AWWA “How-to” Series Presents: The Best of AWWA’s Section

AWWA “How-to” Series Presents:
The Best of AWWA’s Section
Education Programs for 2011
The Authoritative Resource on Safe WaterSM
Annual Section Education Award
Each year, AWWA presents the Section Education Award to AWWA sections that have developed or conducted an
exemplary program that educates water industry personnel, the public, students, or other groups about water supply
issues. Every section is eligible, provided that the section developed or conducted its program during the calendar
year prior to the award year. That is, the 2011 awards recognize programs that were done in 2010. Eligible entries
for the award are judged in four key areas: innovation, effectiveness, applicability for other AWWA sections, and
the benefits of the program.
Recognition of Sections’ Efforts
Each year, a total of seven sections are recognized as ―winners‖ of the Section Education Award. Since 1995,
AWWA has made it a practice to recognize all the sections that submit an entry for the award. After all, the award
is about recognition and sharing of good ideas. Though an entry may not be in the top seven, the program may still
serve as a good example for another section to emulate or may be the spark for another section to participate in the
award program the following year.
Once again, the popular ―How-to‖ series will be used as the vehicle to assemble an outstanding set of educational
program ideas and share them with the other sections and with other AWWA members interested in educational
programs for the water industry.
2011 Winners
Selected from among 13 sections that entered this year, the following programs represent ―the best of the best
ideas‖ from AWWA sections. Congratulations to all the members of the sections that produced these winning ideas.
You may be very proud of your efforts and the contribution they make to AWWA, the sections, and the water supply
The following are descriptions of the seven award-winning ideas for 2011, listed in alphabetical order:
Chesapeake Section
The Big Little Pipe Debate—The Case to Replace or Rehabilitate Small-Diameter Water Mains
Contact: John Moore, Section Chair, phone: (443) 532-4782;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: The Big Little Pipe Debate—The Case to Replace or Rehabilitate Small-Diameter Water Mains, a
seminar the CSAWWA Water Distribution Committee hosted at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum, Maryland,
Nov. 4, 2010, included speakers from several local utilities, who shared views and methodologies concerning
rehabilitation and replacement of small water mains. Vendors representing emerging rehabilitation technologies
were also invited to attend, set up displays, and formally present their products to the audience. The seminar‘s
purpose was to allow each invited local utiltiy to share its decision model or matrix concerning whether to
replace or rehabilitate small-diameter water mains that have reached the end of their useful life and also to
allow vendors to provide information on recent developments in rehabilitation technology.
History: The Water Distribution Committee began planning for its yearly seminar at the beginning of 2010.
Monthly meetings were held in which committee members decided on an interesting and timely subject and
began working out details, such as the target audience, format, speakers, venue, and continuing education
value. A date was selected early in the process to avoid conflicts with other section activities. Committee
members took assignments and gave updates at subsequent meetings. The seminar outline was finalized, the
venue selected, and speakers confirmed. The seminar was advertised to CSAWWA individual and utility
members at the Annual Conference and via e-mail bulletins and flyers.
Coordination: A central location was chosen for the venue so members from all areas of the Chesapeake
Section, which includes Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, could attend. There were also
attendees from Virginia.
Innovation: The Committee‘s ongoing goal is to provide information of interest to engineers and operators.
Our yearly seminars often alternate topics of interest between the two groups. We felt this seminar was of
interest to both groups and so advertised it to attract both. The utilities that presented included large utilities
(e.g., Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission), as well as smaller (county and city) utilities, giving
attendees insight into how the different utilities approach this issue. The seminar‘s focus also made the seminar
of greater interest to the many small utilities throughout the region whose systems consist mainly of smalldiameter pipes.
Effectiveness: The seminar was attended by 70 engineers and operators, including operations and
management representatives from large, medium-size, and small utilities and engineers from several consulting
firms. The seminar ended with a moderated roundtable discussion in which the presenters, including the
vendors, were invited to respond to questions from the attendees. Attendee participation in this portion of the
seminar was very good. The seminar was submitted to, and approved by, the Maryland Department of the
Environment for continuing education credits, and attendees were offered certificates. Also, as a result of the
seminar, the Water Distribution Committee gained seven new committee members.
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: This seminar has wide application; utilities across North
America have similar water infrastructure issues. The seminar presentations will be posted on the CSAWWA
website to make the seminar readily available, once the website‘s reconstruction is finished. The seminar‘s
costs mainly involved paying for the venue, including lunch—all speakers were volunteers. If speakers are not
available to present in other locations, other sections could still benefit from using the seminar topic and format.
Our local section talent was very important in putting on the seminar, mainly in terms of advertising and
Benefits: Benefits of the seminar included allowing local utilities to share their decision models or matrixes
concerning whether to replace or rehabilitate small-diameter water mains, and also to provide attendees with
information on recent developments in rehabilitation technology. An additional benefit to CSAWWA was that
the seminar paid for itself. Also, the event‘s success sparked interest in the Committee from new committee
Florida Section
Florida 2030 Initiative
Contact: Richard Anderson, Section Chair, phone: 941-806-9967;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: The section created the Florida 2030 Initiative to develop and communicate a focused message on
Florida infrastructure needs to ensure a sustainable, reliable, safe, and affordable water supply. Our mission: to
focus framework and vision on the state‘s implementing its future water supply.
History: The section began developing the Florida 2030 Initiative in December 2007. More than 100 volunteers
compose nine issue committees, which encompass Water Resource Management, Conservation, Reclaimed
Water, Surface Water, Desalination, Water Allocation/Transfers, Climate Change, Partnerships, and
Governance/Funding. During the initial year, the Florida 2030 committees authored summary/white papers. In
2008 they participated in the Florida Century Commission Water Congress and also announced that Florida
2030 would hold an annual Florida Water Summit of its own. A new Legislative Action Team committee was
added, which has the specific agenda of working in partnership with the Florida Section Utility Council to move
recommendations developed at the Florida 2030 Annual Summit with legislative leaders. And, in 2009, the
Florida 2030 issue committees wrote Florida’s Water Survival Handbook for the Future. FSAWWA Water
Summits have occurred in 2009 and 2010.
Innovation: A collaborative approach is used. All sectors of the water industry are represented, including
utilities, consultants, regulatory, manufacturing, academia, environmentalist, and agricultural interests. All
sectors are included among the nine issue committees. The major issue that was faced centered on the
definition of consensus, not allowing the minority to overrule the wishes of the majority. Another lesser issue
developed around the geographic borders of the state. Florida water issues vary greatly, depending on
geographic location.
Effectiveness: Success Highlights:
Nine issues papers written and professionally marketed (over 2,000 distributed statewide).
Wrote Florida’s Water Survival Handbook for the Future (more than 1,000 professionally marketed and
distributed statewide).
Presented at the 2008 Century Commissions‘ Water Summit (held by others), which had 600 interested
parties, including legislative representatives.
Presented and co-sponsored the 2010 Florida Water Forum (attended by 250 to listen to gubernatorial
candidates discuss Florida Water Policy). The event was taped and broadcast throughout the state
during the 2010 election season.
