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  • APWA Selects RWRD as Winner in the Sustainability Category

    Apr 07, 2015 | Read More News
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    Tres Rios EffluentThe Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) has selected RWRD’s Integrated Sustainability and Resource Recovery Program as the winner of the 2015 Project of the Year Award in the category of Sustainability. The APWA Award reinforces the strong leadership provided by RWRD through its Sustainability and Energy Management Office (SEMO) to address all aspects of sustainability in a holistic manner. RWRD Director Jackson Jenkins submitted the nomination to the state APWA chapter.

    APWA’s primary evaluation criteria dictated that submissions for the sustainability award address the core business focus of the submitting organization. RWRD’s submission included technical papers, PowerPoint presentations, and showcased the department’s recent awards and achievements. The submission package described wastewater as a “green commodity” and touted RWRD as an agency that proactively deals with water, solids, and other byproducts traditionally considered “wastes.” The materials show that RWRD recognized the social, environmental, and economic value of the “wastes” and how we are transforming our business from “waste treatment/disposal” to “maximizing resource recovery from water, biosolids, biogas, and other byproducts.”

    APWA’s secondary evaluation criteria dictated that submissions also address the core business in relation to:

    • Economic development and financial stability of the region Solar Power projects and the Biogas Sale and Utilization Project are cited as economic drivers attracting private investment, thus stimulating the economy and creating much-needed jobs in Pima County.
    • The local community in terms of education, safety, enjoyment, and livability RWRD’s Community Relations outreach activities pertaining to drought awareness and holiday grease collection events provide education about sustainable behaviors; Class A reclaimed water discharges make for a safer environment; the development of multi-use trail systems add to the enjoyment of the region; and altering operations to reduce RWRD’s carbon footprint adds to the livability of the region.
    • How the community conserves and utilizes its natural resources Struvite recovery reduces or eliminates the use and handling of costly and corrosive commercial chemicals at the Tres Rios WRF, and recovers phosphorus, a vital and limited resource.
    • Implementation of energy efficiency measures Through the Regional Optimization Master Plan, RWRD’s energy consumption decreased by 25%.
    • Future opportunities for expansion and/or improvement in the region Future projects under consideration include Direct Potable Reuse, a Compressed Natural Gas pipeline, and an Energy Neutrality project.

    On Wednesday, July 15th, APWA will honor RWRD and other winning organizations at its 2015 APWA Awards Luncheon to be held at the Phoenix Country Club. The awards presentation will recognize the managing agency, design consultant, and contractor; and will showcase award-winning aspects of each project.

    The APWA state chapter has submitted the award to its national organization for competition in the National Public Works Project of the Year Award in the Sustainability category.