ACWA Awards—2012

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:

Pollution Prevention

  • 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.

Environmental Leadership

  • 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 2012, awards were presented to:

Advancing Water Quality Trading
The hard work and vision of a number of groups has advanced water quality trading in Oregon by providing an additional tool for Oregon municipalities to use in pursuing trading. The contract-type arrangement, worked out between the City of Medford and The Freshwater Trust, opens the option of water quality trading to moderate and smaller sized Oregon utilities.

City of Medford
from left: D. Pedersen, D. Baker, W. Meyer, D. Primozich

This trade would not have been possible without the vision and determination of the City of Medford’s engineering consultant, Walt Meyer of West Yost.

ACWA wants to recognize the partnership of Oregon DEQ in accomplishing this trade. Oregon DEQ has been a valued partner in promoting water quality trading, while maintaining a careful focus on ensuring that trades benefit water quality. A special thanks goes to DEQ’s Jon Gasik for his work.

UIC Innovation
Any jurisdiction with UICs knows the roller-coaster ride that this program has taken over the past several years. As the only state in the nation that permits UICs that receive stormwater, Oregon jurisdictions were facing huge investments in UIC closure and upgrades, for little or no environmental benefit.

ACWA wants to recognize the innovation of the City of Portland and GSI Water Solutions in crafting a risk-based decision making framework—a Groundwater Protectiveness Demonstration model—that allows good science to be used to ensure adequate groundwater protection, yet at significant cost savings for UIC permittees. All Oregon utilities that have UICs will benefit from this work and we appreciate the creativity, based on a foundation of good science that went into developing this tool.

Portland UIC
from left: H. Blischke, B. Adkins


Energy and renewable power production is a priority for ACWA and its members. A focused approach on energy issues cuts energy bills by 10–15% at every Oregon wastewater plant that has taken an organized approach. From an environmental point of view, saving energy saves everything. For a ratepayer’s point of view, saving energy saves dollars.

The energy leadership of two ACWA members was recognized.

City of Pendleton
Pendleton’s proactive ‘Get’ er Done’ philosophy applied to energy issues has crossed all facets of the Public Works Department including:

  • Installation of regenerative drives on their Aquifer Storage and Recovery wells, creating power as storage water is pushed back into the aquifer through their production pumps.
  • Installation of two solar p/v systems estimated to generate 315,000 kilowatt hours annually.

City of Pendleton
M. Milne

  • Installation of two methane gas fueled microturbines used to create electricity and hot water at their wastewater treatment plant, fueled in part by methane gas generated from a Fats, Oils, and Grease receiving station.
  • Taking the lead on Solarize Pendleton—a program that allows Pendleton residents to secure no-interest loans for installing solar systems on their homes. To date, over 75 Pendleton homeowners have taken advantage of the program, with a utility savings of $350 annually for each homeowner.

Pendleton has been aggressive in its use of incentives and found partnering opportunities to help fund these great programs.

City of Gresham
The City of Gresham has taken energy independence to heart as they continue to focus on energy conservation and renewable power sources at their treatment plant.

City of Gresham
P. Eckley

Gresham now generates 57% of its power needs to operate the treatment plant onsite through its biogas generator and solar p/v installation. Gresham is moving forward to increase the amount of on-site power generated with the installation of its FOG receiving station and a planned second co-generation unit.

Focused work on energy efficiency continues to pay off for the City—since 2005 the City has saved over $1.35 million in energy costs with its efficiency and renewable power investments.

We are pleased to acknowledge Dean Marriot with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services as our outstanding individual. Dean’s leadership at the Bureau and nationally on the NACWA board has continually focused on strategic investments for maximizing environmental benefit. Dean has lead the bureau in its work on the ‘gray to green’ infrastructure program, innovations in construction and contracting, and upgrading and improvements at the Columbia Blvd. Treatment Plant.

Outstanding Individual
Dean Marriot,
Portland Bureau of Environmental Services

Most importantly, Dean lead his team to complete the ‘Big Pipe’ CSO abatement project, tunneling under both sides of the Willamette River AND under the river in a project that was delivered on time, on budget, and impressively—with zero work fatalities.

Special Recognition
Dr. Ken Williamson taught environmental engineering to many ACWA members in his 39 years at Oregon State University. In addition to being an instructor and mentor for many environmental engineering students in Oregon, in the US and internationally, Dr. Williamson also served eight years on the Environmental Quality Commission, bringing his technical expertise to tackling some of Oregon’s most difficult environmental challenges.

See CURRENT ACWA Award Winners (2016)


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

See an archived inventory of ACWA Award Winners.

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