an AlexRenew program to address combined sewer overflows), developed a multi-phased plan to get Alexandrians to know their H2O.
  • Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority Uses Collaboration to Protect Watershed Health

    May 01, 2020
    The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) provides water and wastewater service to the greater Albuquerque metropolitan area of central New Mexico, managing a 2,400-mile collection system and treating more than 50 million gallons of wastewater every day. The agency established the Albuquerque Area Watershed Collaboration Program to build partnerships to help protect watershed health. With support from local, state and federal agencies, the utility encourages collaboration with forest managers, local stormwater managers, regulatory agencies, educators, environmental groups, agricultural interests, and the general public.
  • NEW Water’s Innovative Resource Recovery and Adaptive Management Programs Protect the Environment and Reduce Costs

    Apr 17, 2020
    The vision of NEW Water, the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, is “Protecting our most valuable resource, water.” The utility’s commitment to that vision is demonstrated through two initiatives that also help advance NEW Water as a Water Resources Utility of the Future. First, the Resource Recovery and Electrical Energy (R2E2) project was the catalyst for a transformation in mindset at NEW Water by treating the materials it receives from its customers as resources to be recovered and reused rather than wastes to be disposed.
  • Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) Protects the Environment Through Community Outreach

    Apr 03, 2020
    KUB’s pledge to provide safe, reliable, and affordable water begins with protecting its community’s most valuable water resource: the Tennessee River. With the emergence of stories across the country concerning water contamination and safety concerns, KUB recognized a proactive approach to community education and awareness was necessary to adequately inform its ratepayers of the ways in which they can help protect their source water.
  • East Bay Municipal Utility District Engages the Community One Tour at a Time

    Mar 20, 2020
    The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour Program has provided free tours for residents and students to learn about wastewater treatment and EBMUD’s protection of public health and the San Francisco Bay. The guided tours are led by a diverse group of EBMUD employees, including operators, engineers, and administrative staff. Often fully booked and given excellent reviews, the tours aim to engage the community and promote pollution prevention.
  • Clean Water Services Advances Watershed Resiliency through Strategic Collaboration

    Mar 04, 2020
    Last month, NACWA recognized Clean Water Services with a National Environmental Achievement Award during a ceremony at the Association’s Winter Conference in Atlanta, for the innovative systems approach to building watershed resiliency they ultimately selected—Tree for All.
  • DC Water Engages Community Through Art & Creativity

    Feb 19, 2020
    In May 2019, DC Water launched an art contest encouraging District residents to submit designs that communicate the importance of the DC Clean Rivers Project and the need to invest in water and sewer infrastructure in the District.
  • Member Spotlight: Narragansett Bay Commission Evolves Far Beyond Sewage Treatment

    Feb 06, 2020
    The Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC), Rhode Island’s largest wastewater authority, focuses on bold infrastructure improvements, active stakeholder engagement, diligent monitoring of environmental health, and trailblazing renewable energy generation. When the organization was formed in 1980, the NBC transformed Providence’s Field’s Point Wastewater Treatment Facility from one of the worst performing plants in the nation into an award-winning facility. In 1992, the state entrusted the NBC with the Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment Facility, located in East Providence, and the NBC has made continual improvements in both service districts ever since.
  • Great Lakes Water Authority’s One Water Regional Public Education Program

    Jan 15, 2020
    In collaboration with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and the Freshwater Forum at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) created a comprehensive education program – the One Water Campaign. The highly visible and engaging regional campaign was designed to raise awareness of and generate appreciation for water resources and infrastructure topics including drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and the connection of these to the blue economy, recreation, quality of life and economic prosperity in Southeast Michigan.
  • The City of Prineville’s Innovative Natural Wastewater Treatment System

    Dec 04, 2019
    In 2017, the City of Prineville (OR) completed an innovative natural wastewater treatment system project by establishing a 120-acre wetlands complex along the Crooked River. While the complex incorporates effective wastewater treatment, it also serves as an interactive community asset with hiking trails, wildlife observation, and educational kiosks. The City received a National Environmental Achievement Award in the Operations & Environmental Performance category from NACWA in 2019 for the project.
  • Hampton Roads Sanitation District Establishes One-of-a-Kind Research Center

