PNCWA Awards Program

Each year we are incredibly excited to open the Call for Awards Nominations, April 15 through May 31
PNCWA Awards recognize excellent individuals, agencies, and projects. 

PNCWA Nominations deadline is May 31.

Know a person, project, or organization who accomplished something incredible this year? 
What you need to before you nomination a person or project:
Winners of 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 Matt Noesen, Awards Committee Chair ([email protected]). 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, and

-        Operator of the Year awards

Projects and/or facilities awards include:

-        George W. Burke, Jr. (facility safety)

-        Innovative Stormwater Project

-        Municipal Water Protection

-        Excellence in Resource Recovery

-        Sustainability

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 simple online nomination form and attach a nomination letter or supporting documents as appropriate along with a photo of the nominee.

For more information, please contact Matt Noesen, Awards Committee Chair, via email or via phone at 360-688-7486.

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 on an ongoing basis. The awards are presented at our annual conference and nominations are accepted from throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

Arthur Sidney Bedell Award (WEF–PNCWA Award)

The Bedell Award was established to acknowledge extraordinary personal service to a WEF Member Association.

The award is named for Arthur Sidney Bedell, WEF's second president for his long devotion and service to the New York Sewage and Industrial Wastes Association, now the New York Water Environment Association. He was Chief of the Bureau of Sewage and Waste Disposal of the New York State Department of Health.

The award is presented by a WEF representative at the WEF Member Association Annual Meeting.

George W. Burke, Jr. Award (WEF–PNCWA Award)

Recognizes a municipal or industrial wastewater facility for establishing and maintaining an active and effective safety program.  This award was established in 1982 in honor of George W. Burke, Jr., for his many years of service to both the water environment field and WEF as staff manager of technical services. Mr. Burke was instrumental in developing WEF's annual safety survey and assisting in the production of several safety training aids and promotional packets.

The purpose of this award is to encourage an active and effective safety program in municipal and industrial wastewater facilities.

Award presented by a WEF representative at the WEF Member Association Annual Meeting.

Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award (WEF–PNCWA Award)

Recognizes individuals for outstanding performance, professionalism and contributions to the water quality analysis profession.  The award is presented by a WEF representative at the WEF Member Association annual meeting.

William D. Hatfield Award (WEF–PNCWA Award)

The Hatfield Award is presented to operators of wastewater treatment plants for outstanding performance and professionalism. The award was established in honor of Dr. William D. Hatfield, Superintendent of the Decatur, Illinois Sanitary District, who was President of the Central States Sewage Works Association in 1944-45 and served as President of the Federation in 1958-59.

The award consists of a plaque suitably inscribed with the recipient's name and is presented by a Federation representative at the Member Association annual meeting.

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

Quarter Century Operators’ Club

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.

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 in active participation in the day-to-day collections, maintenance, operations, laboratory, or management of a wastewater transportation or treatment facility.
  • Completed and signed application

WEF Life Membership

Individuals who have been a member of WEF and one or more WEF Member Association for 35 or more consecutive years, and are at age 65 or older, are eligible to apply for WEF Life Membership. See

Excellence in Water Reuse Award (PNCWA Award)

The purpose of the program is to recognize recycled water programs that have demonstrated outstanding performance in moving the concept of water reuse forward in the Pacific Northwest region. The focus of the Awards is to recognize outstanding programs, which have demonstrated production and use of recycled water meeting or exceeding state treatment quality requirements.

Individual Distinguished Achievement Award (PNCWA Award)

This award is presented to a PNCWA member who is most deserving of special recognition as a result of distinguished service rendered in the interest of pollution abatement, and who has contributed fundamentally and practically to the advancement of the industry.

Lyman Ketcham Award (PNCWA Award)

This award is established to honor PNCWA members who have made outstanding contributions in the field of wastewater collection system maintenance and operation. It is the equivalent of the Hatfield Award for treatment plant operations and maintenance.

Municipal Water Protection Award (PNCWA Award)

    •    To provide a means for the Association to encourage improvement to practices of municipal waste disposal and reporting thereon.
    •    To recognize publicly a municipality or group of municipalities which have contributed to control or prevention of water pollution problems through: Construction of pollution abatement facilities or equivalent.
    •    Further reduction of waste discharges below levels which create pollution.
    •    Research and development on waste control or elimination, including monitoring the influence of wastes on receiving water.

Sustainability Award (PNCWA Award)

To recognize and encourage projects that showcase sustainable design elements. 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, Public education and outreach about sustainability, LEED certification, Integration and enhancement of social, economic, and environmental factors.

Operator of the Year (PNCWA Award)

Sections in Idaho, Oregon and Washington nominate to their Region, an outstanding Operator and Collections System Operator to be recognized by PNCWA. Nominations do not go directly to PNCWA. Only the regional winners packets are forwarded to PNCWA.

The award represents outstanding job performance of regular duties, and individual or collective accomplishments of an experimental, developmental or innovative nature. (Section membership is required.)

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.

Operator of the Year and Collections Operator of the Year Awards are given in each Region.

President's Award (PNCWA Award)

This award is given 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 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 by 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 contribution to WEF and the profession of environmental engineering. (Example: The WEF President is attending the PNCWA conference.) The Chair or "pH7" of the Society conducts the induction of new Society members at the annual conference.

Excellence in Biosolids Management Award (NBMA-PNCWA ACWA Award) 

This award recognizes significant contributions in the development and implementation of cost-effective and environmentally beneficial biosolids management programs and practices.


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.

Innovative Stormwater Project Award (PNCWA Award) 

This award recognizes and encourages projects that showcase innovative stormwater elements. Projects completed by PNCWA members that feature any of the following components are eligible: stormwater design innovation; urban habitat enhancement; water quality enhancement; public education and outreach about stormwater; integration and enhancement of social, economic, and environmental factors. Projects must be complete and functioning.

Stormwater Professional Excellence Award (PNCWA Award)

The award recognizes individuals for outstanding performance, professionalism and contributions to the stormwater profession. This award is presented to PNCWA members. This award recognized outstanding achievement in stormwater design, stormwater management, watershed management, green infrastructure, contributions that have been beneficial to the nominee's facility, unusual initiative or performance "beyond the call of duty."

Students and Young Professionals Awards

The PNCWA Students and Young Professionals committee participates in the WEF Student Design Competition (PNCWA Award and WEF-PNCWA Award), and participates in the PNCWA Outstanding Young Water Environment Professional Award (PNCWA Award), which recognizes the contributions of young water environment professionals for significant contributions to PNCWA and to the wastewater collection and treatment industry.

Woman of the Year Award (PNCWA Award)

This award recognizes women who have excelled in their career, have forwarded water issues and/or have made a significant achievement to the water industry. The essence of this award is to discover and reward exceptional women for their leadership, mentoring skills and/or ideas that stand out from their colleagues. 

EPA CWA Recognition Awards

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Clean Water Act (CWA) Recognition Awards program began with the National Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Excellence Awards in 1985, to recognize communities that have achieved outstanding O&M programs at publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities. The program, authorized by Section 501(e) of the CWA, presented the first national awards in 1986.

Since the program's inception, Water Environment Federation (WEF) has co-hosted the EPA's awards ceremony and provided excellent coverage in its publications. The Awards have been presented during the WEF's annual Technical Exposition and Conference (WEFTEC). An inscribed plaque was presented to first and second place national winners. EPA greatly appreciates the overall support WEF provided to make this awards program a success.

For further information contact Matt Noesen, Awards Committee Chair ([email protected])

Nominate a deserving professional or project now!

Contact Info

Matt Noesen, Chair
[email protected]