ACWA Awards—2016

We use the ACWA awards to recognize our outstanding members and individuals.


The City of Salem was recognized for implementing ‘best-in-class’ energy efficiency practices. Through its Energy Management Team, the City of Salem identified and implemented $95,000 of energy savings in its first year. Starting in 2012, the Salem Energy Management Team has focused on both ‘low and no-cost’ efficiency and capital projects to improve energy performance.

Jue Zhao and Stephanie Eisner from the The City of Salem, the 2016 Outstanding Member Agency award recipient

Salem’s efforts have included:

  • Participation in several energy managementn training programs
  • Reducing HVAC energy consumption
  • Converting to fine bubble diffusers, reducing energy costs by $91,000 annually
  • Retrofitting Blowers
  • Downsozing pumps
  • Installing LED lighting

Salem is now examining how to upgrade and improve its existing 30-year old co-generation facility to increase the use of renewable power at the treatment plant.

Salem has developed a focused Energy Management Team, used available training and incentive programs, and continues to be an outstanding performer for its energy accomplishments. Salem has also been generous in sharing its program and energy knowledge with other ACWA member treatment plants


Tony Gilbertson — Tony was recognized for building a successful stormwater maintenance training program, in partnership with Portland Community College. Tony, a staff member at Clean Water Services, was tasked with improving the maintenance of private stormwater control facilities. His innovative solution—partner with Portland Community College’s Landscape Management Technology program to incorporate this green infrastructure training into the associate degree program.

Tony Gilbertson, 2016 Outstanding Individual award recipient

This training program is now being evaluated by other community colleges throughout the state. With the trained landscapers available, Clean Water Services is seeing an improvement in the maintenance practices of private water quality facilities. Although a number of staff worked on this project, it was Tony’s enthusiasm and leadership that created this innovative program use training and business opportunities to tackle a water quality problem.

ACWA is also recognizing the Portland Community College Landscape Management Technology program with a concurrent special award.



Greg Geist — Greg has been the director of Clackamas County Water Environment Services for a little over a year, bringing positive change to managing water resource issues for the County.

Greg Geist, 2016 Outstanding Individual award recipient

Greg’s calm style and personal commitment to water quality protection and sustainable wastewater treatment is demonstrated by the number of projects he has championed at WES including:

  • Building a work environment foundation of trust and respect
  • Tackling serious solids handling issues at both Tri-City and Service District #1 in a collaborative, cost effective manner
  • Proactively building relationships with all levels of Clackamas County elected officials and its community
  • Focused attention on energy efficiency, waste-to-commodity transition, and renewable power generation
  • Securing a peracetic acid disinfection pilot project to test this ‘greener’ disnfection system in Oregon
  • Developing a proactive stormwater management program
  • Improving asset management and information management systems

That it was Greg’s own senior management team that nominated him for this award says a great deal.


Michael Read — Michael was also recognized for outstanding individual environmental contribution. Michael Read has been a member of Oregon ACWA for as long as it has been around. His numerous professional positions are well known:

  • Wastewater Division Director for the City of Portland Columbia Blvd. Treatment Plant
  • Director of Clackamas County Water Environment Services
  • Vice President for HDR
  • Executive Director of Oak Lodge Sanitary District

Michael has been an active member of water quality professional organizations including serving on the ACWA and NACWA Board of Directors, active in PNCWA, and was also the national present of the Water Environment Federation.

Michael Read, 2016 Outstanding Individual award recipient

Michael’s leadership in protecting water resources spanned the breath of his interests including:

  • Dramatically improving the performance of Portland's Columbia Blvd. Treatment Plant
  • Setting the foundation for Clackamas County WES to be successful
  • Implementing a creative funding strategy for the Oak Lodge Treatment Plant upgrade
  • ‘One Water’ leadership to combine the Oak Lodge Sanitary District and Water District

As Michael would say, there is no ‘retreat,’ only ‘advance’ and ACWA members are grateful for his innovative thinking, his hard work, and his many years dedicated to water quality protection in Oregon, in the nation, and internationally.


   •  See ACWA Award Winners for 2015
   •  See ACWA Award Winners for 2014
   •  See ACWA Award Winners for 2013
   •  See ACWA Award Winners for 2012
   •  See ACWA Award Winners for 2011

See an archived inventory of ACWA Award Winners.

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