ALEXANDRIA, Va.— The Water Environment Federation (WEF) proudly announces the 2020 WEF Awards recipients for operational and design excellence. 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 President.

The 2020 recipients for Operational and Design Excellence Awards are:

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: RJN Group, Inc. and Xylem
This award recognizes WEF Exhibitor Members who have introduced new innovative products or services related to the construction, operation or maintenance of treatment facilities.

1. 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.
2. 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.

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 Project
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 Project
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 Project
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.

Morgan Operational Solutions Award: City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
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.

The Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation recently expanded the Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant Advanced Water Purification Facility to full advanced treatment as part of its commitment to increasing recycled water use.

These awards will be presented on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. at the WEF Awards ceremony during WEFTEC Connect. All WEFTEC Connect registrations include access to the WEF Awards and Presidential Ceremony and Celebration. For more information, click here.

For more information about the WEF Awards, visit


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