For immediate release
October 28, 2013

Columbus Department of Public Utilities One of 11 Drinking Water Utilities Honored at National Conference

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) honored 11 public drinking water systems with its top utility management awards in ceremonies at its 2013 annual meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida today. Six systems, including the Columbus Department of Public Utilities, received the top Platinum Award for Utility Excellence, and five systems received Gold Awards recognition for Exceptional Utility Performance. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in implementing the nationally recognized Attributes of Effective Utility Management.

Winners of the 2013 AMWA Platinum Awards for Utility Excellence were:
•          City of Columbus, Department of Public Utilities (Ohio)
•          Louisville Water Company (Kentucky)
•          Onondaga County Water Authority (New York)
•          City of Palm Bay Utilities Department (Florida)
•          San Diego County Water Authority (California)
•          Western Virginia Water Authority (Virginia)

AMWA’s 2013 Gold Awards for Exceptional Utility Performance were presented to:
•          Beaver Water District  (Arkansas)
•          City of Dayton Water Department  (Ohio)
•          City of Mesa Water Resources Department  (Arizona)
•          City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department  (North Carolina)
•          City of Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities  (Virginia)

“AMWA awards recognize the extraordinary performance of water agencies where management vision and employee commitment create a sustainable utility producing ample supplies of clean, safe drinking water,” said Pat Mulroy, AMWA President and Las Vegas Valley Water District General Manager. “The communities served by these award winners should be proud of the accomplishments of their forward-thinking, exceptionally well-managed public utilities.”

Reasons cited for the award, which was accepted by Division of Water Administrator Rick Westerfield, included the implementation of effective utility management processes including strategic planning, asset management, benchmarking, environmental management and employee training. Successes were also realized in updating water treatment processes, achieving fiscal responsibility, enhancing community outreach and improving customer service. A $700 million dollar capital improvement program is addressing aging infrastructure, the latest regulations, population growth and the division’s commitment to providing the best quality drinking water. Other important facets included innovations in water treatment, reduction in chemical use, implementation of business case evaluations and reliability-centered maintenance. 

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman said, “this confirms what we already knew: our city employees are dedicated to providing the best service and drinking water possible, and they do that 365 days a year. Congratulations to the Division of Water and Public Utilities staff on this national recognition.” 

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies is an organization of the largest publicly-owned drinking water suppliers in the United States.

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