Produced and presented the 2009 and 2010 Florida Section Annual Water Summits (attended by 250
persons each year).
Invited presenter to the Florida House Committee on Water Policy (Jan. 2011).
As part of the Florida 2030 effort, the Legislative Action Team (LAT) began the 2010 Legislative Session with a
goal of passing two bills: (1) creating a new Part VII to Chapter 373 to reorganize all the water supply provisions
(policy, planning, production, and funding) currently found dispersed throughout Part I into a single easy-tofollow part of the statute, and (2) revising the current goal-based water conservation language to provide
flexibility in meeting water management district water conservation requirements. The new Part VII language
was passed as part of Senate Bill 550. The goal-based water conservation language was incorporated into
House Bill 7177, which passed the House, but time ran out before it could be taken up in the Senate.
In 2011 the LAT will advance three consensus concepts arising from the 2009 Water Summit: (1) Providing for
additional funding for new water storage projects; (2) Providing for a statewide study of water management district
responsibilities specifically relating to water supply—what‘s working, what‘s not, how can we make it work better?
(3) Addressing the integration of multiple sources of water—conjunctive use permitting.
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: This project can be readily advanced in other sections,
large or small, which includes assembling a leadership group that is backed by the section‘s executive officers.
A well-developed framework for volunteer input is a must. Minimal dollars are needed to cover costs of project
activities that include time spent and telephone charges (conference calls). More substantial dollars are
needed to cover printing costs and distribution ($10,000). The project‘s focus is on Florida Water issues, which
can sometimes take on a national import. The special talent resides within the section, where there is an
abundance of expert knowledge and experience. The only requirement needed is a passion for water issues.
Illinois Section
Educational Initiatives
Contact: John Smith, Section Chair, phone: (217) 875-5824;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: The Illinois Section‘s Backflow Committee has developed initiatives to enable the section to
conduct projects that address the educational needs of water supply operators as they relate to crossconnection control and backflow prevention. To best achieve the Committee goals, three subgroups have been
formed, and the following are the subgroups‘ accomplishments:
Educational Presentation Subgroup: This subgroup organized and presented five educational sessions in 2010
in various locations around the state. The title of these sessions was, ―Illinois EPA Title 35 − What It Says in
Plain English.‖ The course description: ―Attendees learn how to effectively develop, implement, and enforce a
cross-connection control program that meets all of the llinois EPA requirements. Cross-Connection inspection,
surveys, and recordkeeping are the three key elements of a backflow program, and the sessions discuss how
each element relates to the others, and how to move forward from where the current program is now.‖
A total of 93 water supply operators attended these sessions. Six additional sessions are planned for 2011.
Website and Blog Subgroup: A website has been created for posting useful information, and a blog has been
set up to answer any questions concerning backflow and plumbing devices. The subgroup consists of water
operators, plumbers, and plumbing inspectors.
Literature Subgroup: This subgroup develops informational bulletins. The first bulletin, finished in 2010,
features the types of backflow devices required on fire systems and fire lines. It is very useful for fire
departments, building inspectors, and plumbers. More bulletins are being developed to identify devices that
must be used in other cross-connection situations, and also to help operators understand how to read and
evaluate the backflow test report plumbers submit to utilities.
History: In spring of 2009, the Illinois Section created a Backflow Committee, which met first on July 1, 2009,
and established a mission statement to define its prime purpose; then it established the three subgroups to
accomplish the mission.
Mission Statement: ―To promote and assist all Illinois water systems to implement and effectively enforce Illinois
EPA Title 35 Cross Connection regulations and to increase public awareness and provide and develop
educational materials and training.‖
Coordination: The project was coordinated with the Education Coordinator on staff at Illinois Section AWWA.
The Committee also works closely with the plumbing industry, Illinois EPA, and the Illinois Department of Public
Health, which writes and enforces the Illinois Plumbing Code.
Innovation: This approach is unique because there has never been an organized effort to help water utilities
and operators understand Illinois EPA rules and to assist them in implementing and improving their program.
The cross-connection program is a program the IEPA requires each utility to conduct. It is also a public health
program. Few water operators fully understand the public health problems that can arise with a backflow
incident. Many operators do not understand plumbing or what a backflow device looks like and how it operates.
The section‘s sessions attempt to address these issues and to educate about the legal requirements and ways
to implement the program with fewer resources.
In addition, each participant is given handouts, and also a pamphlet that is appropriate for mailings to
customers. The pamphlet explains what backflow is and why backflow devices must be installed to prevent
illness and contamination. The educational pamphlet has proved to be very effective in improving testing
Effectiveness: The effectiveness of the program is measured in three ways:
First, the number of attendees. As word gets out about the content of the sessions, more are attending. The
most recent session in October had over 45 attendees; 93 attended in 2010.
Second, an evaluation form is completed by each attendee. These evaluations have been excellent and have
shown that we are presenting information that is valuable to each utility.
Third, the Illinois Department of Public Health has approved these sessions for continuing education for
plumbers. The Department requires that plumbers receive continuing education annually and only approves
sessions that contain the technical and practical information a plumber needs to improve his or her knowledge.
It is an accomplishment to receive this approval. It shows the committee is on the right path and another state
agency approved our course content.
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: Other states can also implement such a program. The
Illinois Section Committee feels that our main focus is primarily dedicated to the education of local water utilities
and their ability to implement an effective and enforceable cross-connection control and backflow prevention
program that adheres to our state water regulatory agency requirements. Most state water regulatory authorities
have adopted primacy. Cross-connection control and backflow prevention are an integral part of that primacy.
Each section can follow the Illinois Section Committee example. Providing in-depth education to all participants
of a localized cross-connection control and backflow prevention program based on individual state regulatory
authority rules and regulations allows for local individuality as well as state uniformity. The technical expertise
and practical knowledge is now available in most areas to develop and offer these types of training programs
on a national level. This approach and these in-depth training sessions provide for a more cohesive, uniform,
and ultimately more effective cross-connection control and backflow prevention program for all water utilities.
Benefits: The project assists water operators and utilities to achieve a better understanding of backflow
prevention as it relates to public health concerns; it also helps them comply with state EPA rules. Each
participant received a backflow handbook, course materials, and informational pamphlets. These can be used
immediately in mailings to their customers or as reference materials. Other groups, such as plumbers have also
attended. In addition, the Committee has made several presentations at meetings of local health departments,
to fire department officials, and to irrigation contractors. The Committee is starting to make contacts with more
groups to help the public better understand problems with backflow incidents. There are 3,767 public water
supply operators licensed in Illinois and there are 1,748 public water supplies. These operators and utilities will
benefit from these education sessions.
New England Water Works, A Section of AWWA
The New Wave of Public Relations and Drinking Water Utilities
Contact: David Paris, Section Chair, phone: (603) 624-6482;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: In 2010, New England Water Works, a Section of AWWA (NEWWA), developed ―The New Wave
of Public Relations and Drinking Water Utilities,‖ a course to educate utilities, as well as other members, such
as associates and consultants, about traditional public relations and the evolving social networking and how
they can be used to enhance a public relations program, or help kick one off, if none exists. Social networking
is also an excellent means for contacting and communicating with young professionals who may already be in
the drinking water profession or who may be interested in joining the profession, including high school and
college students.
