PHILADELPHIA (October 6, 2021) – The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) has named Matthew Csik, Director of Water Quality and Environmental Compliance for New Jersey American Water, its 2021 NAWC Living Water Award recipient. Presented at the NAWC Annual Water Summit in Chicago, the Living Water Award recognizes the regulated water industry professional who best demonstrates excellence in serving their community, colleagues, industry or environment.
Csik is being honored for his efforts to identify unregulated synthetic chemicals that were detected during routine water testing along the Delaware River by New Jersey American Water. These chemicals may have posed long-term health risks and were not previously detected. Csik took additional samples to expedite the inquiry and elevate its attention to state regulators. His work led to identifying the source area many miles upstream, in Pennsylvania, and resulted in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection establishing a multi-state working group to pinpoint the source of the chemicals.
Csik’s initiative was critical in pushing local environmental groups, regulators, and other utilities forward to take actions to help protect not only American Water customers, but also customers of six additional water companies and several municipalities that use the Delaware River as a source for drinking water.
“Matt’s diligence in investigating the source of this compound was critical to our understanding of this issue,” said New Jersey American Water President Mark McDonough. “His actions enabled us to understand the levels of the compound in the source water and initiate the design to treat for it at our Delaware River Treatment Plant ahead of the formal adoption of a regulation. Sharing the results with regulators and partners and communicating his proactive sampling and mitigation plan helped build trust with our customers.”
“The strong sense of accountability and responsibility that Matt demonstrated in addressing an emerging contaminant exemplifies the caliber and professionalism of regulated water industry professionals,” said NAWC President & CEO Robert F. Powelson. “By going above and beyond to promote public health and prioritize the safety of local drinking water sources, Csik has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”
The other four Living Water Award finalists, selected by a committee of judges representing five separate companies, were:
- Alberto Coronado – Southwest Water Company– Maintenance Foreman
- Troy Day – EPCOR – Vice President, Engineering and Commercial Services
- Paula McEvoy – SUEZ – Vice President, Capital Investment, Planning and Delivery
- Jeffrey Gream – Indiana American Water – Field Service Representative, Union
To learn more about Matthew Csik and all of the 2021 finalists, please visit www.nawc.org/news-events/awards/living-water-awards.