Missouri Wins Association of the Year at Annual NRWA Awards; Kentucky, Ohio, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Wisconsin Earn Awards

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Missouri Rural Water Association received the State Association of the Year award at the annual Tribute to Excellence awards ceremony, held on Sept. 18 at the WaterPro Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

“The most prestigious and most honored award is the State Association of the Year,” said Ed Savage, chair of the NRWA Awards Committee. “It is presented to the state association that projects a team effort in all areas of professional association operations and membership service.  The State Association of the Year has excelled in all categories of the award and this is only accomplished by teamwork, strong leadership and member support.”

“For years, this association has been well-respected for the high-quality training, services, publications and advocacy they provide their members. With an active membership providing water and wastewater to hundreds-of-thousands of customers, this state offers leadership, resources and programs that benefit their members.”

The South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Communications, Publications and Public Relations.

“Rural Water pride runs deep in their state,” Savage said. “This association does excellent, meaningful work and are getting the word out about it.  They work constantly on cultivating a positive relationship with the public through their consumer magazine, their children’s water festival and many other ways of promoting rural water.”

The Kentucky Rural Water Association earned the award for Outstanding Achievement in Legislative Initiatives.

“Kentucky made a commitment to provide a strong, unified voice for their members. They work year-round as the advocate for rural system needs,” Savage said. “They have developed strong relationships with their state’s congressional delegation, and never miss an opportunity to interact with them and their staff. During their legislative session they publish a weekly newsletter, sent to all utility members, keeping them abreast of current legislative issues.”

The Ohio Rural Water Association won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Technical Assistance.

“New legislation in Ohio requires every public water system in the state to develop an Asset Management Program that includes an inventory of all their assets, a map of those assets, an assessment of their current condition and criticality were they to fail, and a capital improvement plan to repair or replace the assets,” Savage said. “Ohio Rural Water has created an Asset Management Plan template with over 100 pages of detailed content to provide to small and rural systems and has educated its staff to enable them to guide utilities through the entire process.”

The Wisconsin Rural Water Association received the Outstanding Achievement in Training award.

“Wisconsin prides itself as the foremost training entity in their state. State primacy often comes to them to train its employees and operators in proper regulations and compliance issues,” Savage said. “In 2017, Wisconsin conducted 202 classes in 50 different subjects in 103 locations around the state.  A total of 5009 operators attended these classes.”

The Oklahoma Rural Water Association won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Member Services.

“Oklahoma’s member service efforts focus on building strong relationships and strengthening the water and wastewater industries by providing networking and learning opportunities for members, as well as services such as an Insurance Corporation, a short-term loan program, a scholarship program for rural students and many other member services,” Savage said.

Winners were selected from states that applied for consideration. Submissions were independently rated by each individual committee member with the name and location of the state redacted to make the scoring anonymous.

The NRWA Awards Committee includes Savage, Nevada; Phillip Combs, Tennessee; Bruce Bottomley, New Hampshire; Tom Delbridge, Virginia; Paul Fulgham, Uath; and John Sasur, Massachusetts.