History: For years the drinking water profession has been focusing on the ―brain drain,‖ as well as the
upcoming retirements of a very large percentage of its workforce. In addition, AWWA and its sections have
been putting a lot of effort into welcoming and including young professionals. The 2010 state of the industry
report put it perfectly:
―With the departure of career water employees at all levels comes a concurrent loss in industry experience and
know-how … what‘s more, the inevitable shakeup in the workforce will occur at a time when regulations,
automation, and many other aspects of industry positions are becoming more complex and demanding. As a
utility executive in region 5 pointed out, ‗it is taking longer to train employees to replace those who retire. We
are losing more knowledge than we are gaining, and things are changing faster than we can keep up. New
employees have to learn more than just pumps, pipes, and system configurations. Now they must know
computers and technology on top of water system components. We need to find a cost-effective way to pass
on knowledge and to provide computer and technology skills.‘‖
Realizing this trend over the past several years, NEWWA has been working to keep pace with the impending
―brain drain.‖ One method was to become the first AWWA section to have a Facebook ―fan‖ page, as well as a
Twitter page. With its success with these two communication methods, the section decided to enhance its
current public/media relations course with a social networking aspect to help its members learn and gain a
better understanding of ―Web 2.0,‖ as well as educate members about these new communication methods
before many employers and utilities are left behind. With technology evolving so rapidly, it is important for all
sections to be up-to-date in using the new technological communication methods and prepared to pass their
knowledge along to their members.
This course was developed as a 1/2-day, 3-contact-hour learning event held on Feb. 9, 2010, in Portland,
Maine, and March 16, 2010, in New Haven, Connecticut.
Coordination: NEWWA developed this course under its strict ANSI/IACET I-2007 standard guidelines set forth
via the association‘s authorized provider status through the International Association for Continuing Education
and Training (IACET). The ANSI/IACET I-2007 standard addresses processes for identifying learning needs,
designing, developing, and delivering continuing education and training, not the content of individual programs,
which means that the standard applies across all disciplines. Through an emphasis on the educational process,
the standard ensures structured learning program development and measurable learning outcomes.
NEWWA also partnered with the Connecticut Section AWWA (CTAWWA) to execute this program in
NEWWA is fortunate that it is able to utilize staff members‘ areas of expertise to develop programs. This course
was designed, developed, and delivered by the section‘s director of communications.
Innovation: This course was a first-of-its-kind for any of the sections. NEWWA recognized the importance and
need to educate its members on social media. With the younger professionals now using online means of
communication more than ―traditional‖ means (e.g., phone, television, etc.), it is vital for any nonprofit member
association to maintain its relevance to the younger generations by ensuring it keeps up-to-date with new
But to educate the section‘s membership on the new methods of communication, the section itself had to first
educate itself on the ways to use these new methods. Staff consulted with the Public Relations and Social
Networking committees, which include members who are leaders in online ―Web 2.0‖ technologies, and
continues to receive feedback from members on how to keep strengthening its online presence.
Maintaining a strong online presence is becoming more and more important, so it is a constant learning curve
for anyone who is involved in communications with customers or members. As a result, to continue to provide
its members with the most relevant and up-to-date information possible, the section must ensure it keeps up-todate as well.
Effectiveness: Outreach, via the Web, direct mail, and word-of-mouth, resulted in 27 participants in Portland,
Maine, and 20 participants in New Haven, Connecticut. CTAWWA also performed outreach for this course.
Numbers in the 20s are considered good attendance for NEWWA training events. Upon documented,
successful completion of the program, participants earned 0.3 continuing education units (CEUs).
As one of the requirements of the ANSI/IACET I-2007 standard, participants in NEWWA‘s programs are
required to evaluate the programs. These evaluations are used to quantify a course‘s effectiveness in meeting
learning outcomes and establish continuous improvement for future programs. The evaluations use both a 1–5
quantitative scale of ―poor‖ to ―excellent‖ regarding specific content and learning outcomes, as well as
qualitative, open-ended questions to which participants can write comments about a program‘s
strengths/weaknesses and give suggestions for future programs. The tabulated evaluations for this program
revealed the majority of the students rated it between ―good‖ to ―excellent,‖ with the overall score being a 4.4
out of a possible 5 in Portland and a 4.7 out of a possible 5 in New Haven.
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: Any AWWA section, if it has a person or persons familiar
with public relations and social networking, could coordinate a similar effort, and it could be a great opportunity
for sections to work together. However, as with anything that is marketed, it‘s important for the sellers to ―know
their product‖ and ―know their audience.‖ Another section seeking to develop and implement a similar effort
must first become familiar with the technology, while recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of its
membership concerning public relations and social networking. The cost to NEWWA to run this program was
minimal; the registration fee of $110/member or $150/nonmember helped pay for development, instruction,
participant materials, overhead, food, and supply costs.
The evolving ways that we communicate with each other is something that affects not only AWWA and its
sections, but those across the entire globe. This course provided our members and CTAWWA‘s with an
introduction and tools to take back to their utilities and companies to use for their benefit, both for recruiting
efforts for the profession and to educate potential employees and the general public on the important work
water suppliers do daily basis.
Benefits: All attendees were provided instructional materials, which included the PowerPoint presentation and
various references. This program was very well received by all participants, even considering its out-of-the―normal‖ content for most drinking water professionals, who tend to focus mainly on training in distribution,
treatment, safety, etc.
By continuing to provide this program on an as-needed basis within the section‘s normal rotation, and with
continued partnerships with CTAWWA and other state associations, we can educate our water utility,
consultant, and associate members on the importance of reaching out to the public, not only via traditional
means but also through increasing their Web presence.
Social networking works through a ―snowball effect‖—in that one ―fan‖ suggests you to another ―fan‖ and so on. All
of us in the drinking water profession have the opportunity, in a no-cost fashion (as none of these sites, e.g.,
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc., have user fees), to expand our reach to the general public to inform, educate, and
help provide an understanding of the vital work members of the profession. Since this program was presented, a
number of local utilities have integrated social networking into their public relations practices and use various sites
to inform their customers about projects and provide general facts about drinking water and their utilities.
Additional Comments: This program provided with an overview of traditional means for reaching customers
and the public besides the pointers on how to break into the social networking world, especially in reaching the
younger generations. Specifically, the ―Millennials‖—the youngest generation now joining the workforce—are
the least likely generation to watch TV, while a mere 24 percent of them read the newspaper. They don‘t like to
talk on the phone; they communicate electronically almost exclusively. And 75 percent of them have a profile on
a social networking site.
When referencing Facebook, for example, which currently has more than 500 million active users and has a 50
percent log-in daily (source: statistics):
There are over 900 million objects that people interact with on Facebook (pages, groups, events, and
community pages). NEWWA is one of these ―objects.‖
More than 30 billion pieces of content (Web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.)
are shared each month.
