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Awards of Excellence

Recognizing the outstanding contributions of rural water & wastewater professionals is one of the highlights of Idaho Rural Water Association’s Spring Conferences. This is an opportunity to place recognition for outstanding performance and professionalism where it is deserved!

Awards are presented during our Annual Spring Conference in March.   

The deadline for the 2021 Awards of Excellence is Friday, January 22nd, 2021.

If you know someone (or a system) who is doing a great job, recognize them by completing the Awards of Excellence Nomination Form!


Award Category Descriptions

Water / Wastewater Operations Specialist of the Year: This award recognizes both an Idaho licensed drinking water and Idaho licensed wastewater operations specialist who are actively working in the field with outstanding leadership abilities and accomplishments in the drinking water/wastewater operations. 

Rookie of the Year: This award recognizes someone who has acquired their operator's license in the State of Idaho (drinking water or wastewater) within the last twelve months that does an outstanding job.

Administrator of the Year: This award recognizes an administrative employee (City Clerk, Recorder, Treasurer, Administrator, Manager, etc.) for outstanding performance in office management, customer service and any other procedures that have benefited the operation of the utility.

Doug Mac Nichol Humanitarian of the Year: This award recognizes someone concerned with the interest and welfare of the public and is one who possesses traits of compassion for other humans by their acts of kindness. They go above and beyond for their community.

Water / Wastewater System of the Year: This award recognizes a water and wastewater utility system that has demonstrated exceptional efforts to properly manage, operate and maintain their systems.

Source Water Protection System of the Year: This award recognizes a water utility system in Idaho that has demonstrated exceptional efforts to protect their drinking water for its customers and neighbors through the development or implementation of a source water protection plan.

Kelly Dahlquist Community Impact Award: This award recognizes an individual who uses herculean efforts to build up Idaho communities through drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects, strategic planning for city revitalization or has developed creative solutions to longstanding community challenges. This individual will embody a spirit of generosity and passion for Idaho’s communities.

 

PRINT THE NOMINATION FORM

or 


SUBMIT AN ELECTRONIC NOMINATION!

Publish Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2019

2020 Award Recipients

  • Administrator of the Year
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Drinking Water System of the Year
  • Drinking Water Operations Specialist of the Year
  • Source Water Protection System of the Year
  • Wastewater Operations Specialist of the Year
  • Friend of Rural Water
  • Idaho's Great American Water Taste Test Winner

Sara Allen - City of Plummer

Administrator of the Year

This year’s Administrator of the Year award goes to a person who started as an accounts receivable clerk with the City and transitioned to City Clerk. She embraced the leadership role and just kept going! The Mayor of Plummer stated she is instrumental to the city's operations and jokingly refers to her as 'half of his brain'. Her commitment and dedication to the city's residents is certainly worthy of recognition!

 

Everton Oliveira - City of Bellevue

Rookie of the Year

This year's rookie of the year award goes to an individual who quickly demonstrated initiative by earning a collections 1 license before beginning to learn about wastewater treatment after an unexpected change in personnel. He stepped up quickly to begin to fill that role and in a short time has become an essential part of the team. His personal drive to learn and perform his very best has been a tremendous help to his supervisor and is well on his way to become a very knowledgeable wastewater treatment operations specialist! (pictured on the left)

 

City of Ketchum

Water System of the Year

This year’s Drinking Water System of the year award goes to a system that accomplished significant improvements over a period of time with careful planning and smart budgeting.All these investments were paid for through power savings earned by lower production, reduced emergency repair costs and through planned rate increases. This community provides a great example of how well planned ‘small steps’ can transform a water system.

 

Craig Cardwell - City of Nez Perce
Drinking Water Operations Specialist of the Year

This year’s Drinking Water Operations Specialist of the Year has worked 19 years for this community and has had a real challenge keeping the system in good working condition and in compliance which is over 100 years old! He works very hard and is available day or night. He is always very professional and has a great attitude with the public and also his supervisors!

