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Newport News Waterworks receives highest utility excellence award


October 28, 2010

Contact:  Lee Ann Hartmann, Public Information Specialist

Phone: (757) 926-1155 office or (757) 882-6151 digital pager


The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) recognized Newport News Waterworks with the Platinum Award for Utility Excellence on Tuesday, October 26 in Henderson, Nevada.

The award acknowledges outstanding achievement in implementing the nationally recognized Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Sector Utilities. Seven U.S. water systems received the Platinum Award and six received Gold Awards. It was presented to Waterworks Director Brian L. Ramaley at the 2010 AMWA Annual Meeting.

The Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Sector Utilities are industry standards and cover utility performance in areas of product quality, customer satisfaction, employee and leadership development, operational optimization, financial viability, infrastructure stability, operational resiliency, community sustainability, water resource adequacy, and stakeholder understanding and support.

A summary of Waterworks accomplishments, as taken from the AMWA award submission is as follows:


Newport News Waterworks has continued its journey of on-going improvement, enabling the utility to expand its list of accomplishments since receiving AMWA’s Gold Award in 2002. We serve a growing population, with new accounts being added each year. Between 1990 and 2010, $400 million in capital improvements have been completed, yet staffing levels today are less than in 1990, demonstrating our commitment to exceptional individual and organizational performance. This culture of high performance has benefited our customers, as over this twenty-year period, residential bills have increased only 2.78% per year when taking into account reduced water usage. This is less than the inflationary increase experienced in the service area. An excellent system reliability rating of 99.997% equates to only a two-hour outage every ten years on average. Building on our shared mission, vision, and values, and applying a team approach to virtually all we undertake, Waterworks has reduced leaks in the distribution system from more than 40 per 100 miles in 1990 to 22 per 100 miles in 2010, while witnessing a downward trend in discolored water complaints. Using our team approach, we replaced our billing system in 2007, adding new payment options for our customers. Water quality has been improved via the addition of ozone as primary disinfectant and a follow-up manganese removal project completed in 2009. All this was accomplished with environmental stewardship as a backdrop, as evidenced by our achievement of the E4 environmental designation, the highest level awarded by the State’s Department of Environmental Quality.


AMWA President, James McDaniel, Senior Assistant General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said, “AMWA’s 2010 award winners are industry pace-setters, where forward-looking managers and committed workforces create sustainable utilities providing high quality, affordable water and responsive customer service, while protecting the environment.” In addition, Newport News City Manager, Neil A. Morgan said, “Time after time, Waterworks proves itself as a well-managed and highly respected water utility. While they represent the City of Newport News well, they play an integral role in the public health and public safety of the entire Peninsula. We are very proud of this recognition.”


For additional information: (Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies)


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