Water System staff awarded in wastewater innovation and water conservation

Oct. 12, 2012
The Water Environment Research Foundation  awarded the San Antonio Water System for achieving the clean water trifecta -- a quest that began more than 15 years ago.
Water conservation and recycling concept - Photo courtesy of Shutterstock SAN ANTONIO, TX, Oct. 12, 2012 -- The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) presented the 2012 Award for Excellence in Innovation to the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) for achieving the clean water trifecta -- a quest that began more than 15 years ago.

Today, the Dos Rios Water Recycling Center manages an environmental trifecta by:

* Recycling highly treated effluent water in the nation's largest water recycling system for industrial use and commercial landscaping

* Capturing biogas generated during the sewage treatment process and selling it through a commercial gas pipeline -- the first sustainable project of its kind in the nation

* Marketing compost made from the remaining solids from the treatment process

A WERF press release cites SAWS goal of turning waste into valuable resources as resonating well with their objectives to help the water quality industry embrace a different view of waste water.

In a separate award ceremony, the Association for Water Efficiency (AWE) recognized Director of Conservation, Karen Guz, with the 2012 Water Star Award. The award is for individual excellence in water efficiency. An AWE press release states that the organization wishes to celebrate the "unsung hero" and quiet water conservation practitioner working in the trenches to make a difference through their dedication, passion and progressive approach.

Guz, in turn, recognized her SAWS staff for their efforts. "I had the honor of accepting this award for water conservation staff. There is not a week that goes by when I don't get a gushing compliment from a customer or stakeholder about the wonderful work our staff does. I am incredibly lucky to work in water conservation and with a team of talented, smart people who care about what they do."

"Karen's expertise and professionalism has helped put San Antonio on the international map for water efficiency," stated SAWS President and Chief Executive Officer Robert R. Puente. "Her tireless service to the people of San Antonio and Texas are a shining example of the positive impact a single person can have on a sustainable future."

San Antonio is the only city in the United States with major programs that cost effectively reuses all three wastewater treatment process byproducts. Additionally, two solar farms generate electricity on a plant site, and a feasibility evaluation for hydropower is ongoing.


Since 1992, San Antonio Water System has been a leader in innovative water management strategies, making San Antonio water's most resourceful city. Water and wastewater services are provided to more than one million consumers in the San Antonio region. For more information, visit www.saws.org.


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