The Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies (ACWA) annually presents awards for outstanding achievement. Nominations are accepted in the spring of each year. Only ACWA members are eligible for individual or member agency awards.
The annual awards are given to an Outstanding Individual and Outstanding Member Agency excelling in any of the areas of pollution prevention, environmental leadership, or innovation in environmental management.
The criteria for each of the categories includes:
- A program or action which eliminated or drastically reduced a source of pollution to a water resource which was untreated or undertreated prior to the program or action, or
- An existing program which is operated in an outstanding manner and the program prevents pollution to a water resource, or is an integral part of a program which does.
- A person or an agency which demonstrates effective leadership in creating positive environmental changes regarding a water-related resource.
Innovation in Environmental Management
- A program which solves a new or existing water resource-related problem. This program should be adaptable to other agencies. In considering nominations in this category, the Board will be mindful of the relative resources of different agencies.
In 2011, awards were presented to:
Susie Smith was honored for her contribution to ACWA’s mission of protecting and enhancing Oregon’s water quality, along with being a major contributor to ACWA’s continued success as an organization.
Susie has served as ACWA’s Legislative Committee chair, Vice Chair, Chair, and past Chair, along with routinely taking on special projects for ACW. Her past significant public service has included terms as a commissioner for the Eugene Water & Electric Board, and eight years as a Water Resources Commissioner. She worked for the City of Springfield for 23 years, capping her contribution in the role of Public Works Director.
Outstanding Member Agency
Two outstanding member agencies were honored.
Clean Water Services
Clean Water Services was honored for its project to develop a management program for the private water quality facilities in the district.
Outstanding Agency— Clean Water Services
Seated: C. Pak, M. Poling, Standing: W. Gaffi, T. Gilbertson, N. Curtis
When faced with the challenge of evaluating the effectiveness of over 1,200 privately-owned water quality facilities in its territory. Clean Water Services worked collaboratively with its service territory communities to identify and map the facilities, clarify responsibilities, train staff, and develop a comprehensive maintenance manual for homeowners with detailed information on the different types of water quality facilities being used in the district. This program and its inspection manual is a very useful tool for all Oregon communities that require private water quality maintenance facilities to be installed. More about the program is posted on the Clean Water Services website.
Oak Lodge Sanitary District
The Oak Lodge Sanitary District was honored for its leadership in engaging its community and building their support for the renovations and improvements needed at the district. After using a value planning team process to review its master plan, the district was able to reduce project costs by $55 million while improving effluent quality.
Outstanding Agency— Oak Lodge Sanitary District
from left: D. Green, L. Barge, JM Read, C. Worth, B. Arvidson
In a bold move, the Oak Lodge leadership team and its Board asked its residents to authorize general obligation bonds to finance the project—a savings of $22 million over the cost of revenue bonds for the same debt period, and undertook a community engagement process to turn ‘ratepayers’ into ‘shareholders.’ That strategy worked—the district residents overwhelmingly approved the bonds by a margin of 85% is testimony to the leadership of the Oak Lodge Sanitary District.
See CURRENT ACWA Award Winners (2016)
PAST AWARD WINNERS
• See ACWA Award Winners for 2015
• See ACWA Award Winners for 2014
• See ACWA Award Winners for 2013
• See ACWA Award Winners for 2012
• ACWA Award Winners for 2011
See an archived inventory of ACWA Award Winners.