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Nominations Open for 2018 Wave Awards – Recognize Excellence!

Posted on: November 27th, 2018 by eric

The Association of Environmental Authorities bestows Wave Awards to recognize excellence in the public water, wastewater, recycling, and solid waste sector in New Jersey. Submissions are reviewed by a three-member committee.

This year’s awards will be presented at a luncheon on Day Two, Wed., March 13, of the spring utility management conference at Caesar’s in Atlantic City.

Nominations due Friday, Feb. 8, 2019

Download a nomination form here (scroll to the bottom).

Why Should I Submit a Nomination?

Good work deserves attention. By submitting, you foster more success. You instill pride. You motivate. You help us raise awareness about the work we all do.

How Do I Submit A Nomination?

Complete the appropriate nomination form (scroll to the bottom). For each nomination, explain why the organization or individual award is merited. Include supporting documentation such as news stories, resumes, testimonial letters, or other material. Relevant project cost, savings attributed to an effort or project, descriptions of methodologies and other pertinent and distinguishing information should be included. Include photos or charts too, if applicable. Note: Certain limits on who can submit in some categories. See individual award type descriptions.

Nominations are due Feb. 8, 2019

Send the nomination via email (preferred method) to Karen Burris at Karen@aeanj.org, by fax to 609-584-8271, or by postal mail, addressed to Karen, at the AEA offices, 2333 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Suite 2, Mercerville, 08619. For more information, contact Peggy or Karen.

 

Award Descriptions

Up-and-Comer

This award is aimed at helping cultivate association leadership and honor those who volunteer time and effort to AEA. The individual receiving this award is on the staff of a member organization and has, in the last three years, been consistently active and engaged in AEA, making a significant contribution to AEA and its members. Staff of regular and municipal member organizations eligible.

Individual Achievement

Recognizes extraordinary performance of duties of an operations or non-managerial staff member under difficult, adverse or challenging circumstances and/or recognizes skill and dedication. Ineligible: executive directors or department managers. Eligible: individual from regular and municipal member organizations.

Mutual Aid Achievement Award

Recognizes AEA regular or municipal member organization for outstanding or extraordinary effort to assist one or more member organizations during the past year. This awards celebrates the essence of AEA, because it is about banding together to face challenges and promote mutual interests.

Wave Service Award

Given to a non-member, individual who has gone to great lengths or effort over time to help AEA achieve its goals. This individual may be a regulator, a member of a local, state or federal legislative body or someone from any organization AEA works with in an on-going manner.

Life Member

Throughout AEAs history, there have been individuals from member organizations, who have devoted themselves to AEA, serving, volunteering and participating, and making outstanding contributions to AEA over time. Eligible individuals, from member organizations, may still be working in their profession or may be retired. The award permanently waives dues for the Lifetime Member upon their retirement, and it entitles them to attend AEA events. Lifetime Membership benefits do not accrue to the organization employing the honoree.

Outstanding Commissioner Award

This award will be given to a member of an authority board who: 3 Has served six years or more ; embodies a “customer service ethic” by consistently acting in the best interests of ratepayers; has fostered positive relationships/mutual understanding between a regular/municipal member and its community or between the member organization and legislators; has supported AEA through active participation in AEA events; has offered outstanding leadership.

Nominees must be nominated by two other commissioners. Executive directors and professional consultants may not nominate commissioners

Outstanding Associate Member, Individual

This award goes to an individual employed by an associate member company, who has been active in AEA for more than 6 years and who has contributed in an exceptional manner to AEA through his or her committee work, by speaking or writing to inform and educate members in publications or at workshops and conferences, or who has supported AEA regulatory, legislative or public relations initiatives. Nominations can come from regular, municipal and associate members. But associate members may not nominate someone from their own company.

Outstanding Associate Member, Organization.

This award recognizes an AEA associate member organization that has been a member for six or more consecutive years and that has supported AEA through active participation in committees, as presenters, through sponsorships, contributing to AEA education efforts or in some way consistently supported AEA. Only AEA Board and Executive Committee members may submit nominations, and the recipient is chosen by the Executive Committee.