    Nov 06, 2019
    This year, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) launched the Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT) Research Center. As the first of its kind, the center is an advanced water treatment, aquifer recharge, public education, aquifer science research, and operator training facility all rolled into one. The one million gallon per day facility takes a portion of the fully treated effluent from HRSD’s Nansemond Treatment Plant and uses an 8-step carbon based advanced water treatment process to...
  • Keep the Wipes Out! - Clackamas County Water Environment Services’ Creative Solution to Clogged Pipes

    Oct 02, 2019
    NACWA Award Winner tackles the wipes challenge: Baby wipes in sewer pipes are a threat to public and environmental health and to the sustainability of shared infrastructure. Wipes don’t breakdown in water like toilet paper, not even those labelled “flushable.” Oregon’s Clackamas County Water Environment Services department (WES) provides water resource recovery and watershed protection services to over 165,000 customers in urbanizing northern Clackamas County. WES manages and operates five wastewater treatment facilities and 22 pump stations where convenience wipes clog pipes and pumps that threaten public and environmental health due to the increased risk of sanitary sewer overflows.
  • Citizens Energy Group Uses Virtual Reality to Shine a Spotlight on DigIndy Tunnel System

    Sep 04, 2019
    NACWA Member Agency, Citizens Energy Group, created a 360-degree virtual reality video about the largest public works project in the history of the City of Indianapolis—the DigIndy Tunnel System. The video was created to promote public awareness for the $2 billion project, which will cause disruption, including road closures and detours, during the project and inevitably impact rates for the community.
  • Northeast Ohio’s Let’s Ask Series Connects the Community and Utility

    Aug 07, 2019
    NACWA Member Agency the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) in Cleveland, Ohio, serves one million residents, manages a 420-mile regional stormwater system, and treats more than 200 million gallons of wastewater every day. But behind the numbers are real people who love their work, understand their responsibilities, and want others to take up a similar commitment to their Great Lake.
  • Honolulu Entertains and Educates with Award-Winning Video About FOG

    Jul 02, 2019
    To inform the public on the consequences of fats, oils and grease (FOG) in the wastewater collection system, the Department of Environmental Services, City and County of Honolulu hit the television airwaves with The F.O.G. Zone. Using the television series The Twilight Zone as inspiration, this 30-second educational video informs residents that the proper disposal of grease and other FOG-related foods is in the trash can, rather than down the kitchen sink.
  • KC to the Sea Introduces Students to Stormwater Runoff and Water Pollution

    Jun 04, 2019
    KC Water recognizes that good quality water is everyone’s business and that educating young people is a great way to spread the message of sustainable water use and raise awareness about the role individuals play in preventing stormwater pollution. The program is free and is available to schools within the KC Water ratepayer boundaries.
  • The City of Corpus Christi Makes a Mark with Workforce Development Program

    Apr 23, 2019
    The City of Corpus Christi Water Utilities received a 2019 National Environmental Achievement Award (NEAA) for its workforce development program. The utility makes workforce development a priority within the organization. It is their goal to produce a workplace that gives employees opportunities to become more successful in their current and future employment and to increase the number of leaders in the community. The leadership within the City strives to provide a roadmap to guide the career of employees by providing the means to participate in innovative learning and to develop meaningful, lifelong skills.
  • San Francisco Bay Nutrient Management Strategy Serves as Model

    Mar 18, 2019
    Nutrient pollution, caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways, is one of America's most widespread, costly, and challenging environmental problems. For the San Francisco Bay, the West Coast’s largest estuary and home to over seven million people, algal blooms, fish kills and other nutrient-related environmental impacts have generally not been seen despite 37 wastewater treatment plants discharging to the Bay without full-scale nutrient treatment.
  • MWRDGC Honored for Operations & Environmental Performance

