PNCWA Awards Program

Each year we are incredibly excited to open the Call for Awards Nominations. PNCWA Awards recognize excellent individuals, agencies, and projects. 

Scholarship Application Period Open April 1 - May 31, 2023

Know a person, project, or organization who accomplished something incredible this year? 
What you need to know before you nominate a person or project:
Winners of the project and individual awards will be recognized at the Awards Banquet during the annual PNCWA conference.
You can recognize great work and people – nominate your supervisor, peer, or employee. Please help us recognize the best in our industry by completing a simple online PNCWA Awards nomination form today.

If you need help, please contact the Awards Committee Chair. The Awards Committee undergoes a thorough vetting process to elevate the prominence and prestige of these awards. The awards are highly treasured and respected by our membership. 



Individual Awards Include:
  • Arthur Sidney Bedell (extraordinary service to PNCWA)
  • Laboratory Analyst Excellence
  • William D. Hatfield (treatment plant operations)
  • Individual Distinguished Achievement
  • Lyman Ketcham (collection system O&M)
  • Woman of the Year
  • Stormwater Professional Excellence
  • Outstanding Young Water Environment Professional
  • Operator of the Year awards

Project and/or Facility Awards Include:

  • George W. Burke, Jr. (facility safety)
  • Innovative Stormwater Project
  • Municipal Water Protection
  • Sustainability/Excellence in Resource Recovery
  • Watermark Award

Nominating is as easy as 1-2-3! Who does great work in their field?

Do your associates, friends, peers, or acquaintances work hard and get results?  Help them get the recognition they deserve by nominating them for a PNCWA and/or WEF award.  There are awards for nearly every type of position in the clean water industry. The nomination process is easy. You must be a PNCWA member to submit a nomination.

1.    Select an award from the categories below.
2.    Review the award qualifications to ensure your candidate is eligible for the award.
3.    Fill out the online nomination form and attach a nomination letter or supporting documents as appropriate along with a photo of the nominee. Each award has its own nomination form. Click on the link for the award you wish to submit a nomination to find the application form. 

For more information, please contact the Awards Committee Chair.

Acknowledging individual and system contributions is a key function of PNCWA.

We hope you will explore the details regarding the awards and nominate people of excellence. Nominations are accepted from throughout the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, and Idaho)

Individual Awards

Arthur Sidney Bedell Award (WEF–PNCWA Award)

The Bedell Award recognizes an individual who has contributed extraordinary personal service to a WEF Member Association.

Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award (WEF–PNCWA Award)
Recognizes individuals for outstanding performance, professionalism, and contributions to the water quality analysis profession.  

William D. Hatfield Award (WEF–PNCWA Award)
The Hatfield Award recognizes wastewater treatment plant operators who exemplify outstanding performance and professionalism. 

Individual Distinguished Achievement Award (PNCWA Award)
This award recognizes distinguished service contributing to the advancement of the industry. 

Lyman Ketcham Award
 (PNCWA Award)
The Ketcham Award recognizes a person focusing on wastewater collection systems who exemplifies outstanding performance and professionalism. 

Woman of the Year Award (PNCWA Award)
The Woman of Year award recognizes women who have excelled in their career, have forwarded water issues and/or have made a significant achievement to the water industry. 

Stormwater Professional Excellence Award (PNCWA Award)
The award recognizes individuals for outstanding performance, professionalism, and contributions to the stormwater profession. 

Outstanding Young Water Environment Professional of the Year
This award recognizes the contributions of young water environment professionals for significant contributions to PNCWA and to the stormwater or wastewater collection and treatment industry.

Project/Facility Awards

Burke Award (WEF–PNCWA Award)
Recognizes a municipal or industrial wastewater facility for establishing and maintaining an active and effective safety program. 

Innovative Stormwater Project Award (PNCWA Award) 
This award recognizes and encourages projects that showcase innovative stormwater elements.

Municipal Water Protection Award (PNCWA Award)
The Municipal Water Protection award recognizes municipality or group of municipalities that have contributed to the control or prevention of water pollution problems. 

Excellence in Resource Recovery & Sustainability Award (PNCWA Award)

Recognizes projects that showcase either sustainable design elements or substantial resource recovery (nutrient, energy, water, carbon recovery). Projects completed by PNCWA members that feature any of the following components are eligible: Renewable energy generation, Greenhouse gas emission reductions, Transformation of waste to products, Energy efficiency improvements, Reduction of toxic materials, Habitat enhancement, Water quality enhancement, LEED certification, Integration and enhancement of social, economic, and environmental factors.  

**NEW** Watermark Award (PNCWA Award) Recognizes PNCWA members who have produced top-quality education, public outreach, and communication programs or projects that encourage and promote the water resource industry.