Forward Thinking Award

This award recognizes regular or municipal member innovation. It is presented to members that adopt successful new approaches or techniques in use of technology, facility design, or management. Authorities will submit applications for review by a selection committee.

Public Education Award

This award recognizes an outstanding public relations or public education efforts on the part of regular or municipal members. The efforts must promote understanding of the water, wastewater, solid waste or recycling industries, provide insight into the vital nature of AEA members’ services, or encourage vocational development in the environmental management field. Regular, municipal or associate members may submit nominations for this award.

Best Management Practices Award

This award goes to an authority/municipality that has implemented a process or program that addressed a need and resulted in measurable improvement in personnel management, consumables and inventory management, technical systems, facility operations and maintenance, performance measurement, security measures, customer service or energy. Regular and municipal members may make nominations in this category.

Energy Savers Award

This award recognizes good management and innovation in connection with energy. Success in saving energy costs or consumption, adopting innovation technology or managing energy use are the types of efforts recognized with this award.

 

 

Case Histories: Cinnaminson Sewerage Authority

Posted on: November 12th, 2018 by eric

Throughout New Jersey there are wastewater (sewer systems) of varying ages, some that go back decades and other built more recently. But old or young, these vital utility service systems have one thing in common—they are never really “completed.” Public wastewater authorities are always at work, keeping things humming. Here is an example of what several have been doing:

Cinnaminson Sewerage Authority

Operating Budget: $3.5 million

Customers Served: 6,400

Employees: 12

Cinnaminson Sewerage Authority (CSA) is a 2 million gallon per day (mgd) treatment plant with 12 pumping stations. Each day, up to 2 million gallons of sewage pass through its wastewater treatment plant.

Over the last decade, CSA has undertaken various projects financed by the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB). These projects include upgrades to its main facilities as well as upgrades in the pipes and other parts of its collection system located throughout the community.

For example, the more than 2,000 manholes in Cinnaminson’s sewer system, like the sewer lines themselves, need repair or replacement. Between 2015 and 2017, the authority invested $1.3 million in this work. The authority also replaced two force mains. It also replaced a pumping station.

The authority also replaced the plant grit room. This project cost $7 million dollars. The plant will get a new service garage to house “jetters.”

Also in the new garage will be a new truck outfitted with special cameras that are used to examine the insides of the sewer lines.

Finally, the Authority just finished a big NJEIT project called the Wastewater Treatment Plant Project which was a total upgrade of its plant facilities. Following this project was the sewering of a main industrial and residential road called Taylor’s Lane.

The total cost of these two projects, which also included the new garage at the plant, was approximately $8 million.

Watch this blog for future articles about other authorities making big changes in the State of New Jersey.

Western Monmouth UA, Evesham MUA designated a Water Resources Utilities of the Future

Posted on: August 14th, 2018 by eric

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.

Partnership at Two Rivers Helps Educate the Next Generation of Wastewater Specialists

Posted on: April 30th, 2018 by eric

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.

Presentations from the 2018 Spring Conference now available

Posted on: April 9th, 2018 by eric

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.

Download: PDF / PowerPoint

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).

Download: PDF / PowerPoint

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.

Download: PDF / PowerPoint

Resiliency for Today’s Cyber-Ecosystems

Presented by Chris Mangano to the 2018 Spring Conference of the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA NJ)

DownloadPDF / PowerPoint

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.

Download: PDF / PowerPoint

Rethink Backup

Presentation made by Michael DePalma at the 2018 Spring Conference of the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA NJ)

Download: PDF / PowerPoint

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)

DownloadPDF / PowerPoint

AEA Response Testimony at Clean Water Council Public Hearing: Taking Stormwater Management to the Next Level

Posted on: October 31st, 2017 by eric

The below piece is a written follow-up to oral testimony given at an Oct. 19, 2017 public hearing at the Clean Water Council, c/o the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in Trenton. This written testimony was provided Oct. 31. The Clean Water Council holds an annual hearing and this year the topic was stormwater management. The AEA comments deal with explaining the limited role authorities currently have and the conditions under which authorities may have a role in statewide efforts to address non-point source pollution. 