Social networking is just another tool for us to use to communicate.
Rocky Mountain Section
“Get Into Water!” Project
Contact: Kevin Bergschneider, Section Chair, phone: (303) 318-6339;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: The Get Into Water! Project launched in 2010 with a focus of ensuring the water and wastewater
industry sufficiently recruits, trains, and retains personnel so mission-critical positions are filled with qualified,
trained, and technically skilled employees. This project addresses outreach and recruitment; training;
knowledge retention; and human resource and operations staff collaboration. The ―mission-critical positions‖
are defined as employees who work in the following disciplines: plant maintenance and repair; water treatment
operations; water distribution operations; wastewater treatment operations; wastewater collection operations;
and SCADA/instrument control operations.
The Water Utility Science Program (WUSP) is a training program offered as part of the Get Into Water! Project.
The WUSP is a training program that is offered to youth, ages 16 to 21, in two Colorado school districts, the
first being the Boulder Valley School District. WUSP introduces high school juniors and seniors to career
opportunities in the water and wastewater industries and provides specialized training courses leading to State
of Colorado certifications. Students who complete this training and earn certification are qualified to apply for
operator positions at the City of Boulder and at dozens of Front Range municipalities and utilities and
throughout Colorado. These are well-paid, technical positions at utilities offering benefits and career
The program offers specialized courses after students complete a required course called ―Water Foundations.‖
Water Foundations is offered to students as a 90-hour, one-semester introduction to careers available in the water
industry. It is an interactive, experiential (with field trips), hands-on, comprehensive overview of the water industry
and the range of job opportunities in the industry, covering water sources; treatment and distribution; water
regulations; stormwater and water conservation; and wastewater collection, treatment, and return to the creek and
emphasizing local water information, history, and issues. Upon completion of the course, students who are
interested in pursuing a career in the water industry have the option to select from one of two programs of study (in
Boulder), including Water Distribution Operations and Wastewater Collection Operations.
History: In 2009, the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) and the Colorado Department of
Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced the SECTRS (Strategies to Enhance Colorado‘s Talent through
Regional Solutions) grants to industry-led regional partnerships. There were two phases to the grant process:
Phase I was the Planning Grant; Phase II was the Implementation Grant. Sector initiatives are industry-specific,
regional partnerships that address employers‘ needs for skilled workers and workers‘ needs for good jobs.
Sector initiatives focus intensively on the workforce needs of specific industries over a sustained period, often
concentrating on specific occupations, and always engaging multiple employers to analyze industry needs and
design customized solutions.
The City and County of Denver and AWWA received a $71,000 planning grant for the period of June 2009 to
November 2009. Funding under this grant was used in a partnership of Colorado‘s water and wastewater
management providers, workforce development agencies, and water associations to address the acute need
for new skilled sector workers in the context of a systematic super-regional plan. The planning process included
Gathering and analyzing national and local labor market data
Developing an industry engagement plan
Facilitating the development of key strategies
Researching best practices for the key strategies
Creating a local education and training inventory
Gathering industry marketing and outreach material
Completing the final report from data collected to develop a sector strategic plan
In February 2010, CDLE awarded an Implementation Grant of $428,000 to Arapahoe/Douglas Works for the
Get Into Water! Project, with the Rocky Mountain Section of AWWA as the prime subcontractor. An additional
$147,000 of in-kind resources was contributed by partners for a total project value of $575,000.
Coordination: The project is coordinated with AWWA‘s workforce program staff and the Workforce Strategies
Committee. The Rocky Mountain Water Environment Federation, three Denver area workforce centers, the Rural
Community Assistance Corporation, more than 30 water and wastewater utilities, two school districts, and one
community college are other partners. The project is focused on four Denver metropolitan counties.
Innovation: The Water Utility Science Program is a joint effort of many organizations, but is industry-driven. The
city of Boulder donated $10,000 toward the implementation of the program in the Boulder Valley School District.
The program is offered at the Boulder Career and Technical Education Center and is co-funded by grant money
and federal Carl Perkins Act funds.
The program is unique to much of the US and certainly to Colorado. Core curriculum in Water Distribution and
Wastewater Collections has been developed. All students who complete the program will sit for Colorado
certification exams this spring.
Our key challenge has been bridging the communication gap between industry and K–12 education.
Effectiveness: The Get Into Water! Project goals are listed below. We are evaluated on a quarterly basis by
CDLE. The project is in its early stages, but we have trained four high school students and 20 adults.
Enrollment for spring courses is full.
Data Collection
Increased opportunities
for education and
training for highdemand occupations
Total number entering
Quarterly report
Number completing
Quarterly report
55 youth; 8th
quarter; 15 adults
Acquisition of a certificate
and/or credential that is
recognized within the
Career Readiness
Credential (CRC) gained
Quarterly report
20 youth; 5 adults
Quarterly report
Percent participants
obtaining employment
upon completion and was
it within targeted sector
Wage gain for incumbent
workers over time (pre
and post, looking at 6
months & 1 year postcompletion)
Earnings level of new
hires at 2nd and 4th
quarter after hire
(compared to living wage)
Retention of incumbent
workers at 4th quarter
after training
Quarterly report
90 adults; 6 youth
Quarterly report
10 adults
Quarterly report
Quarterly report
Increased employment
and wage gains
(add category for career
fairs; 2 career fairs; 25
adults at each; 50 total)
Expected to Set
Target for This
60 youth; 6th
quarter; 15 adults
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: This project can be replicated by other sections, as the
curriculum and materials are copyrighted by the state of Colorado but are open access materials. Workforce
funds are available on a regular basis in most states. The project requires a staff/contract person to serve as
the project manager. The project team or subcommittee needs to include several entities and partners. AWWA
provided early support for the project but is not necessarily required in other sections.
Benefits: The primary benefit of the WUSP is building the pipeline of young certified operators. Students who
complete this training and earn certification are qualified to apply for operator positions in the city of Boulder and at
municipalities and utilities all along the Front Range and throughout Colorado. These are well-paid, technical
positions at utilities that offer benefits and career progression.
We have produced a video, website (, and curriculum. We have been recognized in the
media via newspaper article, which brought positive attention to the section. The WUSP improves job-related skills.
The project didn‘t include public participation directly, but several public entities participated in developing and
implementing it.
Texas Section
Texas Section AWWA Back to Basics Teleconference
Contact: Richard Talley, Section Chair, phone: (817) 392-8203;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: Since 1974, when the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed, long lists of new rules have been
implemented. Some of the most significant are the Total Coliform Rule, the Lead and Copper Rule, rules about
Consumer Confidence Reports, the Disinfectants and Disinfection By-Products rules, Radionuclide Rule,
Surface Water Treatment and the Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment rules, the Arsenic Rule, the
Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule, the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, and
most recently, the Ground Water Rule.
Utilities all understand that regulations are essential to protecting public health. But, without question, the
operation of every utility of any size has become more complex.
