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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-100

October 5, 2016

DEP: (718) 595-6600 or deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov
WEF: Lori Harrison, (703) 216-8565, lharrison@wef.org
NACWA: Paula Dannenfeldt, (202) 833-4654, pdannenfeldt@nacwa.org
WERF: Carrie W. Capuco, (571) 384-2097, ccapuco@werf.org
WateReuse: Zachary Dorsey, (571) 445-5503, zdorsey@watereuse.org

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Receives Inaugural “Utility of the Future Today” Recognition

Recipients Demonstrate Innovative and Sustainable Utility Management Practices as well as Exceptional Performance

Photos of DEP projects are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection was awarded the inaugural Utility of the Future (UOTF) Today Recognition from a partnership of water sector organizations including the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) and the WateReuse Association, with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The program celebrates the progress and exceptional performance of wastewater utilities while supporting the widespread adoption of the innovative UOTF business model.

“We are honored to be a recipient of the inaugural Utility of the Future Recognition Program,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Our nearly 6,000 employees work every day to protect public health and the environment with innovative programs that ensure a reliable supply of high quality drinking water for nearly 10 million New Yorkers as well as the proper collection and treatment of wastewater to continue to improve the health of our harbor.”

“Many utilities optimize their operations, consistently meet or exceed their regulatory requirements, and engage their employees and communities in meaningful and productive ways,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “We are excited about this new opportunity to recognize the achievements of small, medium and large forward-thinking utilities that are providing sustainable, efficient, and value-added service to their communities.”

“EPA has been pleased to provide input to the partnering Associations on this important new program,” said Andrew Sawyers, Director of EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management. “We believe it will play an important role in EPA’s efforts to advance effective and sustainable practices that will help utilities across the sector on their journey to becoming the Utility of the Future.”

“NACWA applauds all the recipients of the inaugural Utility of the Future Recognition Program,” said NACWA CEO Adam Krantz. “Utility leaders are engaged in unparalleled innovation and this recognition will inspire the sector as a whole to achieve still untapped economic and environmental benefits for their communities and the nation.”

Public and private utilities from across the U.S., Canada, and Denmark were selected from an impressive number of first year entries by a peer committee of utility leaders. The recipients were recognized and honored during a September 27 ceremony held in conjunction with WEFTEC 2016—WEF’s 89th annual technical exhibition and conference—in New Orleans, La. The recipients received a display flag and a special certificate to further identify and promote their outstanding achievement as a Utility of the Future Today organization.

The UOTF concept was first introduced in 2013 to guide utilities of all sizes toward smarter, more efficient operations and a progression to full resource recovery with enhanced productivity, sustainability, and resiliency. Since then many utilities have successfully implemented new and creative programs to address local environmental and community priorities.

The selection committee chose utilities for recognition based upon the adoption of UOTF principles (water reuse, watershed stewardship, beneficial biosolids reuse, community partnering & engagement, energy efficiency, energy generation & recovery, and nutrient & materials recovery) as the “Organizational Culture of the Future.”

About DEP

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year.  For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

About WEF

The Water Environment Federation is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 33,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, our mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation. To learn more, visit www.wef.org.

About NACWA

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies is the leading advocate for responsible national policies that advance clean water. NACWA represents the collective interests of America's clean water utilities nationwide—and their clear commitment to America’s waters. For over 45 years, NACWA has been the clean water community’s voice in Congress, at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies, as well as in the media and in the courts. To learn more, visit www.nacwa.org.

About WE&RF

The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) is a 501c3 charitable corporation seeking to identify, support, and disseminate research that enhances the quality and reliability of water for natural systems and communities with an integrated approach to resource recovery and reuse; while facilitating interaction among practitioners, educators, researchers, decision makers, and the public. To learn more, visit www.werf.org.

About WateReuse

WateReuse is an international thought-leader on alternative water supply development and the global go-to source for applied research, education, and advocacy on water reuse. Representing a coalition that includes utilities, government agencies, and industry; WateReuse works to educate policymakers and the public on the science, economic value, and environmental benefits of treating water to safely use it for designated purposes, such as irrigation, manufacturing, and drinking. To learn more, visit www.watereuse.org.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600