The Warwick Sewer Authority (WSA) received an Outstanding Operations Award from the Atlantic States Rural Water and Wastewater Association (ASRWWA) during its annual conference and trade show yesterday, which was held at Wright’s Chicken Farm in Harrisville.
According to the ASRWWA, the award was presented “in recognition of the WSA’s commitment to the protection of public health and to the Rhode Island Waterways.”
WSA Executive Director Janine Burke was both thrilled and shocked.
“It was quite surprising because this is a regional association,” she said in a phone interview yesterday.
In a press release, Burke pointed out that the award is from an organization of their wastewater peers, which made it all the more prized.
“The general public really has no idea what we do every single day to control water pollution and improve water quality, but ASRWWA does,” Burke said in the statement.
Mayor Scott Avedisian is also happy about the acknowledgment.
“The WSA staff’s commitment to our community and to ensuring the public health was certainly very evident during the 2010 floods, when they worked around the clock to get the basic operations and treatment up and running very quickly,” Avedisian said in a release. “Yet, that is the same dedication they demonstrate every day, quietly and behind the scenes. I congratulate the entire WSA staff on this well-deserved honor.”
In fact, this is the latest in a number of awards the WSA has received in recent years. Past honors have included the Regional EPA Industrial Pretreatment Program Excellence Award, a NEWEA Operator Safety Award, EPA’s Regional EPA Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award, a NEWEA Rhode Island Operator of the Year Award and Save the Bay’s Local Hero award.
The ASRWWA event included a number of seminars led by industry professionals. Burke served as one of the panelists at an afternoon session entitled, “Emergency Preparedness – The 2010 Flood Lessons Learned.”