Additional Awards

(Awards for which nominations are not submitted to the PNCWA Awards committee for review)

Operator of the Year (PNCWA Award)
(Nominations do not go directly to PNCWA. Only the packets of regional winners are forwarded to PNCWA)

Operator of the Year and Collections Operator of the Year Awards are given in each Region—Oregon, Idaho, Western Washington, and Eastern Washington. Sections in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington nominate their Region, as outstanding Treatment Plant Operators and Collections System Operators to be recognized by PNCWA. Regional applications: Treatment Plant Operator and Collections System Operator

The award represents outstanding job performance of regular duties, and individual or collective accomplishments of an experimental, developmental or innovative nature.

The Regional Director coordinates the process for each Region, and the process may vary slightly for each Region. Contact your Regional Director or have your Section President do so. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a section member

Excellence in Biosolids Management Award (Northwest Biosolids-PNCWA-ACWA Award) 
(Nominations are not accepted by PNCWA. Contact Amy Ohlinger of Northwest Biosolids at 206.471.0460 or visit their website for more information. Nominations are typically due in July.)

This award recognizes individuals or programs that have made significant contributions to the development and implementation of cost-effective and environmentally beneficial biosolids management programs and practices.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a current member or active participant of the NBMA and/or PNCWA
  • Must involve biosolids recycling, technology advancements, research, public acceptance and marketing, or similar projects.

President's Award (PNCWA Award)
This award is given to an individual by the PNCWA president in appreciation of outstanding contributions to PNCWA activities and to fulfilling its mission. Recipients are chosen solely by the president.

Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5 S)
The Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers is sanctioned by PNCWA but is directed by the members of the Society. The Society gives recognition to PNCWA members who have contributed to PNCWA but do not qualify for or have not received other honorary awards or have not served as PNCWA officers. Past receipt of other awards does not preclude membership in the Society. The Society supports PNCWA activities as deemed suitable by the Society, with the approval of the Board. Society members select the nominees. A nominee must be an active member of PNCWA. Honorary membership may be extended to non-members at the discretion of the Society for significant contributions to WEF and the profession of environmental engineering, i.e. the WEF President attending the PNCWA conference. The Chair or "pH7" of the Society conducts the induction of new Society members at the annual conference.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) is the world's most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project. The prize taps into the unlimited potential of today's high school students as they seek to address current and future water challenges.

Entries into the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition are judged based on six different criteria: relevance, creativity, methodology, subject knowledge, practical skills, and report and presentation. Unlike other science competitions, this competition weighs the quality of the scientific research paper much more heavily than the poster presentation.

WEF Distinguished Honors and Awards

WEF is proud to present honored recipients with a variety of awards for their hard work in protecting one of the world's most valuable resources. Award recipients are individuals who contribute to the sustainability of water resources and make a profound impact on the future of the world's water through involvement with water professionals and education.

Quarter Century Operators’ Club
(Visit the WEF website to fill out the application.)

The Quarter Century Operator Club recognizes operators of wastewater treatment facilities for their service and dedication in a difficult and dangerous profession. The Club was created under the sponsorship of Frank Woodbury Jones, who served as the Clubs' first registrar. Check out the PNCWA members recognized in the Quarter Century Operator Club here

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Member of WEF for a minimum of five consecutive years immediately preceding application.
  • Significant, full-time participant in the water environment profession for a minimum of 25 years, 10 years of which must have been actively involved in the day-to-day collections, maintenance, operations, laboratory, or management of a wastewater transportation or treatment facility.

WEF Life Membership 
This distinction is for individuals who have been a member of WEF and one or more WEF Member Associations for 35 or more consecutive years, and are at age 65 or older.

WEF Distinguished Honors and Awards
The Water Environment Federation Honors and Awards Program provides an opportunity to recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the water environment profession, WEF, and its Member Associations.

WEF is proud to present honored recipients with a variety of awards for their hard work in protecting one of the world's most valuable resources. Award recipients are individuals and organizations that contribute to the sustainability of water resources and make a profound impact on the future of the world’s water through involvement with water professionals and education

In addition to PNCWA awards, WEF has an awards program. Several PNCWA awards align with the following WEF awards:

  • Collection Systems Award (Ketcham Award)
  • Outstanding Young Water Environment Professional Award (same name)
  • WEF Project Excellence Award (Municipal Water Protection Award)
  • WEF Saftey Award (Burke Award)

Previous PNCWA award winners in these areas are encouraged to consider applying for the corresponding WEF award. For more information visit WEF's awards website. WEF award nominations are due April 1st. 

For further information contact the Awards Committee Chair

Contact Info

Andrew C. Degner, Awards Committee Chair
[email protected]