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June 16, 2009
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Member News

NAWC Supports CMAA Water Summit

The Construction Management Association of America is presenting its first national “best practices summit” on water and wastewater on July 19-20 in Las Vegas.

NAWC is joining in supporting this event and our members can register for the summit at CMAA’s discounted member’s rate. Click here for details.

The program will zero in on key water and wastewater issues, with invited guests representing major municipal water authorities of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta and more.

Attendees will choose from more than 15 powerful breakout session topics, including:

  • San Francisco PUC Water System Improvement Program – Construction Management Approach and Practices
  • Impacts of Population Growth on Water/Wastewater Infrastructure: Analysis and Trends
  • City of Atlanta Sewer Separation Construction Program
  • Adapting PPPs Used in the UK for U.S. Water Industry Projects
  • And many more

A keynote presentation from Catherine Gerali, district manager of the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District in greater Denver, will highlight the program. Gerali is overseeing the planning and construction of up to $2 billion in capital improvements, and will describe the district’s strategy.

This premiere event will bring together a collection of the nation’s most knowledgeable and influential water experts. Claim your spot and register now!


Aqua PA Manager Receives Award

Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. (Aqua) Manager of Production Curt Steffy was the recipient of the Operator’s Meritorious Service Award at the 2009 Pennsylvania American Water Works Association Conference Business Luncheon. The award is given annually to “…any water supply or distribution individual who, during the time period of the meritorious activity, worked in any operations-related capacity to improve the overall efficiency and performance of the operators and system.” The special performances for which Steffy was recognized include: outstanding efforts in the training of treatment plant operators, and consistent and outstanding contribution to the operation and/or maintenance of water treatment facilities.

Steffy, who has worked for Aqua since 1982, leads a team of four experienced superintendents and five assistant superintendents in the daily operations and management of these facilities, with a focus on operational excellence. In 2008, he was an integral part of an Aqua team that led to the company enrolling eight of its nine water treatment plants (WTP) in the Partnership for Safe Drinking Water (one plant was already enrolled). He also led a team that participated in a successful effort to evaluate and implement an asset management program that will soon be in operation at all nine of Aqua’s southeastern Pennsylvania WTPs. Finally, in an effort to maximize operator knowledge and safety, , Steffy worked with his plant supervisors at the Pickering WTP to implement a six-topic training course specifically directed at issues pertinent to the Pickering operations. The training was very well received and will now be a template for training at other Aqua WTPs in Pennsylvania.

Steffy said he was truly honored by his selection. AWWA does not alert winners prior to the actual award ceremony. “When they made the announcement, they announced my name first and then read the bio. I was surprised, honored and humbled,” said Steffy. “There are many talented people out there and to be chosen was quite an honor. I put a great deal of time, effort and devotion into my work, but I didn’t do it by myself. I work with many talented people and my superintendents do a great job for me. This is not an individual award. Over the years you need help to achieve something like this. I’m also very grateful that my senior management team would consider me for such an honor.”

Steffy joined Aqua in September 1982 as a microbiological technician and received various promotions prior to becoming assistant superintendent of treatment and quality control in 1990. Following another series of promotions, Steffy was promoted to his current position of manager of production in 2005.


Artesian Water Wins Award for Best-Tasting Water in Delaware

Artesian Water Company, which has provided water service on the Delmarva Peninsula since 1905, was recently named the provider of the Best-Tasting Water in Delaware by the Delaware Rural Water Association.

“For more than 100 years, we have been working to provide our customers with consistently high-quality, reliable water,” said Dian C. Taylor, Artesian Resources chair, president & CEO. “We couldn’t be more pleased to receive this independent confirmation of what we already believed: Artesian Water provides the best water service possible.”

More than 20 water utilities from around Delaware submitted samples of their water, straight from the tap, for the annual competition, which is part of the National Rural Water Association’s Quality On Tap! campaign to emphasize the high quality, standards and taste of rural water. DRWA is a state affiliate of the National Rural Water Association.