AEA Response Testimony at Clean Water Council Public Hearing:

Taking Stormwater Management to the Next Level

 

The Association of Environmental Authorities is a trade association that represents utilities authorities and municipal utilities owned by the public, along with private-sector businesses that support them. These members provide clean water and solid waste services to about eight million New Jerseyans. We are grateful for this opportunity to offer comments to the NJ Clean Water Council.

After the passage of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, local governments in New Jersey partnered to create county and regional authorities to address water and wastewater service needs. Individual municipalities created municipal utilities authorities to serve their own water and wastewater needs and in some cases those of neighbors as well. Through authorities and other service delivery models, New Jersey has achieved significant reductions in point-source pollution. Beach closings are now rare. Aquatic life has re-emerged. With new analytical methods for testing water that can detect ever-smaller concentrations of metals and toxic chemicals, there is every reason to hope for continued improvement in outcomes for point-source pollution reduction. Now, it is time for non-point source pollution to be addressed with the same systematic efforts.

 

AEA members have an interest in the dialogue about non-point source pollution reduction. Addressing stormwater pollution can help wastewater and drinking water service providers save money for their ratepayers in reduced treatment costs. Influxes of stormwater can damage the wastewater treatment process and threaten the ability of treatment plants to comply with discharge permits.

It makes sense to include existing drinking water and wastewater agencies in statewide efforts to address non-point source pollution. They already know about how to treat “raw” water to deliver safe “finished” drinking water and how to treat wastewater so that it can be safely discharged into rivers and streams. Authorities are experienced water infrastructure managers, handling operations and maintenances and engaging in long-term capital and financial planning (asset management).[1] However, authorities are not statutorily responsible for stormwater.  Engaging them as partners would require amending the statutes that govern authorities. The law would have to be amended to unequivocally permit authorities to work with MS-4 permittees on stormwater. It would have to permit a new funding mechanism as well— authorities cannot be asked to stretch existing drinking water and/or wastewater funding for stormwater. They need existing funding to maintain water quality and infrastructure.

In the event legislation is created to permit stormwater utilities, water/wastewater authorities should be among those permitted to participate and collect user fees. Legislation should address conditions under which a stormwater facility can be turned over to the stormwater utility and how access for on-going maintenance would be handled. Collaboration and efficient use of existing resources and service delivery systems should be encouraged*[2]. At the same time, authorities must be able to determine the impact participation might have on existing water/wastewater responsibilities and whether it would benefit existing customers. The best outcomes will be achieved if regulations take into account changing conditions, and if they are allow on site-specific investigation, proper sampling, appropriate testing, and an integrated approach to water quality management.

New Jersey can’t address stormwater or any of its environmental challenges effectively without the political will to do so. Citizens, business leaders and local officials must understand the consequences of ignoring the problems of non-point source pollution and the great benefits of addressing them. Many people and organizations, including the Clean Water Council, are working to increase the understanding and awareness that can lead to action. CSO owners like Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission and North Hudson Sewerage Authority are engaging with their communities. Authorities such as Landis Sewerage Authorities, Camden County MUA, Atlantic County Utilities Authority, Mount Laurel Township MUA, and Brick Township MUA reach beyond the gates of their treatment plants to connect with and educate the public. Many authorities work informally with public works departments on stormwater basin cleaning or similar activities.

AEA commends the Clean Water Council for choosing this topic for its public hearing and urges the Council to continue its important work with the Department of Environmental Protection and other stakeholders on non-point source pollution.

 

Respectfully submitted by Peggy Gallos

AEA Executive Director

 

Clean Water Council appointed Peggy in 2015 to a role as a technical advisor.  Jim Cosgrove chairs the CWC. His firm, Kleinfelder, has been a long-time member of AEA and Jim is an active member of the AEA NJPDES Committee. For more information about the CWC, click here. http://www.nj.gov/dep/cleanwatercouncil/

 

[1] Jackson Township MUA is an example of an authority that has managed its capital costs and debts in a balanced manner that has kept rates stable, with a minimum of increases.

[2] Lakewood Township MUA and Hamilton Township MUA (Atlantic County) are authorities that are useful examples of authority/municipal cooperation and collaboration.