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The Western Monmouth Utilities Authority and Evesham Municipal Utilities Authority have joined Atlantic County Utilities Authority, Camden County MUA, and Hanover Sewerage Authority, as 5 of just 32 authorities to be designated a Water Resources Utility of the Future Today.
WMUA and Evesham are being honored this year, while ACUA, Camden County MUA, and Hanover SA are past recipients.
We are honored to say that all five of these esteemed organizations are also members of the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA).
This recognition was decided by peer-utility general managers/executives comprising a Joint Selection Committee representing members from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Research Foundation (WRF), Water Environment Federation (WEF), and the WateReuse Association.
Both Evesham MUA and WMUA will be formally recognized at the Utility of the Future Today Recognition Ceremony as part of the “Utility Leaders Morning” at the 91stAnnual Water Environment Federation Technical (WEFTEC) Exhibition & Conference in New Orleans on October 2, 2018.
Evesham Municipal Utilities Authority is being recognized for the strides it has made in being part of those authorities facing “challenges such as aging infrastructure, water pollution, workforce shortages, and impacts of climate change, including drought, floods, storms, and sea level rise.”
According to a press release, Evesham’s recognition “celebrates the achievements of water utilities that transform from the traditional wastewater treatment system to a resource recovery center and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience of the communities they serve.”
Western Monmouth Utilities Authority is being recognized for its leadership in the emerging field of Utility Partnership & Engagement.
Included in the initiatives cited in WMUA’s designation:
- Their reinvigorated Intergovernmental & Customer Relations initiatives involving the Townships of Marlboro & Manalapan (including Marlboro & Manalapan Day) and their expansion of the use of emerging technologies and social media
- Their Partnership with the Association of Environmental Authorities in the development and execution of the Environmental Professional Development Academy.
- Their Partnership with the Monmouth Council, Boy Scouts of America in the development and success of Environmental Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Explorer Post 1972, as well as their Public-Private Partnership with the MCBSA providing mutually beneficial programs involving WMUA and MCBSA resources and properties
- Their enthusiastic expansion and embrace of their core functions of Public Environmental Education
- Their continued innovations in Environmental Custodianship and Conservation, including programs of beneficial reuse, renewable energies, energy conservation and efficiency and the development of Best Practices.
The AEA is proud of the continued achievements of its member organizations. Recognition like this one help solidify our commitment to provide information, education and advocacy that help member organizations provide professional, efficient and cost-effective service to their ratepayers and to help the public understand and appreciate the work of its members.
Taken from the Spring 2018 edition of our Authority View newsletter
MONMOUTH BEACH – When Sharon Ham and the staff at the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority launched a pilot program in 2016 to work with students from local schools, the initial plan was simply to offer tours – but before long, the program turned into a productive partnership.
“We’ve done a few projects, but it really went into full force in 2017,” said Ham, Lab Manager at the Authority. “Normally in the lab they come in for tours. In 2017, Dr. Josephine Blaha (a science teacher at Holmdel High School) approached me and asked if the students could come into the laboratory after hours and talk to me about their projects so I could guide them in specific areas.”
Students often have ideas for projects and research, but may not know how to apply their ideas. Or sometimes it’s just a matter of having access to the resources needed to see a project through. That’s where Ham and her staff come in. Such was the case with Holmdel High student Erica Wu, who made headlines recently for her project “Sewer Electricity: A Microbial Fuel Cell Powered by Sludge,” which generated voltage from wastewater sludge. That sludge was provided by the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority.
“Erica was able to generate sustained voltage from, let’s say, ‘sewage,’ to use a kind word,” Dr. Blaha told the Holmdel Patch. “Most impressive was that this project was done completely in-house, and independently, with no outside help, except for the sludge provided by the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority.”
Wu’s work earned her an invitation to present her project at the New Jersey Academy of Sciences symposium at Kean University. She ended up winning first place in the Environmental Science division, and also got an invitation to present at the American Junior Academy of Science Conference (AJAS) in Austin, TX, among other accolades.
And Wu’s project is just one of several that have resulted from this partnership. Ham said the students have an eye on the future and share similar goals as those working at the Authority.
“Part of what these students want to know about is sustainability in wastewater treatment. The same thing for drinking water. This really is the future in the industry,” she said.
The students come to the facility with a strong understanding of science – Ham has praise for the school systems the Authority works with – but not necessarily an understanding of everything that goes into wastewater management. In fact, she said, most people are surprised when they learn just how involved the process is from the moment they flush to the moment that water is released back out into the world. Permitting, compliance with local, state, and federal law, quality control and quality assurance. It’s a lot to take in.
“Educating the public is extremely important, especially with some of the new laws being passed,” Ham said. “I’m a big believer in that. When the teachers or professors come in, even the adults don’t know themselves what the full process is.”
Educating the public can be an essential part of a good future for the industry, often in some surprising ways. For Ham and the staff at the Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority, working with the students has become a two-way learning endeavor. The experts help the students develop into the next generation of water and wastewater professionals, while the students help veterans of the industry see their jobs in a new light.
“I think we both learned from the project. I’ve been in the field for 22 years and I learned a lot from the students when they came in,” Ham said.
With sustainability a mutual goal for both professionals and future professionals alike, the learning experience becomes about more than just teaching students about how wastewater management works. It also becomes a path to a better future for all.
Our 2018 Spring Conference featured a number of speakers who offered presentations on a wide variety of topics important to those in the water / wastewater industry. With their permission, we are happy to share their PowerPoint presentations here, in both PDF and PowerPoint format. While this is just one part of the insightful presentations these valued guests provided, we hope you’ll find them useful.
CYBER SECURITY FOR WATER AND WASTEWATER UTILITIES
Presented by DAVID A. CHANDA, PE, of Suburban Consulting Engineers, Inc. at the 2018 Spring Conference.
Cyclical Status and Fundamental Structural Disruptions
A presentation by James W. Hughes, Ph.D. University Professor And Dean Emeritus at Rutgers, given at the 2018 Spring Conference of the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA NJ).
PERACETIC ACID DISINFECTION
Presented by Chris Jepson of Van Cleef Engineering Assoc. and Tom McAndrew, Superintendent, WPCP, at the 2018 Spring Conference of the Association of Environmental Authorities.
Resiliency for Today’s Cyber-Ecosystems
Presented by Chris Mangano to the 2018 Spring Conference of the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA NJ)
Retaining Top Talent
Presentation by BRIAN J. VALENTINO, MPA, CEAS, ICMA-CM, Executive Director of the Western Monmouth Utilities Authority and Director of the Environmental Professional Development Academy.
Presentation made by Michael DePalma at the 2018 Spring Conference of the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA NJ)
Water Utility Data Management Systems
Presented by Sami F. Sarrouh, P.E., Steven Callahan, and Samer Sarrouh at the 2018 Spring Conference of the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA NJ)
“Beyond Operations” is the theme of this year’s AEA spring conference to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13-14 at Caesar’s in Atlantic City.
Presentations will largely focus on vitally important matters to help decision-makers and their staff members navigate a constantly changing world. Dave McGimpsey, creator of The Water Values podcast, will offer thoughts on leadership culled from conversations with dozens of water/wastewater professionals.
Another distinguished speaker (whose identity we will share soon!) will discuss economic and demographic trends in New Jersey. Brian Valentino, director of the AEA Environmental Professional Development Academy, will discuss techniques for holding onto good employees. Several speakers will discuss Information Technology topics, and two will discuss drinking water topics.
There will also be networking and great exhibitors AND the annual Recognition Luncheon, featuring Wave and EPDA ceremonies.