In reviewing some of the most significant and repeated operational misunderstandings found in regulatory
officials‘ field reviews, the section decided to present a series of presentations on the following topics: Meeting
USEPA Requirements; Regulatory History and Structure; Ground Water/Surface Water/Distribution
System/Multiple Barrier Protection; Source Water Protection; Disinfection Residuals/Chloramination/Nitrification
Fundamentals; Disinfection Monitoring and Maintaining in Distribution System; Disinfection Dosing; Coliform
Sampling Requirements—Do‘s and Don‘ts; Distribution System Requirements; Future Rules and Impacts.
Working with the state regulatory agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), we
outlined the program, selected presenters, and developed presentations in conjunction with our program
director and production team. Three of the presentations were recorded in the field and demonstrated specific
operational techniques relevant to operators and utility managers. The five-hour-long program encompassed a
progressive series of presentations covering various topics and two roundtable discussions with live questions
by phone and text from attendees from all locations. The final presentation on Future Rules and Impacts,
providing a look forward to new rules and regulations, was given by Alan Roberson of AWWA‘s Washington,
D.C., office, who also joined the final roundtable discussion and took questions live from the attendees.
The program was seen in 17 sites in Texas by more than 500 utility managers and operators, and it was
presented by the California-Nevada, Southwest, and Illinois AWWA sections.
History: Since 2000, the Texas Section AWWA has produced a series of successful full-video production
teleconferences that provide utilities relevant and timely information about new rule changes, hardening their
facilities, and responding to disasters. The key to the success of the programs is the section‘s ability to provide
this training with a short turnaround, when necessary, and with experts or those who are crafting new rule
During past years, since the Safe Drinking Water Act was first passed by Congress in 1974 and implementation
of rulemaking began with the US Environmental Protection Agency, utilities have been faced with any number
of rules that have changed the nature of treating water and operating utilities. Additionally, many utility staffs
that have not experienced the full nature of the many years of new rules are still in need of understanding the
basics of water treatment so they can better understand how processes have changed with new regulations.
To address the most challenging of these changes, the Texas Section AWWA, in cooperation with the central
and field staff of TCEQ, developed a five-hour training program, Back to Basics, to help operators and system
managers become more skilled at their craft.
Coordination: Coordination was with the California-Nevada, Southwest, and Illinois Sections who hosted sites
in their states.
Innovation: The format of the Texas Section–produced teleconferences has been recognized as a very
effective learning tool that also strengthens the section‘s relationship with the state and federal regulatory
agencies and the section membership. A key to the successful programs is the ability of the Texas Section to
rapidly create and present a teleconference within 60 days of new rule implementation or significant events that
impact utilities. Also, the Texas Section works with other states to tailor its programs to their needs.
The ability to present critical material to audiences all over Texas and nationwide is an efficient and effective
method to deliver training, using top trainers while allowing the attendees to interact in real time with the
Presentations are grouped together by subject or relevance, and then each presenter joins the host in a true
roundtable discussion of each of the previously presented topics. During these extended discussions,
attendees are able to call or text in their questions. The roundtable discussions are presented throughout the
In addition, the Back to Basics program has been edited and uploaded in four parts to the Texas Section
AWWA Video Channel, where along with access to the hard copies of the presentations, any interested person
can download the materials and watch the presentations at no charge. This has been a very successful
innovation and will be used for all future presentations.
Effectiveness: Each of the participants was provided with a copy of a one-page survey to evaluate the
teleconference. Each evaluation that was completed was sent back to TAWWA. Over 475 evaluations were
returned. A sampling of these surveys provided the following results:
Of the attendees, the clear majority (over 95%) indicated that the material presented was very relevant
or somewhat relevant to their work.
A similar number of the same group indicated the program was either very effective or somewhat
Out of five criteria, Excellent being the best, followed by Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor, the clear
majority rated the program Good, Very Good, or Excellent.
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: Other sections could produce similar training programs by
partnering with other sections. While the Texas Section staff has experience in producing teleconferences,
other sections could contract many of the required services, particularly if partnering and with grant funding.
The Texas Section has offered to assist other sections in similar efforts if desired and offers the program to
other sections when the content is applicable. Other sections, including the California-Nevada, Southwest, and
Illinois sections, are regular participants in these programs, and more are anticipated in the future, because of
the training programs‘ timeliness and cost-effective delivery.
In a state as large as Texas, presenting the material one time to as many utilities as possible, as well as to field
regulatory staff, helps save regulatory agency money. The partnership relationship with the regulatory agency
helps the section with regulatory issues. The teleconference program also provides significant income to the
Texas Section.
Benefits: The attendees responses all indicated the program was effective and provided important information
in a timely, comprehensive, and professional manner. The consensus was the program provided excellent
information to help utilities better understand the basics of water treatment and how new rules have changed
the nature of utility operations. Further, the success of section-produced teleconferences has brought the
Texas Section significant prestige. Our ability to partner with the state regulatory agency or USEPA on timely
topics presented in an innovative method with live interaction has made these teleconferences very popular.
Video copies of the program are provided to the state agency field offices for training and consistent
presentation of regulatory material. Copies are also available to interested utilities.
Virginia Section
AWWA Exhibit at 2010 National Scout Jamboree—100 Years of Scouting!
Contact: H. Ali Mahan, Section Chair, phone: (757) 222-1500;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: More than 40,000 scouts and adult leaders participate in the National Scout Jamboree that takes
place every four years, but the 2010 event was extra special for two reasons: (1) It would be the last year for
the Jamboree to be held at Fort A.P. Hill, Caroline County, Virginia; and (2) the 2010 celebration centered
around the 100th anniversary of scouting. The Jamboree offers programs in scouting, United States heritage,
physical fitness, environmental conservation, and the true spirit of the Boy Scouts. Daily activities include
archery, cycling, confidence course, rappelling, trapshooting, scuba diving, kayaking, racing, rafting, and
environmental conservation education. The Conservation and Environment Area within the Jamboree included
two dozen exhibits provided by federal, state, and nonprofit conservation and environmental organizations
(such as USEPA, Corps of Engineers, US Forest Service, National Park Service, Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality, AWWA, and WEF).
History: The Virginia Section AWWA provided the AWWA exhibit for the 1993, 2001, 2005, and 2010 National
Scout Jamborees. The 2010 National Scout Jamboree was held from July 27 through August 1, 2010. Each
AWWA exhibit has improved in quality and effectiveness. Exhibit volunteer coordination began early in the
spring and ran through the summer of 2010. Exhibit setup took place July 22–23, 2010, and the exhibit was
disassembled August 4, 2010.
Coordination: Coordination requirements were extensive and successful. The AWWA exhibit included the
following components and providers:
Exhibit tent was rented from a private company. Logistical support was provided by US Army and Boy
Scouts of America.
Continuously operating granular activated carbon column demonstration was constructed, delivered, and
set up by the faculty and staff of the Department of Civil Engineering, Old Dominion University, Norfolk,
Leaking bathroom faucet (to demonstrate the quantity of water that is wasted by a leaking faucet) was
constructed by Loudoun County Sanitation Authority and delivered and set up by the Virginia Section.
