2013 Gold Award for Exceptional Utility Performance

AMWA’s 2013 Gold Awards for Exceptional Utility Performance were presented to:

  • City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities
  • Louisville Water Company
  • Onondaga County Water Authority
  • City of Palm Bay Utilities Department
  • San Diego County Water Authority
  • Western Virginia Water Authority

Beaver Water District’s focus on performance measures has improved its bottom line, making operations more efficient and sustainable while engaging employees. Operations and cost savings were improved through programs such as oil analysis and electrical load shedding. Refinancing long-term indebtedness reduced annual debt payments by more than $2 million per year. Creation of a stakeholder group, and the resulting Beaver Watershed Alliance, focused regional efforts on protecting Beaver Lake, the District’s only raw water source. The District also built a LEED Gold Administration Center that includes a Water Education Center for educational efforts on drinking water, source water protection and sustainable practices.

Since 1955 the City of Dayton has received national recognition as a Groundwater Guardian Community. The City of Dayton Water Department works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has implemented numerous projects for recycling and to reduce energy usage. The City reclaims 800,000 gallons of water softening residuals daily and converts these to calcium oxide for water softening. The Water Department has established a successful Leadership Development program for employees and is developing a Water University Program. In 2011, the Water Department completed an assessment of its baseline conditions. Critical deficiencies were corrected, optimization projects were scheduled and a $180 million infrastructure improvement project was launched.

The services provided by the City of Mesa Water Resources Department underlie the functioning of the local economy, enable public health and safety, protect the environment and provide for quality of life. Achievements include the development of a strategic plan emphasizing the use of performance measures that lead toward effective utility management. The organization focuses on water quality, superior customer service, asset management, sustainability projects that protect the environment and insistence on operational efficiency. Mesa Water highlights reduction of electrical usage for treatment facilities and reduction of O&M costs per capita compared to the national median.

In 2010 the Raleigh City Council created a Water Utility Transition Advisory Task Force to shape the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department’s business model to reflect a sustainable strategic plan. Key to the Task Force’s recommendations was the requirement that the Public Utilities Department develop and implement a strategic plan based on the Effective Utility Management principles. Areas of improvement were organized with assigned champions. Management has been realigned to facilitate plan implementation and to provide new perspectives on workflow efficiencies. Major initiatives include employee leadership and development, operational optimization, infrastructure stability, regulatory compliance and planning for growth.

The City of Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has implemented a robust Asset Management Program with a formal CIP planning process, and cross-divisional teams lead the program’s implementation. All asset data is managed centrally within the GIS and CMMS; asset condition and criticality assessment has been implemented for all water assets, and O&M Best Management Practices are in place. DPU leveraged existing technology to continuously track and report performance measures; monitor, collect, and test water samples for water quality compliance; and actively engage customers through its website and newsletters – all while maintaining its AAA bond ratings.