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2020 AWARDS Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association

Excellence in Practice Beyond recognizing the excellent water professionals receiving awards, the goal of the PNCWA Awards Committee is to elevate the prominence and prestige of the PNCWA and Water Environment Federation (WEF) Awards. The committee wants to highlight the achievements and dedication of the people in this industry beyond this awards ceremony, and we need your help. Each year, the committee relies on your nominations, and when the awards are given, we need you to help spread the word among local media and stakeholders. These award recipients have done great work, which should be noticed outside of our association, especially since the benefits of their great work extend to everyone. The PNCWA Awards Committee accepts and reviews nominations, and based upon the criteria for each award, selects award winners. Thank you for submitting 28 nominations in 2020 (up from 25 last year). Please consider submitting a nomination in 2021, as we intend to be back at the live Awards Banquet in Boise. The PNCWA Awards Committee was created in 2016. Committee activity continues throughout the year. Thank you to the current Awards Committee for their time and efforts in support of this year’s Awards Program. This year’s recipients were recognized during a virtual awards presentation emceed by Vice President Rob Lee on September 15.


Contents WEF Awards WEF Delegate Service Award WEF Life Membership Award Stockholm Junior Water Prize Outstanding Young Professional Award WEF-PNCWA Awards Arthur Sidney Bedell Award Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award William D. Hatfield Award George W. Burke, Jr. Award PNCWA Awards Woman of the Year Award Individual Distinguished Achievement Award Outstanding Young Water Environment Professional of the Year Award Lyman Ketcham Award Stormwater Professional Excellence Award Innovative Stormwater Project Award Sustainability Award Excellence in Resource Recovery Award Operator of the Year Awards Collections Operator of the Year Awards President's Award Passing of the Gavel


The program began with recognition of the WEF, which are extraordinary because these national awards highlight northwest achievements and contributions to our industry.

WEF Delegate Service Award

WEF Life Membership Award

The 2020 WEF Delegate Service Award recognizes outstanding work and contributions of retiring Member Association delegates in the WEF House of Delegates. This year’s award is presented to Steven Drangsholt with Brown & Caldwell. Steven served on the PNCWA Board for seven years from 2013-2020, representing our member association.

This year there was one recipient, Miles Beach.

Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Outstanding Young Professional Award This award recognizes the contributions of young water environment professionals for significant contributions to WEF and the wastewater collection and treatment industry. The 2020 recipient, Kristi Steiner, serves on WEF’s Students and Young Professionals committee and has helped plan several young professional summits hosted jointly by WEF and the American Water Works Association. She has also been a key contributor to WEF’s “YP Connections,” a series of articles that highlight the work of young professionals in the water sector. Steiner has been active in the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association and serves on its Board of Directors. She is a past chair and vice chair of its Students and Young Professionals committee. Steiner’s work has resulted in that committee being one of PNCWA’s largest and most active committees, and she also represents PNCWA in WEF’s House of Delegates.

Zoe Gotthold from Richland High School in Richland, WA was a U.S. finalist for her P.E.N.G.U.I.N.S. project — Promoting Emulsion Nullification Greenly Using Innovative Nucleation Surface.



The following awards are WEF awards that are common to all member associations and reflect the efforts and achievements of water quality professionals within the Pacific Northwest: Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Arthur Sidney Bedell Award

Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award

This award was established to acknowledge extraordinary personal service to a WEF Member Association. This year’s Arthur Sidney Bedell Award is presented to Thomas “Bud” Ruther with Jacobs. Bud has served the Association for more than 25 years. His contributions have included Chair of the Secret Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5S), service on the Board as a Regional Director, support of the Annual Conference as a speaker and moderator, chair of the Plant Operations & Maintenance Committee (PMOC), and Eastern Washington Director & Secretary-Treasurer.

The Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award recognizes individuals for outstanding performance, professionalism and contributions to the water quality analysis profession. Amanda Tobin, a laboratory analyst for Pierce County in Washington, was selected as the 2020 recipient because she exhibited — and went well above and beyond — all of the criteria for the award with her significant involvement in professional associations and community activities, her broad experience and certifications in a variety of lab-related work, and her many contributions to the wastewater industry and Pierce County.

William D. Hatfield Award The Hatfield Award is presented to operators of wastewater treatment plants for outstanding performance and professionalism. This year’s William D. Hatfield Award recipient is John Ozga. For more than 40 years, John has demonstrated exemplary leadership and operator skills, focused on training and mentoring staff, developed tools, templates, and standard operating procedures, and demonstrated a commitment to community service.