Question and answer spinning wheel game was developed and constructed by Hazen and Sawyer,
Fairfax, Virginia, and delivered and set up by the Virginia Section.
Chilled water bar was constructed, delivered, and set up by the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-VPI Water
Authority, Christiansburg, Virginia. During the unusually hot Virginia July weather, the chilled water bar
was a highlight of the Conservation and Environment Area.
Floating faucet was provided, delivered, and set up by the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-VPI Water
Authority, Christiansburg, Virginia.
Waterworks equipment display (water meter, large valve, and fire hydrant cutaway) was provided,
delivered, and set up by Chesterfield County Utilities Department, Chesterfield County, Virginia.
Eleven large, laminated, wall-mounted educational banners were constructed, delivered, and set up by
Bob Canova, Roanoke, Virginia.
Virginia Section, AWWA banner was designed and constructed by Hugh Eggborn and paid for by the
Virginia Section. Photos and logo for the banner were provided by the Association.
Approximately 45 Virginia Section members assembled, staffed for nine days (generally from 8:30 a.m.
until 5:00 p.m. per day), and disassembled the exhibit.
One educational poster included photographs of unique water storage tanks around the county, with
identification of the municipal tank owners. Another poster identified surface and groundwater water sources for
municipalities around the US. These posters and others enabled the AWWA exhibit visitors to gain an
understanding of their hometown water systems.
Innovation: The Virginia Section designed and implemented and provided funding for an economical,
interactive AWWA exhibit that offered education about drinking water to between 15,000 and 20,000 young
people during a 10-day period.
The exhibit focused on drinking water sources, treatment (including new technologies), distribution, storage,
conservation, and costs. The two-stage carbon column demonstrated the effectiveness of this technology,
using water discolored with food coloring. The chilled water bar (with fire hydrant replica bar faucet handles and
a colorful patio umbrella) and floating faucet provided visual appeal to the exhibit.
The Virginia Section mobilized and organized a large number of section members and provided the AWWA
exhibit for only $3,000 (excluding in-kind contributions).
Effectiveness: The 2010 National Scout Jamboree had the highest attendance since 1973! Final attendance
numbers include 30,867 youth participants, 3,726 adult leaders, and 8,841 staff members.
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: The National Scout Jamboree is an obvious opportunity to
educate youth about the waterworks field. Because the 2010 Jamboree was held in Virginia, the Virginia
Section assumed the leadership role to assure an AWWA presence at the Jamboree. By careful planning and
assessment and utilization of membership skills and interests, any AWWA section can offer the public quality
waterworks educational opportunities. No waterworks educational opportunity, such as the National Scout
Jamboree, should be dismissed because a section lacks financial resources.
Benefits: The AWWA exhibit was the only exhibit in the Conservation and Environment Area to address the
waterworks field, thereby identifying AWWA as THE organization representing the waterworks industry.
Because more than 30,000 scouts visited the AWWA exhibit, a large number of young people gained an
appreciation of the industry that supports the delivery of drinking water to their homes.
Our goal for the interactive AWWA exhibit was to improve the public's understanding of the waterworks industry
and their hometown water systems.
Other Great Ideas for 2011 and Beyond
Even though only the previous sections were recognized as official winners, truly every section that entered
deserves recognition. Following are program summaries for the other sections that submitted an entry for the 2011
award. Congratulations to all.
Connecticut Section
Water Boot Camp
Contact: William Kennedy, Section Chair, phone: (860) 313-0031;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: The Connecticut section‘s program, called "Water Boot Camp,‖ was formed to provide an
intensive introduction to the water industry, based on the Water and People course offered by Portland (Conn.)
High School. The program was offered in two sessions: July 12–16 and July 19–23. On completion of the
program, the students were honored in a graduation ceremony in which certificates were given. They also
received a T-shirt for their participation.
History: Drawing on the success of Portland's program, the course was devised for students from Bridgeport
Central and Harding High Schools, two schools in an economically challenged city in Connecticut. The program
was developed by John Herlihy of Aquarion Water Company, and David Kuzminski and Seb Agostino,
instructors with the Portland High School Town Tech Program, and specifically the Water and People Program.
Coordination: In addition to the CTAWWA board, there were many partners in this process. The program was
funded by EPA Region #1 ($13,500 grant). The hosting facility and a major contributor to the program was
Aquarion Water Company, Bridgeport, Conn. The Portland High School Town Tech program provided the
teachers and base for the program. The Drinking Water Section, Department of Public Health approved the
Water and People course for training credit hours and backed this project. Because of the project's success,
DPH has committed monetary funding for 2011. The City of Bridgeport Board of Education and Bridgeport
Public Schools were involved, because that‘s where the pool of students was drawn from. The two agencies
that interviewed the students for the one-week sessions of the course and provided a stipend for each student
were The Workplace Inc. and Groundworks Bridgeport.
Innovation: During the Boot Camp, instructors Seb Agostino and David Kuzminski, along with expert staff from
Aquarion Water Company, guided students through water filter exercises, fire safety demonstrations, laboratory
testing, and source water protection. Students also heard presentations regarding watershed and
environmental management, meter testing, backflow prevention, information technology, customer service, and
GIS. This program is unique in that it provides students a one-week intensive introduction to the water industry.
The largest challenge to this program is that the hosting utility invests substantial time in hosting the classes,
providing daily transportation, lunches for the students, supplies, and access to Aquarion Water Company's
facilities and staff. Funding came from EPA Region #1. The $13,500 grant to facilitate this project is not
available in calendar year 2011, so alternative funding methods are being explored. In addition, the goal is to
offer the program in another economically challenged area of the state.
Effectiveness: This program was designed as an introduction to the water industry for high school students
who may not get the information on the industry but want to get it—and the program succeeded. Connecticut is
under a crisis in that 40 percent of the state's 1,032 registered water systems operators are eligible to retire in
the next few years. After completing the course, one of the students was offered an internship with Aquarion
Water Company's engineering department. Follow-up on the program participants‘ career paths is planned.
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: This program can be readily done by other sections,
whether big or small. The grant of $13,500 from EPA Region #1 was a one-time grant. The section is exploring
providing the same quality of program at a lesser cost for the second year. The principal tasks included
gleaning pertinent information from a semester course called Water and People, which will be made available
to high schools upon copyright completion. The water company involved provided experts, tours, and the like.
Although the project focused on a state problem, the problem is also a nationwide crisis, with more people
becoming eligible for retirement and not enough trained people to take their place. As the program is about the
water industry, AWWA is a natural fit for it. And sustainability is one of CTAWWA‘s chief goals. Yes, the talent
is readily available in most sections for this project. The time commitment, on the part of the hosting utility is
large, so possibly co-hosting this program is a good tactic.
