Presented at WEFTEC 2021, WEF’s Awards Ceremony recognizes excellence with protecting the environment and public health. We are deeply grateful for the individual and organizational achievements of this year’s award recipients. Each has made a profound impact on the future of water.

For more information,contact: 
Awards Program Manager
Tori Cox
ph: 703-684-2400, ext. 7070
e-mail: [email protected]
Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1994

Click to view the 2021 WEF Awards Celebration and Presidential Ceremony Program.


APPLY NOW!!! 2022 WEF Awards Applications 



2022 WEF Awards Applications

WEF Fellows

The WEF Fellows Program recognizes the 20+ year professional achievements, stature and contributions of WEF members to the preservation and enhancement of the global water environment in the practice areas served by WEF.


Individual Service and Contribution Awards

Camp Applied Research  

Recognizes a WEF member who demonstrates a unique application of basic research or fundamental principles through the design or development of a wastewater collection or treatment system.

Apply Online

Emerson Distinguished Service

This award commemorates the service of the first president of the Federation, Charles Alvin Emerson, who served from 1928 to 1941, and was its first honorary member. This award is presented to an individual member of the Water Environment Federation whose significant career contributions to the Federation and the water environment profession merit recognition.


Engelbrecht International Service Award

The Engelbrecht International Service Award was named in memory of Richard S. Engelbrecht, who served as Federation President in 1977-78. This award recognizes sustained and significant contributions to the furtherance and improvement of the international activities of the Water Environment Federation.


Honorary Membership

WEF Honorary membership recognizes individuals who have proven their preeminence in the fields of activity encompassed by Water Environment Federation objectives. Recipients of WEF Honorary membership are recognized for their achievements in the water profession and are awarded a complimentary lifetime WEF membership.


Outstanding Young Water Environment Professional 

Presented for significant contributions to the Water Environment Federation and to the wastewater collection and treatment industry. 


Public Officials 

The Public Officials Award is presented to an elected or appointed public official that has made a documented, significant contribution in the areas of clean water legislation, public policy, government service, or another area of public prominence that resulted in improvements to the water environment. The award can be presented for public service at the local, state, provincial or national level.


Ralph Fuhrman Medal for Outstanding Water Quality Academic-Practice Collaboration

This award commemorates the service of Water Environment Federation Past-President Dr. Ralph E. Fuhrman, who was a master of collaboration among the academicians and practitioners. The Medal promotes and rewards extraordinary collaborative work by two or more people.


W. Wesley Eckenfelder Industrial Water Quality Lifetime Achievement

The W. Wesley Eckenfelder Industrial Water Quality Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes and honors an individual who has made substantial and measurable engineering, scientific, and/or operations contributions to the management or treatment of industrial wastes related to the improvement of water quality.


Water Heroes 

The purpose of the Water Heroes program is to recognize individuals or municipalities who performed duties above and beyond the usual call of duty during an emergency situation to continue to protect the public and the environment. These duties shall elevate the status of the water sector industry.


WEF Mentorship Award

The purpose of the award is to acknowledge those WEF members who have had a significant impact on the professional and personal development of one or more water quality professionals, including providing personal, social, and intellectual support.


Education Awards

WEF Canham Graduate Studies Scholarship

This scholarship provides $25,000 for a post-baccalaureate student in the water environment field. The scholarship is for education related expenses.


Operator Scholarship

The purpose is to provide funding for individuals who are seeking water sector operator education, training, or certification to enter the industry or to advance their knowledge, skills, abilities or license.


Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator

Recognizing accomplishments in research and the education and development of future engineers, this medal honors Gordon Maskew Fair, a professor of sanitary engineering at Harvard University, who achieved exceptional results in preparing students for the water environment profession.


Media & Public Education

Recognizes accomplishments of the media, journalists and others whose profession is outside of the water environment profession field. This medal is in memory of Harry E. Schlenz, who served as Federation President in 1961-1962. Mr. Schlenz was a distinguished leader in promoting public understanding of the need for effective water quality. Through his efforts a special award was presented by the Federation in 1967 to a writer for the Chicago Tribune for an outstanding series in that newspaper on water pollution control.


Public Communication & Outreach Program

The WEF Public Communication & Outreach Program Awards recognize WEF members for significant accomplishments in promoting public awareness and the understanding of water environment issues through the development and implementation of outreach, education and/or communication programs. WEF Member Associations, individual WEF members, and other (non-WEF/MA) organizations, including groups, events and campaigns, are eligible for this award.


Organization and Association Recognition Awards

Citation of Excellence in Advertising

The award is given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the water environment field through the effective and original presentation of equipment and services in Water Environment & Technology (WE&T) magazine.

*All advertisements appearing in Water Environment Federation periodicals are automatically considered for this award.

Member Association Excellence

The Member Association Awards are established to recognize outstanding Member Associations and Member Associations that excel in areas of membership retention, financial strength, new memberships, scholarship programs, student achievement and support, technology transfers, and/or award programs.


Member Association Safety

This award recognizes water treatment facility safety programs that stimulate safety awareness and practices and that encourage the collection of injury statistics on a national basis.


Operational and Design Excellence Awards

Collection Systems

The Collection System Award is presented to an individual for contributions to the advancement of the state of the art wastewater collection.


Industrial Water Quality Achievement

The Industrial Water Quality Achievement Award is presented to a corporation and, if applicable, to its engineering firm that best demonstrates significant, lasting, and measurable excellence in water quality improvement or in the prevention of water quality degradation as demonstrated by innovative design and operation of an industrial wastewater, pretreatment or source prevention program.


Innovative Technology

Recognizes WEF Exhibitor Members who have introduced new innovative products or services related to our industry.


Morgan Operational Solutions

This award honors Philip F. Morgan, who served with distinction as professor of sanitary engineering at the State University of Iowa from 1948-1961. A respected practical researcher, he maintained a strong interest in plant operation. This award recognizes valuable contributions to the in-facility study and solution of operational problems.


Schroepfer Innovative Facility Design

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. 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. This award is presented to an engineering consultant, municipal engineer, or industrial engineer who is a professional engineer in responsible charge of the design of facilities for the conveyance, treatment or disposal of wastewater and/or treatment residues.


Water Quality Improvement

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.


WEF Project Excellence

WEF's annual Project Excellence Award pays tribute to excellence and innovation in the execution of projects and programs in the water sector.


WEF Safety

The purpose of this award is to encourage active and effective safety programs in the water environment field, and to recognize entities that not only invest their resources to develop high quality safety programs and adopt them within their own culture, but also actively seek out opportunities to share these programs with others in the water industry for the benefit of all.



National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards Program

National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards Program