Annual awards program acknowledges outstanding achievement and seeks to improve the professional status of all wastewater workers.


The California Water Environment Association recently announced winners of its annual awards program. The awards program acknowledges outstanding achievement in more than 20 categories honoring water environment professionals and seeks to improve the professional status of all personnel working in the field and stimulate public awareness of the importance of wastewater treatment to public health.

“The award winners are proven leaders who’ve demonstrated excellence in their careers," says Phil Scott, CWEA president. "I am full of pride and gratitude to work with such dedicated stewards of the public health and the environment.”

The Collections System of the Year award is split into three categories based on the size of the collections system. It recognizes municipalities that protect the public health and the natural beauty of the environment through proactive practices of management, operations and maintenance including regulatory compliance, safety and training procedures, emergency response procedures, and significant accomplishments including funding and investing in capital projects.

Related: 2015 WateReuse Award Winners Announced

Collections System of the Year (Small) — Goleta Sanitary District
The Goleta Sanitary District was created in 1942 to provide wastewater collections and treatment services for the Goleta Valley. The district’s 132-mile-long network of underground pipes deliver approximately 4 million gallons of wastewater to the district’s award-winning treatment plant every day. At the facility, wastewater is treated and cleaned to very high standards by certified staff before being reused for irrigation or discharged safely into the ocean.

Collections System of the Year (Medium) — City of Merced 
The Wastewater/Sewer System Division is dedicated to protecting public health and the environment by the cost-effective operation and maintenance of the wastewater collections system infrastructure consisting of over 260 miles of pipe ranging from 6 to 48 inches. The Wastewater Collections Division conveys an average dry weather flow of approximately 7.2 mgd from homes and businesses to the City of Merced Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Collections System of the Year (Large) — Irvine Ranch Water District
IRWD has provided sewage collections services to Orange County residents for over 50 years. The district currently manages more than 1,000 miles of sewer pipeline, operates two recycled water facilities with a combined treatment capacity of 35 mgd and maintains approximately 97,000 sewer service connections. The district cleaned more than 660 miles of sewer pipeline last year.

Related: Southern California District Receives $1.7 Million in WaterSMART Grant

CWEA also recognizes individuals on the Collections System category for their demonstration of innovation and excellence in the performance of collections system maintenance.

Collections System Person of the Year went to Jose Mendez of the city of Los Angeles. According to City Manager Robert Potter, “Mr. Mendez is a self-motivated, hard-charging individual who has excelled in the work here at the city of Los Angeles. He continually impresses everyone with his innovative ideas and his quick solution to problems. He is an asset to our operation.”


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