The Rocky Mountain Section of the American Water Works Association recently recognized the Ute Water Conservancy District Treatment Plant with an award for its work.
The award was the 2020 Outstanding Water Treatment Plant Award for utilities serving over 50,000 customers and is based on a number of factors including water quality, maintenance, professionalism and safety.
Ute Water Process Control Technician Tony Ibarra nominated the plant for the award and said he was glad to see the work of the staff recognized. He said they have worked to continuously improve plant operations through facility upgrades, as well as staff training and certification.
“The status quo up here is continuous improvement, making the treatment process better, whether it’s equipment or professional development, personal development,” Ibarra said. “A lot of it was upgraded instrumentation, but a big part of it was professional development as well.”
The Ute Water Treatment Plant has undergone facility improvements in recent years including pump station rehabilitations, pre-treatment facility upgrades, filter improvements and a motor control center replacement, among others, according to a news release.
Treatment Plant Superintendent Ben Hoffman said he was happy to receive the recognition and noted that previous winners included larger Front Range districts. He said, typically, water districts make the news for negative reasons, but that he was happy to have something positive to share.
“What you don’t often hear is the dedication to the profession and the high standards that we hold for ourselves,” Hoffman said. “So to be recognized by our peers in the industry and our professional associations — the American Water Works Association — it means a lot.”
Ibarra said there were categories to recognize individuals working in the plant in the nomination process, but that he felt the entire staff should share in the recognition.
“Every single day I see the dedication of the staff toward providing the safest, highest quality drinking water to our customers, they’re dedication to the profession,” Ibarra said. “Really I just felt that deserved recognition. They’re here every single day making sure our customers get quality drinking water.”