    Feb 26, 2019
    NACWA was pleased to honor the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC) this month with a National Environmental Achievement Award for Operations & Environmental Performance with its McCook Reservoir Stage 1.
  • MR. CAN Protects Narragansett Bay from The Grease Beasts

    Jan 24, 2019
    Conceived jointly by the Narragansett Bay Commission’s Pretreatment and Public Affairs departments and brought to life by animator Rafael Cuello, NBC’s education program, MR. CAN vs The Grease Beasts and its eponymous protagonist, aim to educate the public about proper household grease disposal. In the 2017-2018 school year, MR. CAN was integrated into the curriculum of the award-winning environmental education program, The NBC Watershed Explorers, which reaches economically-disadvantaged students in the state...
  • Richmond Elevates Beyond Compliance with Nutrient Reduction Program

    Dec 12, 2018
    The City of Richmond’s wastewater treatment plant Nutrient Reduction Program is an outstanding example of significant investment in planning and operations leading to superior performance. Over five years, the City made significant modifications to its wastewater treatment plant, and at the end of the project the performance of the plant is making significant contributions to improving water quality in the James River and Chesapeake Bay.
  • Pima County’s ‘Living River Project’ Heralds Robust Improvement in Wetland Health

    Nov 06, 2018
    Through the Living River Project, NACWA Member Agency the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (RWRD) raises the public’s awareness about improvement in the riparian ecosystem health of the Santa Cruz River in Pima County, AZ. The Project—through written annual reports, e-media, public outreach activities, and school outings—has become an inventive tool for educating people about the effects of wastewater treatment on local wetlands. It uses an innovative approach to...
  • Hampton Roads' "Secret Sauce:" The HRSD Apprenticeship Program

    Oct 10, 2018
    This month’s Member Spotlight shines on the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD), which created the nation’s first wastewater sector apprenticeship program in 1979 to support continued workforce excellence. Today the program is touted as a progressive initiative, fostering workforce development and furthering the growth of the clean water sector. And while HRSD is known for its innovation and leadership, HRSD Commissioners and senior management credit its apprentices and support teams for its success, frequently referring to the program as “HRSD’s Secret Sauce.” Here’s why…
  • NEW Water Reaches Out With Video: Water Knows No Boundaries

    Sep 12, 2018
    In the fall of 2016, NACWA Member Agency, NEW Water in Green Bay, WI developed a four-minute outreach video about its Silver Creek Project entitled, Water Knows No Boundaries. The video was developed to demonstrate the partnerships that have been developed throughout the project, and the success in implementing change on the agricultural landscape.
  • Louisville MSD Connects with Community on Infrastructure Resilience

    Aug 15, 2018
    As evidenced by recent catastrophic weather events, infrastructure resilience is one of the most critical issues facing the health and safety of a community. Recognizing this, the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) developed Community Connection, a comprehensive and strategic outreach effort aimed at speaking directly with citizens about the infrastructure improvements needed for reducing risks and gathering customer input on balancing risk reduction with additional investment.
  • Beckley Sanitary Board Controls Runoff in the Cloud

    Aug 15, 2018
    The Beckley Sanitary Board’s (BSB) Ewart Avenue iPond project capitalizes on the emerging availability and advancements in low-cost, internet-accessible controller systems — with wired and wireless communications – to allow for real-time, dynamic control of stormwater infrastructure. This new control technology accounts for, and manages, the highly variable nature of wet weather induced runoff, and for its innovation and application, won NACWA’s National Environmental Achievement Award.
  • Aurora Water’s Forests to Faucets Showcases Watersheds for Area Teachers

    May 22, 2018
    Forests to Faucets is an annual continuing education teacher workshop conducted by Aurora Water and the Aurora Parks, Recreation & Open Space Department. Designed to provide Aurora teachers with an in-depth education about water and water-related issues, the three-day workshop takes teachers from mountain watersheds to water treatment facilities, and not only explores Aurora’s water supply system and operations, but reaffirms the importance of water pollution prevention and watershed protection.
  • ALCOSAN’s GROW Program Creates Cleaner Waterways

