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Weeding your garden by hand can reduce the need for lawn chemicals that can run-off into storm drains, causing the pollution of local waterways.

Awards

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:

2017 New England's "Best Drinking Water Taste Test" Winner

Boston Water and Sewer Commission won the 8th annual "New England's Best Drinking Water Taste Test" competition at the 2017 New England Water Works Association annual conference held in September. Boston's drinking water, which comes from the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs, has won numerous awards for its excellent quality and taste. This year, Boston's drinking water competed against ten other samples from New England. The win makes Boston eligible to compete against other cities from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico at the American Water Works Association's (AWWA) annual conference in Spring 2018.

In 2014, BWSC won "Best of the Best" national honors from the highly publicized Tap Water Taste contest held by the AWWA.

2017 Shattuck Chairman's Award

Henry F. Vitale, executive director of Boston Water and Sewer Commission, received the 2017 Shattuck Chairman's Award. This honor is conferred upon a City department head demonstrating leadership and exceptional dedication to Boston. While Shattuck Awards are given to a select number of outstanding city of Boston employees annually, Mr. Vitale is the first department head to be honored in 12 years. Shattuck Awards are granted by the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, an independent, non-partisan agency dedicated to promoting effective public policy. According to Bureau President Samuel Tyler, Shattuck award recipients not only do their job but also "do it exceptionally well." Under Mr. Vitale's tenure as executive director, the Commission has received numerous awards, including national recognition of "Best of the Best" tap water in 2014 by the American Water Works Association, the 2016 "Regional Recognition Award" and the "Citation for Consistent Service" from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

2017 Boston Fire Department Commissioner's Citation

Two long time employees of Boston Water and Sewer Commission were awarded with the Outstanding Civilian Service Award by Boston Fire Department. On October 21, 2016, BWSC employees Billy O'Brien, from South Boston, and John Greeley, from Hyde Park, had just finished work on a different job when they got word there was an emergency on Dartmouth Street in Boston's South End. Alongside Boston Fire and EMS, they worked for hours to respectfully assist in the recovery of two workers trapped in a trench, which had collapsed and filled with water during construction work by a private contractor. Additional BWSC employees also rushed to assist at the scene. All BWSC operations personnel on scene at Dartmouth Street was awarded a Commissioners Citation by Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn for their dedication and service.

National Association of Clean Water Agencies Excellence in Management Gold Recognition Award

National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) recognized BWSC for our strong record of effective utility management by awarding BWSC the Gold Award for Utility Excellence. The Gold Awards criteria are based on the Ten Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Sector Utilities and the Keys to Management Success, which were developed by a blue-ribbon committee of water industry executives at the request of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

NACWA has been the nation's recognized leader in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy on the full spectrum of clean water issues, as well as a top technical resource for water management, sustainability and ecosystem protection interests.

Water Environment Federation Gold Award for Innovation and Project Management

The National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards program, led by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was established in 2015 to recognize high-performing regulated Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer Programs (MS4s). WEF recognized BWSC for demonstrating a significant achievement in design, operation, maintenance and process change resulting in demonstrated long-term water quality improvement.

2016 Public Water System Awards

The Department of Environmental Protection Drinking Water Programs presented two awards to the Commission this year. The 2016 Regional Recognition Award for outstanding performance and achievements in 2015 recognized the Commission as a model public water agency that puts forth exemplary efforts in every area of water treatment and distribution including the Lead Service Replacement Program. Special recognition by MassDEP was also received by the Commission with the award of The 2016 Citation for Consistent Performance for continued excellence in delivering safe drinking water in 2015. The Commission was proud to accept this award to celebrate the consistent success in providing safe drinking water to the City of Boston.

2015 Platinum Award for Utility Excellence

Received from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, an organization of the largest publicly owned drinking water suppliers in the United States. The award recognized BWSC for outstanding achievement in implementing the national standard of Effective Utility Management. BWSC's asset management approach and active leak detection and flushing program dramatically reduced water pipe failures and produced a drop in unbilled water from 48 percent to 14 percent. Installation of automatic meter readers increased customer satisfaction and allowed for billing based on actual usage.

2015 Public Water System Award

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 6 times between 2009 and 2015 and also special recognition by MassDEP in 2015 for winning the national "Best of the Best" Tap Water Taste Award.

2015 Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

For 23 consecutive years, 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.

2015 Governor’s Citation

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.

2014 “Best of the Best” Tap Water Taste Award

Boston wins the American Water Works Association (AWWA) tenth annual “Best of the Best” national tap water tasting contest. The contest included 31 entrants from water utilities across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and was judged by a panel of industry experts. The Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs to Boston’s west are the sources of Boston’s largely pristine water.

2014 New England Water Works Association’s Young Professional Employer Support Award

New England Water Works Association (NEWWA) recognized BWSC for their significant effort in supporting the involvement of young professional members, who are under the age of 35, in both the Association and the waterworks profession. The award recognized the Commission and its young professionals for actively participating in NEWWA’s committees, programs, and presentations.

2014 New England Water Works Association’s Utility Service Award

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.

1992–2012 Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting

Received from the GFOA, this Certificate of Achievement has been awarded to BWSC for 21 consecutive years (1992-2012) 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.

2011 Charles River Watershed Association Award

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.

2010 Bulfinch Triangle Environmental Achievement Award

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.

2006 Boston Preservation Alliance’s Preservation Achievement Award

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.

2006 The Boston Harbor Association’s John Ames Award

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.

2006 New England Water Works Associations’ Utility Service Award

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.

2004 and 2005 Utility Planning Network’s Utility Consortium

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 of 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.

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