Gargoyles found on old buildings were originally used as fancy cover-ups for downspouts.
Over the years, Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) has received numerous industry awards for excellence in the financial, engineering and environmental fields. Some of the more recent awards include:
For 22 consecutive years (1992-2013), BWSC has received the Government Finance Officers Association's (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its Current Expense Budget documents. This is the highest form of recognition in government budgeting and recognizes that BWSC's Current Expense Budget met the GFOA program criteria as a policy document, an operation guide, a financial plan and a communications device.
In 2011, BWSC received the Charles River Watershed Association Award (CRWA) for the role it has played in restoring and protecting the Charles River. In September, the International River Foundation (IRF) granted its prestigious Theiss River Prize, one of the world's largest environmental awards, to the CRWA. The IRF commended the CRWA for "its innovative and visionary sustainable program for river management." The award that CRWA granted to BWSC recognizes the Commission's "significant contribution to the restoration of the Charles River," a contribution that led to the overall achievements for which CRWA has been recognized by the International River Foundation.
Received from the Department of Environmental Protection Drinking Water Programs for outstanding performance as a consecutive community system for excellent compliance efforts with regulations to protect and supply safe drinking water to Boston. The Commission has received this award 4 times between 2009 and 2013.
BWSC was presented with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor’s Citation in recognition of dedicated service to maintaining a safe and abundant supply of clean water and commitment to protecting the environment.
BWSC received the Environmental Achievement Award for the successful completion of the Bulfinch Triangle Sewer Separation Project which improved the quality of the infrastructure. The award was presented by the Downtown North Association, a coalition representing the business, institutional, professional, recreational and residential interests of Boston's West End.
Received from the GFOA, this Certificate of Achievement has been awarded to BWSC for 20 consecutive years (1992-2011) for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. BWSC's reporting was judged based on its conformity to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and its compliance with other finance related legal and contractual provisions. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financial reporting.
BWSC received the Preservation Achievement Award in 2006 for its significant renovation/restoration of the Back Bay Fens Gate Houses. The Gate Houses are two historic, granite buildings, one of which was built in 1882 by architect H. H. Richardson as part of Fredrick Law Olmstead’s Emerald Necklace Park System. BWSC was recognized for its outstanding work on restoring these important structures to their original design as well as significant engineering updates to the system that diverts wet weather flows into the Muddy River to prevent upstream flooding.
BWSC was honored by The Boston Harbor Association (TBHA) with the John Ames Award for outstanding commitment to TBHA and Boston Harbor. BWSC consistently works to safeguard Boston Harbor through education and environmental programs. This honor is an acknowledgment of years of effort by BWSC to protect local resources.
BWSC was presented with the Utility Service Award by the New England Water Works Association (NEWWA) for outstanding service through leadership and active participation in NEWWA programs. This honor is in recognition of BWSC’s commitment to providing financial, in-kind and volunteer resources in an effort to advance public health, safety and welfare.
BWSC received the “Best Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Initiative in a North American Municipal Utility” from the Utility Planning Network’s Utility Consortium. BWSC has been a leader in AMR with the installation this system throughout the City of Boston. This radio frequency system eliminates estimated bills, reduces the number of visits by meter readers, creates the ability to track citywide distribution losses, improves response time for service disruptions and increases water conservation efforts. With the system in place, water usage is recorded daily and customers can review their water consumption online. Boston’s successful implementation of the program has gained nationwide attention for its efficiency and innovation.