    Apr 25, 2018
    The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) Board of Directors created the Green Revitalization of Our Waterways (GROW) program in a system-wide effort to reduce excess water from entering an already overloaded sewer collection system. The GROW program is now an essential part of ALCOSAN’s long-term green first plan to create cleaner waterways...
  • AlexRenew’s Water Discovery & Education Destination

    Mar 16, 2018
    AlexRenew, the water resource recovery facility for the City of Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County, Virginia, was largely invisible in the community until the last few years. Its citizen board-created “2040 vision” – with a focus on community engagement, as well as a rebranding – were catalysts to AlexRenew throwing off its cloak of invisibility and creating a comprehensive outreach program, including educational centers.
  • El Paso Water

    Jan 29, 2018
    In the Southwest, a perfect storm of rising temperatures, persistent drought, and growing populations has pushed water managers to consider new approaches to providing clean water for their customers. El Paso Water is at the forefront of this transition with their innovative slate of water reuse projects. In particular, the Advanced Water Purification initiative features a “pipe-to-pipe” system that is wholly unique to North America.
  • Avon Lake's Innovative Lateral Separation Program

    Nov 30, 2017
    Unlike many waterbodies in the United States, the Great Lakes pose unique opportunities and challenges. On one hand, its miles of coastline and open water provide a boon for economic activity and recreation. However, the challenges, such as addressing water quality concerns, are multi-faceted and require the coordination between numerous states, not to mention Canada.
  • Louisville MSD Expands Definition of Environmental Justice

    Nov 01, 2017
    In the wake of Flint and extreme stormwater events, environmental justice has become even more relevant in the clean water sector, and many NACWA members are promoting an expanded definition of environmental justice. The Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is now working on several projects that not only reduce hazards from CSO’s and flooding, but also provide community benefits.
  • Camden County MUA Moves To Be Energy Independent by 2019

    Oct 03, 2017
    NACWA member agency, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA), is putting strong action into its bold goal to be energy independent by 2019.
  • ReWa Fulfills UOTF Concept with Tunnel Project, Med-Disposal Programs

    Aug 24, 2017
    Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) was recently honored as one of the 25 Utility of the Future of Today honorees, which recognizes forward-thinking, innovative utilities that are providing resilient and value-added service to communities.
  • Miami-Dade Raises Bar with Infrastructure Plan

    Jun 21, 2017
    Aging and inadequate water infrastructure is a persistent issue throughout the country, and Miami-Dade County, FL is no exception. Like many regions of the U.S., Miami-Dade’s water and wastewater systems are decades old and unable to support its current and future population.
  • OCSD Touts ‘Utility of the Future' Recognition

    May 23, 2017
    OCSD was recognized by the “Utility of the Future Today Program” (UOTF) in August 2016 for its progressive programs, initiatives, and business practices—an honor OCSD prominently reflected in its Annual Report...
  • NEW Water Overcomes Barriers, Gains Ratepayer Support, to Become a ‘Utility of the Future’

    Apr 19, 2017
    In 2008, the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, now rebranded as “NEW Water,” was at a critical crossroads. Facing aging infrastructure, biosolid capacity limits and increasing regulations, the utility needed an innovative solution for these cross-cutting issues.
  • City of Santa Fe – Pioneering the Next Frontier of Stormwater Management

    Feb 22, 2017
    The City of Santa Fe won an EPA grant of $150,000 this year, to boost stormwater plans which are in line with “Utility of the Future (UOTF)” ideals, and propel the city onto the forefront of wet weather and Small Municipal Storm Water NPDES permit management.
  • Alexandria Renew Enterprises – Taking Community Engagement to the Next Level

    Jan 10, 2017
    A new multi-purpose athletic field is now open for public use in Alexandria, Virginia. Although it may not be obvious, this field is very unique – it is built on top of an 18 million gallon nutrient management facility.