Benefits: The benefit of this program for the public and the water supply industry is that it put a focus on the
crisis of impending retirements and a shortage in the state‘s workforce. At the same time it introduced a
potential pool of students to the water industry. Stories about this program were featured in local newspapers,
the section's magazine, InFlow Line, DPH news, EPA news, and television. This program brought positive
attention to CTAWWA and a sense of pride from the members for the program‘s success. The program
provides an introduction to the industry and, it is hoped, points students to additional training in the industry.
The students selected were from public schools, and parents were invited to the graduation ceremonies.
Representatives of the EPA, DPH, and CTAWWA attended, as did representatives from the Bridgeport
Additional Comments: The section is now involved in an internship program, again funded by USEPA. The
new program is a result of the section's success with the Water and People Course and Water Boot Camp.
Intermountain Section
Section Utility Leadership Forum
Contact: Scott Paxman, Section Chair, phone: (801) 771-1677;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: The AWWA Intermountain Section Utility Leadership Forum is a year-long program (six full-day
sessions) designed to provide opportunities for future leaders to learn more about the challenges facing the
water industry, as a whole, to be useful to those who are interested in knowledge and insights on all aspects of
the water business and want to acquire the tools to make informed decisions and improve their leadership
abilities. Field trips or tours are included as part of each session. Sessions are divided into the following six
areas: (1) Utility Management and Leadership; (2) Utility Financial Management; (3) Legal and Regulatory; (4)
Customer Service and Information Systems; (5) Public Relations and Public Affairs; and (6) Operations and
Maintenance/Engineering and Construction.
History: In 2009, the section organized a Training and Education Ad Hoc Committee to help identify gaps in
leadership training and develop a plan to provide preparation and education for future leaders within our
membership. Ideas were collected by the committee and used to form what we now call the Utility Leadership
Forum. The first Forum kicked off toward the end of 2009 and ran through 2010. We have just started our
second Forum for 2011.
Coordination: This program was developed and coordinated within the section itself.
Innovation: The Forum is organized, coordinated, and taught by volunteers from the section and municipal and
state governments. There are no paid instructors. Utility managers and HR trainers, along with government
officials, such as city mayors and state legislators, volunteer their time as instructors for different Forum
segments. Coordinating dates and times to fit the schedules of the volunteers is the biggest challenge.
Sessions are rotated to different instruction sites within the section to accommodate field trips or tours. All
instruction sites and equipment used are rent-free, provided by various utilities, municipalities, and the state
government. Applications or recommendations for the Forum are submitted by the applicants‘ managers, and
acceptance into the program is based on these recommendations.
Effectiveness: Eight individuals from different utilities within the section attended the first Forum. We have
received great program reviews from them, with each indicating their willingness to apply the principles learned
from the Forum to their stewardships in their respective organizations. We will send out a questionnaire to
these attendees after another year to gauge their experiences on how effective the program has been to their
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: This project can be designed and implemented fairly
easily by any section, regardless of size. The work is accomplished solely by volunteers, with some section staff
support. All instruction is provided by volunteers, who share their experiences, knowledge, and talents. Annual
budgetary costs are around $5,000.
Benefits: The Forum benefits utilities in preparing leaders for the future. These future leaders will better
understand most aspects of what it takes to not only manage a utility, but to lead the organization. This
preparation also benefits customers and the general public in that utilities will in the future be in the hands of
these prepared leaders. Although there has been no public exposure to the program from the media or
otherwise, it is hoped the long-term benefits will be recognized by those served by these future leaders and
their utilities.
Kansas Section
Training Manual Project
Contact: David Bries, Section Chair, phone: (913) 971-9245;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: Combining three training manuals into one updated and easy-to-use manual.
History: In 2007, after looking at our training manual inventory, we still never seemed to have enough of the
right manuals to teach from. We decided to condense Surface Water, Groundwater, and Distribution manuals
into one Water Training Manual. We completed the project in November 2010, and Implemented it January 1,
Coordination: KsAWWA, KsAWWA‘s OTC Committee, KDHE, several engineering firms, and vendors took
part in the editing and updating of every chapter in the new manual.
Innovation: The consolidation of material into one manual was done completely by experts in their fields who
volunteered their time. The sheer number of individuals who participated in the project and the production
process of the first electronic version of the manual spoke to how involved this project was. More than 50
individuals took part in the editing and creation of the 25 chapters that make up the new training manual.
Effectiveness: A result of this project is the ability to immediately update and revise the electronic version of
the manual as changes occur. Another result is a cost savings because of a significant reduction in the need for
printed inventory.
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: We encourage other sections to look at their training
resources and keep up with technology and ever-changing regulations. Lots of area talent went into this, and
most sections should have equally talented pool of individuals.
Benefits: This project was designed to make a wide array of information readily available via classroom
textbooks, CDs, or electronic download, and possibly viewable from our website.
Mexico Section
Drinking Water Technical Sessions
Contact: Francisco Cantu Ramos, Section Chair, phone: 52-812-033-6771;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: During 2010, we had six technical sessions on topics related to drinking water; section members,
university students, builders, engineers working in the local water utility, and members of the general public
participated—totaling 520 attendees. We also had our annual competition, 3er Ensayo Sobre el Agua, among
college students from all around Mexico, in which participants had to write about a topic related to water, and 110
individuals participated.
History: We believe that the technical sessions are a way of spreading awareness of water among builders, college
students, and the general public, and at the same time, are ways of keeping in touch with all the members of the
section. The competition among college students is a way to raise awareness and involve young people in the
global water problem.
Coordination: The project was a coordinated work among the Mexico Section, Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles de
Nuevo León, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Universidad Regiomontana, Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios
Superiores de Monterrey, suppliers of the water industry, and the local water utility (Servicios de Agua y Drenaje de
Innovation: These technical sessions provided a way to spread knowledge about water among construction
engineers, college students, engineers working in the local water utility, the general public, and members of the
section sponsored by water industry providers. It promoted awareness among college students about global water
problems, with the sponsorship of the local water utility.
Effectiveness: We now have a student chapter in the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, with 15 students
involved. As a result of these technical sessions, 20 professors and 50 students became members of the Mexico
Section. A total of 110 college students and 29 professors from all around Mexico were involved in the competition,
3er Ensayo Sobre el Agua. Within the student chapter, three members began their graduate studies, and four of
them developed their theses on topics related to water. There were 520 people involved in the six technical
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: This project is applicable in other large or small sections of
AWWA. Water industry suppliers and the local water utility covered the costs, and section member volunteers
carried out the work.
Benefits: Local media covered the project and the written pieces are permanently posted on the websites of
institutions of higher education. We compiled past competition winners for society.
North Carolina Section
Public Education: School Curriculum, Career Development, and General Public Education Outreach
Contact: John Kiviniemi, Section Chair, phone: (828) 225-8223;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: The mission of the North Carolina Member Association Public Education Committee is to
communicate, provide for resources, and identify opportunities for the purpose of providing education on all
areas of water and the water environment. This mission is accomplished through the following
Science Fair Participation
A program was developed to award cash prizes to students who compete with water-related projects in regional
and state science fairs. There are nine regional fairs and one state fair. The Committee identified volunteers for
three fairs the first year, and in 2011, will have representatives judging at eight of the nine regions and the State
Fair. The program has become so popular that most fair coordinators contact us to ensure we will be able to
Stockholm Junior Water Prize
One of the initial goals was participation in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP). North Carolina sent their
first candidate in 2008. Our second candidate ever was Eileen Jang in 2009, who went on to become the
National Winner and represented us at the International Competition.