 

City of Bellevue

Source Water Protection System of the Year

This community is in the process of finalizing their first source water protection plan. They have been successful in engaging proactive community members to participate on the planning team. Last summer they scheduled an edible aquifer activity with the city librarian in conjunction with their summer reading program that was a hit! The event leaders that interacted with the kids included 4 city employees, 2 members of the planning team and city planning and zoning members.(Kelly West accepting on its behalf)

 

Dustin Brinkly - City of Genesee

Wastewater Operations Specialist of the Year

This year’s wastewater operations specialist of the year has worked very hard at addressing severe infrastructure deficiencies from both physical and operational standpoints. His unique ‘fix anything’ approach has facilitated improvements of an antiquated wastewater treatment system to perform on par with much newer systems saving the City’s ratepayers from expenditures that weren’t absolutely necessary. His advanced capabilities as an equipment operator learned during his time as a construction foreman has been vital to the City’s efforts and he works hard to get the job done right the first time!

 

Shelly Hammons and Dave Flesher

Friend of Rural Water


 

City of Hagerman

Idaho's Great American Water Taste Test Winner

 

 


  • 2019 Administrator of the Year
  • 2019 Rookie of the Year
  • 2019 Drinking Water System of the Year
  • 2019 Drinking Water Operations Specialist of the Year
  • 2019 Wastewater System of the Year
  • 2019 Wastewater Operations Specialist of the Year
  • 2019 Friend of Rural Water
  • 2019 Idaho's Great American Water Taste Test Winner

Frank Suwanrit – City of Bellevue

Administrator of the Year

This year’s Administrator of the Year award goes to a person who has accomplished a lot in their short time serving as Public Works Director. This individual has worked diligently to assemble a cohesive and effective team and make sure that everyone on the team is happy. They are very hands on with their position and are always the first person to show up on every project.

 

Clay Thomas - Hecla Limited Lucky Friday Mine

Rookie of the Year

(Judy Cloos accepting on behalf of Clay Thomas) This year’s rookie of the year award goes to an individual who has demonstrated excellent knowledge and ability as a drinking water operator. They have put forth a great deal of effort to become a proficient operator and have, in the last year, already become instrumental in designing and implementing a plan to upgrade the water system. They helped develop this plan in order to increase the reliability and automation of the water system. This individual has enthusiastically assumed increasing roles and responsibilities, demonstrated effective leadership, and continues to advance rapidly.

 

City of Bellevue

Water System of the Year

This year’s water system of the year award goes to a system that accomplished great things this past year with a tight budget. They have been working on a meter project, installed new sample stations, and have actively pushed a hydrant flushing program. They have also worked with their city council to update and add new types of C12 systems, including C12 analyzers for each of their pump houses. Additionally, this system has met and exceeded all of DEQ’s requests successfully throughout the year.

 

Judy Cloos - Hecla Limited Lucky Friday Mine

Water Operations Specialist of the Year

This year’s Water Operations Specialist of the Year has contributed over 44 years to the drinking water industry. This individual has always maintained an exemplary attitude regardless of any challenges in the system. This person has provided a legacy of almost flawless maintenance and supervisory contributions to their system since the mid-80’s, particularly influenced by their efforts in preventative maintenance. As this person nears retirement, we are proud to offer them this award and the recognition they deserve from their commitment.

 

City of Hagerman

Wastewater System of the Year

Although this system completed an impressive project during this last year, they have been working diligently for the last six years to improve their facilities while being sensitive to the needs of their residents. They were able to collaborate with several agencies to fund about half of their project, keeping the cost to their residents relatively low. The project, which included a new 17 million gallon winter storage pond, a new pumping station to land apply on 99 acres, and 2 new lift stations, was completed in the spring of 2018. This system is excited to now recycle their waste water instead of discharging it into the Snake River. Their dedication to the wellbeing of their residents, tenacity in problem solving, and enthusiasm for caring for the environment make this system an obvious choice for this award.

 

Mike Wade – City of Dover

Wastewater Operations Specialist of the Year

This year’s wastewater operations specialist of the year is a critical part of their water system. Not only does this individual take the lead on the system’s water and wastewater operations, but also has taken on a critical role with the City Council, Mayor, and other staff. This role is significant for the future of the system, planning for upgrades and expansions.

 

Jami Delmore – Southwest District Health Office

Friend of Rural Water


 

Salmon River Meadows Mutual Water Company

Idaho's Great American Water Taste Test Winner

 

 


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