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 Eileen O’Neill, WEF Executive Director.

The 2017 recipients for Operational and Design Excellence Awards are:

Collection Systems Award: Keith McCormack 
The Collection System Award is presented to an individual for contributions to the advancement of the state of the art wastewater collection. Keith McCormack has over 30 years of experience in the planning, design, construction, and regulatory compliance of municipal wastewater collection systems and treatment facilities. Keith maintains a wide-reaching influence throughout the industry and has continuously held leadership roles, both in title and in responsibility, for the past two decades with WEF and the Michigan Water Environment Association. 

Innovative Technology
Recognizes WEF Associate Members who have introduced new innovative products or services related to the construction, operation or maintenance of treatment facilities.

Wipes Ready® Grinders - JWC Environmental
The JWC Wipes Ready Grinder design effectively handles the non-woven sheets that are more commonly referred to as modern trash which has been the scourge of industry for the last five to ten years. This innovative product showed through trials that it can and will consistently remove this trash and eliminate the possibility of agglomerating again.

Aqua Assist - Drylet LLC
The Aqua Assist product proved through trials that it could potentially change the way wastewater plants are designed. Using this product, the removal of organic compounds was increased significantly by providing a substrate for additional bacteria to populate. The possibilities for this product could prove extremely beneficial for thousands of water reclamation facilities around the world.

HydroFLOW I Range Products (Powered by Hydropath technology); HydroFLOW USA LLC
The Hydroflow product powered by Hydropath showed to be extremely innovative with field data supporting the claims of removing struvite build up in pipelines. This product could have an extreme benefit for many plants around the US struggling with this issue in their digesters and connecting pipes.

Morgan Operational Solutions Award: Peter M. Brown; TransAqua 
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. The sewage boat is a valuable contribution, solving a difficult operational problem and additionally, is a problem-solving innovation while saving money and improving safety. The sewage boat has broad application to other systems across the U.S and Canada.

Schroepfer Innovative Facility Design Medal: Completion of the Calumet Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) – Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
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. The Calumet TARP system provides a substantial capital and operating cost savings for each municipality served by the system by relieving the burden of constructing and operating individual systems to capture and treat CSOs to comply with regulations. In addition, the Calumet TARP system provides over $40 million in annual flood damage savings as a benefit to the service area.

Water Quality Improvement Award: Completion of the Calumet Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) – Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
This 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 Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s Calumet Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) includes a 7.9-billion-gallon reservoir and 37 miles of deep tunnels, resulting in reduced flooding and elimination of combined sewer overflows for the 556,000 people it serves. In addition, the Calumet TARP project has resulted in increased dissolved oxygen levels, increased fish populations, and major increases in fish species.

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.

Alexandria Renew Enterprises State-of-the-Art Nitrogen Upgrade Program
Awardees: Owner: Alexandria Renew Enterprises; Designer: CH2M; Construction Manager: Jacobs Engineering; Construction Manager at Risk: Clark Construction/Ulliman Schutte Joint Venture
AlexRenew recognized the opportunity to address pending regulations while also renewing their commitment to sustainability, innovation, and the surrounding community. The resulting project included a Long-Range Planning Study through 2030, design, and construction of a $131 million upgrade that is at the forefront of nutrient removal technology and engages the community like never before.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Stickney Water Reclamation Plant Nutrient Recovery Facility
Awardees: Owner:(MWRD); Design/Builder: Black & Veatch; Technology Provider: Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) partnered with Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies to implement a nutrient recovery system, and with Black & Veatch to design and construct the facility at the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) in Cicero, Illinois. The MWRD converted the 1.44 billion gallon per day Stickney WRP to biological phosphorus removal as one part of its nutrient management plan.

Riverhead, NY Water Resource Recovery Facility Upgrade and Reuse Program
Awardees: Owner: Town of Riverhead, NY/Riverhead Sewer District; Designer: H2M Architects + Engineers
The new Riverhead WRRF project cost $24 million and included a 1.5 MGD ultrafiltration membrane bioreactor and reclamation system with a fully integrated wastewater reuse process train and golf course irrigation supply system. The upgraded WRRF is the first municipal reuse facility in New York State and was completed in time for the 2016 irrigation season, remaining within budget. The Town of Riverhead WRRF will reuse up to 100,000 gallons per day of in-plant wash water and makeup water each day for internal treatment facility equipment. The WRRF also provides up to 450,000 gallons per day of reuse water for irrigation to the Indian Island Golf Course.

WEF Safety Award: Linden Water Resource Recovery Facility
This award is presented annually by WEF to an industry, municipality, organization, utility, or other entity engaged in the protection of the water environment to recognize the success of their efforts to promote safety and educate the water industry. The Linden Water Resource Recovery Facility has shown a top-down commitment to safety, including the employment of a dedicated safety manager, and received complimentary feedback from the insurance carrier.

The awards will be presented during WEFTEC® 2017, the Federation’s 90th Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, September 30 to October 4 in Chicago.

For more information about the WEF Awards, visit

Media contact: Travis Loop, (703) 684-2465,

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