A select panel of judges evaluated the samples based on appearance, odor, flavor, mouth-feel, aftertaste and overall impression before naming Artesian the best. “The judges found the Artesian water the most appealing,” said Rick Duncan, DRWA executive director. “One judge told us she found that Artesian’s water tasted clean, pure and refreshing.”

“We pride ourselves on the strict testing and system maintenance we perform in order to provide the best possible water to the citizens of Delaware,” said Rob Penman, Artesian Water’s Director of Operations.


Middlesex Water Company Wins Green Education Honors

Middlesex Water Company has been selected the winner of a 2009 NJBIZ Green Leadership Award in the category of Green Education. The NJBIZ Green Leadership Awards honor and highlight New Jersey's businesses and executives for their environmental achievements and initiatives. Middlesex was chosen from a field of six statewide finalists in the category and received the award at a ceremony on June 2, 2009.

“As a provider of vital water services to more than 300,000 Central New Jersey residents, wise water education is an important component of our outreach efforts. We are delighted to be honored for the work our employees do educating the public about the need to protect and preserve our water resources for the present, and for future generations,” said Dennis W. Doll, president of Middlesex Water.

Green Finalists and winners were announced in the categories of Alternative Energy Use, Energy Conservation, Environmental Innovation, Green Building, Green Education, Pollution Prevention, Recycle/Reuse and Green Executive of the Year. Forty-seven companies were named as finalists vying for Green Leadership honors.

Middlesex Water was recognized by an independent panel of judges for its work in raising awareness about environmental issues to employees, customers and the public. These efforts include Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) workshops, student contests, classroom presentations in local schools, customer education and the company's role as an EPA WaterSense® Partner. The Green Leadership Awards is a program sponsored by NJBIZ, New Jersey's leading business news publication.


California Water Service Group's Martin A. Kropelnicki Named Bay Area CFO of the Year

Martin A. Kropelnicki, vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer of California Water Service Group, was named Bay Area CFO of the Year for public companies with up to $500 million in revenue at a dinner benefiting Larkin Street Youth Services on May 28.

The awards program is an annual event that honors Bay Area CFOs. The other two finalists in the category were Thomas P. Cawley of Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc., and Randy S. Gottfried of Riverbed Technology, Inc. More than 100 candidates were considered in the recognition program, and evaluation criteria included individual candidate attributes and company performance, according to San Francisco Business Times Publisher Mary Huss.

Among Kropelnicki's achievements is his leadership role with California Water Service Group, as it successfully promoted water efficiency and conservation while improving its financial health and recent bond offering rated AA- by S&P. In accepting the award, Kropelnicki attributed his success to his team.

"It has been a real pleasure to work with this group of people, and I couldn't have accomplished what I have without them. It's very exciting to be able to bring a new perspective to a company with such a long and rich history," he said.


New Jersey American Executive Addresses Infrastructure Issues

Some of the 20,000-30,000 miles of water pipelines running under New Jersey have been in the ground since the late 1880s. “That fact alone demonstrates that the time for greater infrastructure renewal is here,” said Jason Gonzalez, vice president of government affairs at New Jersey American Water. Gonzalez was speaking to the Alliance for Action conference on utility construction and the economy.

Today’s demands on water infrastructure are dramatically different than when much of the state’s pipelines were installed. Improved fire protection, improved corrosion control and heavier traffic loads, among other factors, dictate the need for new and/or upgraded infrastructure. “The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that water infrastructure be replaced at a rate of 0.5 to 1.5 percent a year and estimates that will require as much as $10 billion in New Jersey alone,” said Gonzalez. “New Jersey American Water spent $31 million last year on pipeline replacements. But to get to the levels the EPA is recommending, new ways of financing are needed.”

One possible means of increasing water system investment is the Distribution System
Improvement Charge (DSIC). Called a “best practice” by the National Association of Regulated Utility Commissioners, a DSIC is a mature and successful regulatory instrument designed to reduce infrastructure backlog and regulatory lag. “Infrastructure surcharges like a DSIC provide needed infrastructure replacement, create jobs, and deliver fair and timely returns on a utility’s investment,” said Gonzalez.