George W. Burke, Jr. Award The Burke Award recognizes a municipal or industrial wastewater facility for establishing and maintaining an active and effective safety program. This year’s awardee has safely provided wastewater O&M services to the City of The Dalles wastewater treatment plant for 28 years. In 2020, this Jacobs team of nine staff received a Significant Milestone Award for reaching 7,300 days (20 years) without a lost time accident, with their last recorded incident in December 2012. This remarkable achievement illustrates The Dalles team’s ongoing commitment to safety. The WWTP manager, Dan Black, is quoted as saying, “Tomorrow is your reward for working safely today.”


The Dalles Jacobs Project is supported by a robust company safety program that includes certified trainers and mandatory program requirements. Safety achievements are recognized through a Timely Awards Program (TAP) that offers bonuses, awards, and incentives like individual meals and crew lunches. Key elements of The Dalles safety program include monthly safety meetings, a health and safety program, safety tailgate training, safety inspections, and emergency response.


The following are PNCWA awards that reflect the efforts and achievements of water quality professionals within the Pacific Northwest; Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Woman of the Year Award This award recognizes women who have excelled in their career, forwarded water issues, and/or made a significant achievement to the water industry. The essence of this award is to discover and reward exceptional women for their leadership, mentoring skills, and ideas that stand out from their colleagues. Nominees exhibit leadership skills in their field of expertise; have been a role model and/or mentor to other women and students; advocate for positive social change that helps close the leadership gap and create a more equitable society; have garnered respect within the community; are dedicated to helping women achieve their goals; exhibit qualities of teamwork, integrity, and dedication; and/or give back to the Association and community through their time, talent, and/or resources. This year’s recipient of the Woman of the Year Award is Nora Curtis, who has worked for Clean Water Services for more than 31 years. Nora has demonstrated exceptional leadership mentoring women in our industry. She is an advocate for positive change and we are proud of Nora’s accomplishments as the Utility Operations and Services Managing Director for Clean Water Services and as an active member of the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA). Her dedication to our industry is an inspiration to all of us!


Individual Distinguished Achievement Award This award is presented to the PNCWA member most deserving of recognition as a result of distinguished service rendered in the interest of pollution abatement or resource recovery, and who has contributed fundamentally and practically to the advancement of the industry. This year’s recipient is Mike Rainey, who retired last year. For his 16 years on staff at PNCWA, Mike was instrumental in helping grow our association, giving far more than what was required by his job description. Though widespread and far-reaching, his contributions can be grouped into 3 main categories: growth, leadership, and education. Mike was always thinking about the future of PNCWA — how to be an organization that reached the most people, grew future leaders, and educated the region with the best technical knowledge. Mike always took the time to examine and understand the changing landscape of the Pacific Northwest as it relates to the water industry. His humility fueled his contributions — it was never about him or gaining personal accolades, but about finding, empowering, and elevating the individuals who would take PNCWA to the next level.


Outstanding Young Water Environment Professional of the Year Award This award recognizes the contributions of young water environment professionals for significant contributions to PNCWA and to the wastewater collection and treatment industry. Casey Gish, an environmental engineer for Brown and Caldwell in Seattle, Washington, was selected for this award because of his significant involvement and leadership at PNCWA and other professional organizations and his dedication to improving his knowledge of the clean water industry.


Lyman Ketcham Award This award is established to honor members who have made outstanding contributions in the field of wastewater collection system maintenance and operation. Eric Bergstrom, with HDR Engineering, was selected for the 2020 Lyman Ketcham award. With more than 32 years of planning, design, and construction of collections systems, Eric has demonstrated a career-long dedication to improving the critical systems that convey wastewater from individual customers towards centralized treatment facilities. Eric has completed over a dozen combined sewer overflow projects that have improved the overall health of water bodies around the Puget Sound Region, and he has shared the knowledge gained from his experience with his peers through presentations on CSO planning & design and reducing infiltration and inflow at PNCWA and WEF conferences.


Stormwater Professional Excellence Award

Innovative Stormwater Project Award

This award recognizes individuals for outstanding performance, professionalism, and contributions to the stormwater profession. The 2020 Stormwater Professional Excellence award went to Marcia Davis, a Principal Engineer with the City of Spokane and the technical lead for the 2014 Integrated Clean Water Plan and the 2013 CSO Plan Amendment for the City. Marcia also led the innovative “one water” projects that established Spokane’s reputation as a leader in green stormwater infrastructure, including the West Central Neighborhood stormwater retrofit and Sharp Avenue permeable pavement projects.

This award recognizes and encourages projects that showcase innovative stormwater elements, habitat/water quality enhancement, and public education/outreach.

The West Central Neighborhood is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the state, and the retrofit project incorporates preserving old trees, reducing flows to the CSO, increasing infiltration opportunities, and preserving the historical aesthetic of the neighborhood. The Sharp Avenue permeable pavement project, located near Gonzaga University, incorporated assistance from undergraduate students to develop the feasibility assessment. The constructed project now serves as a research site for evaluating the effectiveness of permeable pavement for reducing stormwater pollutants as well as understanding durability and maintenance practices.