Poster Contest
Each year, Committee members participate in poster contests, which reach elementary and middle school
students. Themes are conservation and clean water-oriented. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners in three
categories, K–2, 3–5, and 6–8.
The board put a special emphasis on our Carol Bond Scholarship program. These scholarships are awarded to
university and community college students who are pursuing degrees in water- related curriculums. We also
award educators who promote interest in water issues. We have awarded more than $6,000 to college
students—$1,500 to educators over the past three years.
Two years ago, our member association (MA) developed NC Currents, a quarterly magazine. We provide
Public Education Committee articles and committee reports for each issue to increase awareness of our
committee‘s activities. In 2010, we launched a new series, spotlighting programs and individuals throughout the
state that teach students how to help conserve and keep our state waters clean. We maintain our PEC Web
page, which provides valuable links to numerous websites, such as AWWA, USEPA, and WEF websites.
World Water Monitoring
We have had overwhelming requests for the kits produced by World Water Monitoring and have provided more
than 200 kits to teachers across the state. A 2011 goal is to focus these efforts toward groups such as the
Scouts and the Envirothon instead of just blanketing the state. By focusing our efforts, we hope to establish a
program that can track results and enhance conservation and clean water concepts for students who already
have conservation awareness.
History: In 2005, the North Carolina Member Association Board of Trustees saw a need to improve and
expand our MA-sponsored public education activities. The board created a Public Education Task Force in
2005 to determine how education activities could be expanded to not only educate the public but encourage
students to consider careers in the water and wastewater industry. In July 2006, the task force made several
recommendations related to three major focus areas for public education: School Curriculum, Career
Development, and General Public Education Outreach, and it recommended restructuring the committee to
provide diversification of the committee, attract members to the committee who have a specific area of interest,
and encourage the participation in our Association of professionals who have traditionally not been involved
(such as teachers and other education professionals).
Coordination: The Public Education Committee has coordinated with science fairs statewide, universities and
community colleges, elementary and middle schools, and World Water Monitoring.
Innovation: At the beginning, volunteer participation and chapter name recognition were a challenge. As the
Committee has grown and passionate volunteers have become involved, all projects and activities are
becoming very successful and the AWWA North Carolina MA has become well known. Science fairs contact us
to make sure we are attending, and the attendance of university students at our Annual Conference increases
every year.
Effectiveness: (1) For science fairs, the goal is to have students and teachers become more aware of our field
so that there is a project in every age category at every science fair related to water. (2) Since 2008, we have
been able to find a Stockholm Junior Water Prize nominee for our state. The goal is to have a nominee every
year. (3) The student Poster Contest is growing every year. The goal is to have more posters submitted every
We are not satisfied with the level of funding received for the Carol Bond Scholarship program, and have
developed a poster that is being distributed to universities and colleges throughout the state for display at
prominent locations. Seeing the success we were having at this modest level, the board set another precedent
in 2010 with the creation of an endowment fund, under which the Carol Bond Scholarships will be managed. A
foundation has been hired to manage the endowment and assist with our fundraising efforts.
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: Most of the North Carolina MA projects and activities can
be easily implemented by any section, as long as there are volunteers willing to help. The major costs
associated with any of our activities are for the science fair and poster contest cash prizes, scholarship money
for students and educators, and costs to purchase water- monitoring kits. Following is a breakdown of the
Communication materials, i.e., brochures, presentations, booth handouts ($500)
Stockholm Jr. Water Prize Student support, travel for student and teacher to attend national competition
Regional science fairs (6 regions of 8) and State Science Fair—prizes ($3,000)
Poster Contest—elementary/middle school students, mailings, printing, prizes ($700)
Carol Bond Scholarship ($5,000)
Student Poster Competition at Annual Conference ($500)
World Water Monitoring Kits 50 x $14.50/kit ($725)
Benefits: The MA has received positive attention and our name is becoming more well known at schools,
universities, and throughout the community. The principal goal of the Committee's activities is to educate
citizens of North Carolina about water resources and the water environment. Through the science fair program,
poster contests, and the World Water Monitoring program, elementary, middle, and high school students are
being introduced to local water quality issues at an early age. The intent is that these lessons will spark a
passion in these students that will focus the students‘ educational and career interests on the water industry.
Ohio Section
History of Ohio’s Water Systems
Contact: Robert Davis, Section Chair, phone: (330) 841-2710;
e-mail: [email protected]
Description: History of Ohio’s Water Systems is a 270-page coffee table-style book that tells the story of water
in Ohio through postcards, pictures, timelines, and written text. It includes historical information on more than
80 water utilities, 18 industry pioneers, innovative materials and engineering methods, and the evolution of the
Ohio Section.
History: The book was the idea of Doug Brookhart and Al Wansing, Co-Chairs of the Ohio Section History
Committee, and the Ohio Section Governing Board agreed to it. After significant time in researching and
soliciting information from peers, the book was published in 2010 and since presented to historical societies
and dignitaries, at section events, and at ACE.
Coordination: The Ohio Governing Board was involved in the project from its inception. Districts provided
opportunities for the authors to solicit utility participation. Utilities and engineering firms provided postcards,
information, and documentation. AWWA, the Operation Training Committee of Ohio, the Ohio Department of
Health, the Ohio EPA, and local libraries also provided support.
Innovation: As a volunteer organization, it is frequently difficult for the section to provide a historic perspective
as officers and membership change. The book provides information, not only on the section, but also about our
core membership, utilities and their employees. A project of this size presents multiple challenges, including
data collection and authentication, editing, and funding.
Effectiveness: Regardless of how many sales are made, the project is viewed as a success, just by virtue of
the participation that was seen in its development. More than 80 utilities submitted information. Input was
provided by members who worked for engineering firms or were retired, and multiple nonprofit and
governmental organizations were also involved. To date, over 100 books have been sold. Presentations have
been made to multiple historical societies, and the book has been showcased at two utility expos, the section
conference, and ACE. Our ultimate goal is to sell all of the current stock of books.
Practical Applicability for Other AWWA Sections: Any section with willing, dedicated volunteers could
undertake this project. The book cost approximately $25,000, because it was done with color, professionally
printed and bound, and featured so many utilities, which made it over 250 pages. Although the project was
regionally focused, it includes information on organizations, people, and products that helped shape water
treatment and distribution on a national level.
Benefits: The project has benefited the section through membership participation. The resulting book provides
a resource for Ohio‘s water professionals, historical documentation for the utilities featured and their cities,
villages, or towns, and it captures section information, such as past chairs and awardees. Readers will gain
more understanding of the events that have shaped our industry and even issues that continue to challenge us,
such as diversity and operator certification.
Additional Comments: The book and authors are featured on the Allen County Historical Society‘s website at