LABS Awards: Honoring LA’s Finest in the Clean Water Community

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(click next to browse through award winners)

By Wendy Wert
LABS Director

On January 23, 2010, the Los Angeles Basin Section (LABS) of California Water Environment Association (CWEA) hosted the 2009 annual LABS awards from the Royal Salon of the Queen Mary. The celebration began with an energized social gathering of CWEA leaders, members, and award winners.

The featured speaker, CWEA Past President Dave Greenwood highlighted specific steps CWEA has taken in 2009 and those planned for 2010 to reach the organizational training objectives in light of current economic conditions. Greenwood reported that CWEA has remained strong during this economic cycle. Although conference attendance was slightly lower than expected, the organization remains energized and plans to roll out stellar training opportunities in 2010. He urged the organizations present to continue to partner with CWEA to support training opportunities for their staff and emphasized the value of workforce engagement.

LABS President Hala Titus began the awards ceremony. Past-President Patrick Griffith presented the 2009 awards to the local section winners. The Plant of the Year Award Greater than or equal to 5MGD and Less than or equal to 20MGD went to the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant. This facility has pioneered many innovative technologies in the field of wastewater treatment. Advances include egg-shaped thermophilic anaerobic digesters and more recently the Biosolids Slurry Injection T.I.R.E project. Shahrouzeh Saneie and Douglas Bohlmann accepted the award for the Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant.

Bill Garrett presented P3S Person of the Year Award to Joseph Petchuk Jr. of the City of Santa Monica Water Resources Protection Program.

The Research Achievement Award went to the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts for their Combined UV and Chlorination Disinfection. This applied research project effectively managed to achieve effluent disinfection requirements while simultaneously reducing precursors to disinfection-by-products. Naoko Munakata accepted the award for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.

The Gadgets and Gimmicks Award went to Larry Lemire, Charles Harris, Marcos Alvarez, and Phil Ackman of the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts for their Nocardia Foam Catcher. The Nocardia Foam Catcher is a simple, effective solution to common plant foaming problems. Physical removal of the foam also reduces chemical requirements and improves overall plant efficiency. Larry Lemire accepted the award for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.

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(photos by Wendy Wert, LABS)

Frances Garrett resurrected a LABS tradition and lightened the festivities by awarding LABS Past President Patrick Griffith with an Oops Award for his role in the iterative but amusing payment process for the 2009 Past Presidents event.

The Distinguished Service Award went to Alec Mackie for his diligent service to LABS. Alec Mackie gave new life in the LABS website and made it a model for other local sections to emulate. Alec also serves as the LABS Corporate liaison, in this capacity he has achieved recordsponsorship even during current economic constraints. His contributions to the upcoming P3S Conference in Long Beach are vital to that event’s success, and his innumerable contributions to other LABS events are unparalleled.

The Engineering Achievement Award went to Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts for their UV Disinfection Facilities at the Whittier Narrows Water Reclamation Plant. Mike Creel accepted the award for the Whittier Narrows Water Reclamation Plant.

LABS Director Basil Hewitt presented the Public Education Person of the Year Award to Michael Simpson of City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation.

The Safety Award Over 76 Employees went to the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts Joint Water Pollution Control Plant. Mike Shatynski accepted the award for the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant.

The Safety Award 1-25 Employees went to the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation for their LA-Glendale Water Reclamation Plant. Roger Ramsay accepted the award for the Glendale Water Reclamation Plant.

The Safety Award 26-75 Employees went to the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant. Hiddo Netto accepted the award for the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant.

Various local section winners will continue to state level competition at the CWEA annual conference in Sacramento. Congratulations to all LABS award winners and good luck at the annual conference!

Winners summary:

  1. Treatment Plant of the Year
    City of Los Angeles
    Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant
    Douglas Bohlmann, Plant Manager
  2. P3S Person of the Year
    Joe Petchuk
    City of Santa Monica
  3. Public Education Person of the Year
    Michael A. Simpson
    City of Los Angeles
  4. Gimmicks and Gadgets Award
    Nocardia Foam Catcher
    Larry Lemire, Charles Harris, Marcos Alvarez and Phil Ackman
    LACSD
  5. The Oops Award
    “The Great Checkscapade Summer 2009”
    Patrick Griffith
    LABS Past-President
    LACSD
  6. Distinguished Service Award
    Alec Mackie
    LABS Corporate Director
    JWC Environmental
  7. Research
    UV and Chlorination Disinfection Research Project
    LACSD
  8. Engineering
    UV Disinfection Facility, Whittier Narrows WRP
    LACSD
  9. Safety Award, Medium Plant
    City of Los Angeles
    Tillman/LA-Glendale
    Treatment Plants
  10. Safety Award, Large Plant
    LACSD
    Joint Water Pollution Control Plant

The dinner was partially sponsored by Black & VeatchCoombs-Hopkins and JWC Environmental.

In addition, vendors graciously provided outstanding door prizes, (company, rep – door prize):

  1. CWEA, David Greenwood, Past-President – 1 complimentary state conference pass
  2. MISCO Water, Chris McCampbell – $200 Best Buy gift cards
  3. Brown & Caldwell, Boris Pastushenko – 2 $50 Costco gift card
  4. BioCope, Pat McDaniel – 2 $50 Target gift cards
  5. AECOM, Saik-Choon Poh – 3 $20 Starbucks gift cards
  6. Rain for Rent, Janel Warren – round of golf and golf goodie bag
  7. Black & Veatch, Hala Titus – wine
  8. Lee & Ro, Dave Bechtel – 2 $25 Best Buy gift cards
  9. MWH Global, Pei-Chin Low – wine

Many thanks to LABS gracious sponsors!

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