The 2020 Innovative Stormwater Project Award Winner is Kitsap County, WA for the Whispering Firs Stormwater Park. Kitsap County transformed an abandoned five-acre site into a multi-function, multibenefit regional stormwater retrofit facility that treats runoff from 113 acres of roadway and residential neighborhood, providing both treatment and peak flow reduction. Runoff passes through state-of-the art water quality treatment cells containing engineered filter media and native plants. Two constructed ponds provide additional treatment, serving to delay and reduce storm flows, prevent flash-flows and erosion, and benefit the water quality in Clear Creek and Dyes Inlet. The project also provides both recreational and wildlife amenities, including walking paths and picnic areas, as well as bird and wildlife habitats and views of the Olympic Mountains.


Sustainability Award The Sustainability Award is presented to the municipality or group of municipalities which have made significant contributions to the sustainability of the wastewater industry. This year’s Sustainability Award recipient is the City of Sandy, OR for their recycled water program, which has been in place for 25 years. The City is now planning to enhance the program to produce and utilize Class A recycled water.

Nursery irrigation utilizing recycled water provided by the City of Sandy in Oregon.

Excellence in Resource Recovery Award This award recognizes resource recovery programs (nutrient, energy, water, or carbon recovery) that demonstrate outstanding performance in moving the concept of resource recovery forward in the Pacific Northwest region. The City of Gresham is the 2020 recipient. The City’s treatment plant treats 13 million gallons of water daily and serves 114,000 customers. The plant now produces more energy than it uses, and in 2015, the plant was the first in the Pacific Northwest to reach energy net zero status, achieved through increased biogas production through codigestion, co-generation of the biogas, energy efficiency improvements, and energy production by solar panels installed on the property. Congratulations, City of Gresham — thank you for your stewardship to the Pacific Northwest!

Imported fats, oils, and grease (FOG) help the City generate excess biogas and attain net zero energy status.



PNCWA Operator of the Year and Collections Operator of the Year Awards Sections in Idaho, Oregon, Western Washington, and Eastern Washington nominate to their region an outstanding Operator and Collections System Operator to be recognized by PNCWA. The Operator of the Year and Collections Operator of the Year Awards for 2020 are as follows.

Idaho Treatment: Brock Morrow, Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board Collections: Michael Creager, City of Nampa

Oregon Treatment: Andrew Shepard, City of Newberg Collections: Chris Camarena, City of Prairie City

Western Washington Treatment: Virginia Shaver, City of Tacoma Collections: Aaron Triano, Pierce County

Eastern Washington Collections: Nate Saunders, City of Richland

President’s Awards These awards are given by the PNCWA President and acknowledge individual efforts in support of PNCWA’s mission. Adam McClymont, outgoing PNCWA president, presented this award to Duyen Tran, who has served as lifelong champion of the clean water profession and mentored countless clean water professionals. Congratulations, Duyen.



2020 AWARDS Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association

Passing of the Gavel Finally, outgoing President Adam McClymont passed the gavel (virtually, of course) to incoming President Haley Falconer, who shared some kind words regarding Adam’s leadership during 2020 and some insight into her vision of PNCWA in the year ahead. Thank you and congratulations to Adam for his dedication and service to our Association during this unorthodox year.Congratulations to Haley for taking on the role as our President of PNCWA in 2021. We are in great hands with Haley at the helm. The 2020 PNCWA Virtual Awards ceremony was a great success. Please consider submitting nominations in 2021 so that we can continue this great tradition of recognizing the incredible achievements of our peers.


Committee Members Rob Lee, City of Boise, Idaho, PNCWA Board Liaison & PNCWA Vice-President Elect Scott Duran, Water Systems Consulting, Inc., Oregon, Collections Committee Liaison Lara Kammereck, Carollo Engineers, Washington, Women’s Leadership Liaison Scott Kindred, Kindred Hydro, Washington, Stormwater Committee Liaison Shawn Moffit, Jacobs, IdahoJessica Cawley, Murray Smith, Oregon Mark Walter, Waterdude Solutions, Oregon, Plant Operations & Maintenance Committee (PMOC) Liaison Matt Noesen, Jacobs, Washington, Committee Chair New Committee Members this year: Jamie Hughes, Clean Water Services, Oregon: Student and Young Professional Liaison Andrew Degner, City of Gresham, Oregon Wade Peerman, DEQ, Oregon Egils Milbergs, Pure Blue: Sustainability Committee Liaison


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PNCWA 2020 Awards Recap  

PNCWA 2020 Awards Recap  

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