WEF announces winners for operational, design awards

Aug. 29, 2022
The federation’s annual operational and design excellence awards honor organizations and individuals for outstanding contributions to the water environment.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has announced the recipients of its 2022 Operational and Design Excellence Awards. The winning individuals and organizations are recognized for outstanding contributions to the water environment and for solutions to operational challenges.

Innovative Technology Award

The Innovative Technology Award recognizes WEF Exhibitor Members who have introduced new innovative products or services related to the construction, operation, or maintenance of treatment facilities.

Three organizations won the award for their innovative solutions:

  • EnvioMix– BioMix-DC: EnviroMix’s phosphorus reduction technology is a refinement of the typical MLE configuration. The enhanced anaerobic stage increases VFA production, which increases phosphorus reduction while reducing energy consumption and chemical precipitation.
  • Aquacyl–Biochemical Treatment: Aquacyl’s microbial fuel cell delivers on a technology that has shown great promise but eluded commercialization. The ability of bacteria to oxidize organic matter and export electrons can both drive wastewater treatment and provide electricity.
  • GEA Group Biosolids–Biosolids Granulator: GEA’s biosolid granulator uses waste heat and a high-speed centrifuge to maximize the removal of water from sludge.

Morgan Operational Solutions Award

This award honors Philip F. Morgan, who served with distinction as professor of sanitary engineering at the State University of Iowa from 1948-1961. This award recognizes valuable contributions to the in-facility study and solution of operational problems.

This year’s winner is Casey Mentzer of the Nevada Water Environment Association.

Casey Mentzer is the Process Engineer at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility in Nevada. This award is for his research and solution to operational issues of an Ostara Pearl 2K reactor. Casey significantly increased plant production, decreased downtime, and saved costs.

Schroepfer Innovative Facility Design Medal

The medal is in honor of George J. Schroepfer, WEF's third President, and an educator who stressed the economics in design of wastewater facilities. The Schroepfer Medal recognizes excellence in conceiving and directing the design of a project to achieve substantial cost savings or economic benefit, while achieving environmental objectives.

This year, the medal was awarded to William Angoli of the Central States Water Environment Association

William Angoli is a Project Manager with NEW Water in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He has managed all major water reclamation facility projects at NEW Water over the past 30 years. Most recently, he was named project manager for the $179 million Resource Recovery and Electrical Energy project beginning with developing the facilities plan in 2008 through design, construction, and commissioning that was completed in 2019.

Water Quality Improvement Award

The Water Quality Improvement Award is presented annually to the water quality improvement program that best demonstrates significant, lasting, and measurable excellence in water quality improvement or in prevention of water quality degradation in a region, basin, or water body.

This year, the award went to Anne Arundel County’s “Turnkey” Program (Anne Arundel County, Md.)

Maryland’s Anne Arundel County Bureau of Watershed Protection & Restoration has implemented the Full Delivery of Water Quality Improvements “Turnkey” Program. This program has proven to be a highly efficient mechanism for supporting sustainable development.

WEF Project Excellence Award

WEF's annual Project Excellence Award pays tribute to excellence and innovation in the execution of projects and programs in the water sector. This year, three projects received the award:

  • Boise Water Renewal Utility PlanThe award’s honorees include the City of Boise, Idaho Water Renewal Services, and Brown and Caldwell.Boise's Water Renewal Services initiated a landmark planning process for Water Renewal Services, comprising of five facilities and approximately $3 billion in assets. Completed in 2020, the City and Brown and Caldwell created a plan that aligned utility activities with community expectations to guide capital expenditures over a 10- and 20-year planning horizon.
  • Hampton Roads (Va.) Sanitation District Providence Road Offline Storage Facility and Woodstock Park ImprovementsThe award’s honorees include Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD), Hazen and Sawyer and Crowder Construction.HRSD and Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation partnered to construct a 5.2-million- gallon wastewater storage and pumping facility within the existing 13- acre Woodstock Park in Virginia Beach. This facility is potentially like no other in the country due to a combination of the site’s dual uses, the size of the HRSD storage facility, the rainwater collection/reuse, the automated tank cleaning capabilities, educational opportunities, and park amenities that connect the recreational lives of the surrounding community.
  • WSSC (DC) Water Seneca Water Resource Recovery FacilityThe award’s honorees include WSSC Water and Brown and Caldwell.New science-based optimization approaches at WSSC Seneca WRRF are estimated to reduce energy and chemical costs by (~$500K/yr) resulting in a decreased carbon footprint and reduced economic impact on WSSC Water ratepayers. The plans are underway to expand the operation to the whole plant and implement at the rest of WSSC Water’s WRRFs.

Industrial Water Quality Achievement Award

The Industrial Water Quality Achievement Award is presented to a corporation that best demonstrates significant, lasting, and measurable excellence in water quality improvement or in the prevention of water quality degradation.

Bush Brothers & Company (Chestnut Hill, Tenn.)

The Bush Brothers & Company (BB&C) bean production facility in Chestnut Hill, Tenn. has gone the extra mile in incorporating sustainability, reliability, flexibility, and environmental conservation in the use of a Process Water Reclamation Facility at their manufacturing plant. All the treated effluent is put back into use and all the generated biogas is utilized as an additional fuel source.

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