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2016 Utility Excellence Awards Winners

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Congratulations to our 2016 Utility Award Winners! We had lots of great entries this year – judging by our entries ensuring that communities are engaged in new programs, and doing their part to ensure the health and longevity of our infrastructure is an important focus of our members.  


Ontario Clean Water Agency
I Don’t Flush Campaign

A dedicated team from the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) came up with a creative way to encourage the public to properly dispose of unused/unwanted pharmaceuticals. In October 2014, OCWA – in partnership with non-profit The Clean Water Foundation (CWF) – launched the I Don’t Flush public awareness campaign. With their multi-faceted approach, including a microsite, social media presence and broadcast/radio public service announcement (PSA), the team helped contribute to a 10% increase in pharmaceutical take-back across targeted regions in Ontario. Through 2015, the campaign had generated over 30 million media impressions and helped the public understand that small, everyday actions can contribute to a cleaner environment.
Metro Vancouver. BC
Wipes Pilot Project
Like many wastewater utilities, Metro Vancouver has ongoing issues with wipes and other "unflushables" in its wastewater system. In the fall of 2015, Metro Vancouver worked with the City of Pitt Meadows to conduct an eight-week pilot project to reduce the flushing of wipes in that city. The pilot incorporated social marketing approaches and used a light-hearted "Adult Toilet Training" theme. It also included quantitative measurement to help assess the project’s effectiveness. The Pilot was incredibly successful, positively impacting flushing behaviour and will be expanded by Metro Vancouver.


Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group, ON
Sewer Use Brochures
MESUG – a group of Wastewater/Water Operators, Environmental Technicians, By-Law Officers, Managers and Administrators from across Ontario, have been working for several years to develop communications products and programs to encourage proper sewer use. This included the development of a series of brochures:
  • From Drain to Drinking Water – Storm Sewers 
  • From Drain to Drinking Water – Pools and Hot Tubs 
  • Sinks Are Not Garbage Cans – Food Waste Grinders 
  • Sinks Are Not Garbage Cans – Restaurant Grease
One of the best parts of these brochures is that they tackle issues universal among utilities across the country and can be adapted and distributed by anyone.

Municipality of East Hants, NS
Source Water Protection Plan Public Engagement Process
The Municipality of East Hants, Nova Scotia recently underwent extensive public consultations while developing a Source Water Protection Plan for their watershed. This included meetings to raise awareness of the challenges of the watershed, development of a GIS online mapping tool and outreach to the local farming community to champion better nutrient management practices. Due to the extensive community outreach the Protection Plan is not only more robust, but is having better community participation and buy in. 

Full details on the winning submissions are available on the CWWA website.


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