Jennifer Finch Named CFO of Artesian Consulting Engineers

Artesian Resources Corporation today announced that its Board of Directors has named Jennifer L. Finch, CPA, as chief financial officer of Artesian Consulting Engineers, Inc., one of the corporation’s eight wholly owned subsidiaries.

Finch will concurrently serve as chief accounting director for Artesian Resources, a position she has held since joining Artesian in 2008. Before that, Finch was CFO of Handler Corporation in Wilmington, Del., where she worked for 14 years.

“In her time here, Jennifer has proven to be an enormous asset to Artesian,” said Dian C. Taylor, chair, president & CEO of Artesian Resources. “We made this appointment based on the complete confidence we have in her, as well as on her years of experience as a CFO.”

Artesian Consulting Engineers is an integrated land development service company that offers surveying, land planning, site engineering and architectural services as well as expertise in storm water management and water and wastewater system design.


Aqua America PA Subsidiary Acquires Municipal Water System

Aqua America, Inc. announced that its Pennsylvania subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc., has completed the acquisition of the water system assets of the Kratzerville Municipal Authority, which serves approximately 400 residents in portions of Jackson and Penn Townships in Snyder County, Penn. for $300,000.

Kratzerville, the sixth acquisition for Aqua America companies this year, is located about five miles from the company's other Snyder County systems of Rolling Green-Monroe Manor and Pennsview. The acquisition further completes its footprint in central Pennsylvania and adds to its operating efficiencies.

"We are very pleased to have acquired the assets of another municipal water system," said Aqua America Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis. "Municipal systems make up 85 percent of the water utility market. We are starting to see more municipal systems consider privatization as they face increasing capital needs and more stringent environmental regulations. Kratzerville is just one example of how the sale of a municipal system to a private utility like ours can benefit both parties."

Aqua Pennsylvania's plans for capital investment include the immediate retrofitting of properties with state-of-the-art radio frequency water meters and future improvements to the distribution system.


American Water Announces Recipients of James LaFrankie Scholarship Awards

American Water Works Company, Inc. announced recipients of the 18th annual James V. LaFrankie Scholarship Awards. The awards were distributed nationwide to college-bound children of full-time American Water employees who demonstrate an interest in water-related industry occupational fields.

Out of 83 applicants, American Water selected seven high-school seniors based on their outstanding high-school records, academic honors, participation in extracurricular activities and teacher recommendations. The scholarships are awarded for a term of one year in individual awards of $1,000. Scholarship renewal is contingent upon the student's academic progress and may be renewed up to three years.

The American Water Board of Directors established the scholarship program in 1991 in honor of former American Water president, James LaFrankie. LaFrankie demonstrated the value he placed on college education by earning a degree at Georgetown University night school while working days at the Alexandria Virginia Water Company, now known as Virginia American Water. From there, LaFrankie excelled, climbing the ladder to positions of increasing responsibility over his 44-year career with American Water and ultimately retiring as the company's president in 1991.

American Water President and Chief Executive Officer Don Correll, who sent a personal letter to each recipient, said, "American Water congratulates these students for their academic excellence and overall achievement. They should be very proud of themselves and I wish them all the best in their future endeavors."

The winners, their towns of residence and their parents' workplace are as follows:

  • Nicholas Elmer of Whitestone, Ind., Indiana American Water
  • Braeden Hadley of Texico, N.M., New Mexico American Water
  • Jennifer Lombardi of Edison, N.J., New Jersey American Water
  • Pooja Patil of Hackettstown, N.J., New Jersey American Water
  • Rachel Roser of Georgetown, Ky., Kentucky American Water
  • Jenna Sankoff of Charleston, W.Va., West Virginia American Water
  • Taylor Schaeffer of St. Charles, Mo., American Water Service Company