These awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the water environment profession.“The Water Environment Federation is extremely proud to honor these examples of top-of-industry excellence in operations and design,” said Jackie Jarrell,  WEF Past President.

Collection Systems Award

Barry Orr

The Collection Systems Award is presented to an individual for contributions to the advancement of the state-of-the-art wastewater collection. Over the past 25 years, Barry Orr has dedicated his life to protecting sewer system infrastructure and the environment as a member of London, Ontario’s Environmental and Engineering Services Division. He played a leading role in an International Standards Organization task group working to define the term “flushable” and expanded his influence on the United States, Asia, Australia and Europe. He was the lead Canadian expert during the development of the International Water Services Flushability Group’s Publicly Available Specification documents, which are now being used as the basis for legislation in Canada, the United States, and Australia.

Orr's efforts on policy and innovation have contributed to his global reputation, but his ability to reach the public and communicate the importance of sewer-related issues is perhaps his greatest strength. He continuously promotes the professional recognition of the collection system field during his numerous podcasts, interviews, and television appearances. Whether the discussion is about toilets, grease, wastewater, stormwater, fatbergs or so-called “flushable” products, Orr is pivotal in the conversation. He has tirelessly increased the awareness of and respect for sewer collection systems and personnel.


Innovative Technology Award

This award recognizes WEF Associate Members who have introduced new innovative products or services related to the construction, operation or maintenance of treatment facilities.

RJN Group, Inc.

The RJN Group ClarityTM product uses utility flow monitors and condition data within a GIS framework to provide predictive analytics to identify issues, trends and hot spots.

Xylem Flygt

The Xylem Flygt MAS 801 monitoring system is a hardware and software package that uses data from a pump and conditions surrounding the pump station to make predictive diagnostics and analytics. This helps maximize energy use and diagnose issues with the pump and the system.


Morgan Operational Solutions Award

Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant

The Morgan Operational Solutions 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.

The City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation (LASAN) recently expanded the Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant (TIWRP) Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) to full advanced treatment as part of its commitment to increasing recycled water use. The photolysis of free chlorine (UV/HOCl AOP) was ultimately selected for full scale implementation due to its lower life cycle cost, greater efficiency, potential to claim additional disinfection and operator familiarity of existing onsite chemicals; however, once the UV/HOCl AOP system was commissioned, bromate concentration of the recycled water treated with the new AOP system was found to be at levels exceeding the 10 μg/l drinking water maximum contaminant level (MCL). With high bromide in the AOP influent, process parameters, pH, free chlorine, ammonia, and UV dose were tested to assess impacts on the formation of bromate and to establish operational controls. By maintaining ammonia in the AOP influent, the bromate formation was controlled under 10 ug/L MCL. LASAN has successfully operated the newly expanded TIWRP AWPF without any bromate exceedances since an ammonia control strategy was implemented in the summer of 2019.


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.

Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvements
Awardees: Hampton Roads Sanitation District, HDR (consultant) and MEB General Contractors (contractor).

Facing a sanitary sewer overflow consent decree and stricter treatment limits, the $161 million Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvements Project reduced nutrient discharges, expanded hydraulic capacity and replaced aging equipment.

South Platte (Colo.) Water Renewal Partners Pipeline Injection Project
Awardees: South Platte Water Renewal Partners, Carollo Engineers (consultant), J.R. Filanc Construction (contractor)

The South Platte Water Renewal Partners Gas Recovery Facility is the first of its kind in Colorado. The Pipeline Injection Project represents significant value to the water sector as it recovers a valuable resource, generates revenue, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the well-being of the community.

Pueblo (Colo.) J.R. Diloro Water Reclamation Facility Enhanced Nutrient Removal
Awardees: City of Pueblo, Brown and Caldwell, and Myers and Sons

The City of Pueblo partnered with Brown and Caldwell to implement Ntensify™ —enhanced nutrient-removal with advanced aeration control and hydrocyclone-based wasting— at their water reclamation facility. Nutrient levels are now below the 15 mg/L nitrogen and 1 mg/L phosphorus permit limits, and the facility has achieved significant chemical and energy savings.

San Antonio River Authority Water Quality Master Planning.
Awardees: San Antonio River Authority, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam (consultant), and RESPEC (software developer)

San Antonio River Authority partnered with Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. to develop water quality modeling tools to manage stormwater and improve water quality in the San Antonio River Basin. These state-of-the-art tools are first of their kind in supporting management of stormwater quality and are getting national attention.


Water Quality Improvement Award

Brown’s Creek Watershed District

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.

The Brown’s Creek Watershed District in Oakdale, Minn., has shown a true understanding of the impact of one species—trout— to a broader, regional understanding and focus on the ecological health of the watershed. Each year the district progresses and refines and expands its program to educate, understand, and remediate the watershed. The district has documented the improvements and effectively reduced runoff and limited pollutants to Brown’s Creek.


WEF Safety Award

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.

The WEF Safety award was not awarded in 2020.