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News & Media

AWWA and the Partnership's partner organizations offer timely, relevant and in-depth knowledge and information about the optimization of drinking water treatment plants and distribution systems. Visit this page regularly to access valuable news, media releases, features and insights that help utilities improve operations and performance.

Tom Schippert and Barb Martin pictured with fall colors at AWWA Headquarters in Denver, Colorado.

Fall 2016

Letter from Partnership Staff

"Tell me, and I will forget.  Show me, and I may remember.  Involve me, and I will understand" - Confucius

The Partnership process truly is a team effort, and the most effective water treatment plant or distribution system self-assessments are completed by a diverse team, comprised of individuals at all levels, spanning departments across the organization. Involving staff in the optimization process is proven to be an effective means of increasing staff understanding of the importance of everyone’s role in protecting water quality and public health each and every day.      

Access the full letter to learn more about how collaborative teamwork benefits Partnership utilities - and the Partnership for Safe Water program, itself.


News, Features & Media Releases

Read about recent news and happenings from the Partnership, and access the full archive of articles below:

The Partnership for Safe Water's new treatment plant self-assessment guidance, Self-Assessment for Water Treatment Plant Optimization, was released in 2015.  This new guidance was created to help utilities apply the Partnership's proven self-assessment framework to today's modern water treatment technologies, as well as to help clarify the self-assessment process.  Release of the new guidance also brings with it some changes to the self-assessment process and completion report structure.  Access this article to learn more about these upcoming changes.
The Partnership for Safe Water and Partnership for Clean Water provide optimization tools, resources, and recognition to water and wastewater utilities.  These programs are two of a broad suite of resources available to assist water and wastewater utilities in their optimization efforts and recognize their optimization achievements. Utility optimization resources and programs are largely collaborative in nature, and participation in optimization programs is not an “either-or” proposition.  Access this article to learn more about the water industry's suite of optimization resources and how utilities may benefit from complementary resources and programs.
Nearly 20 utilities have realized the benefits of completing the Partnership for Safe Water's distribution system self-assessment process.  These utilities represent a broad range of distribution system sizes and configurations, including water wholesalers, retailers, and consecutive systems.  The Partnership for Safe Water offers a variety of informative articles, tools, and resources to assist utilities in getting started with and completing the distribution system self-assessment process.  Access this article to learn more about the process and its benefits to water utilities.
In his Fall 2016 letter, Partnership for Safe Water PEAC-Treatment Chair, Kevin Linder from Aurora Water (Colorado), provides some helpful advice, encouraging water utilities to work as a team to capture lessons learned from the summer's water operations experience and be better prepared for the future.  Read the full letter to learn more about implementing this proactive step and find out more about upcoming changes to the treatment plant self-assessment process, based on the 2015 version of Self-Assessment for Water Treatment Plant Optimization.
Recently returned from a 3500 mile cross-country road trip, Partnership for Safe Water Steering Committee Chair, Mike Barsotti from Champlain Water District (Vermont), relates his experiences to the Partnership program in his Fall 2016 letter.  Access the full letter to learn more about some of the Partnership for Safe Water's latest developments and steps the program is taking to bring the Partnership's optimization resources and benefits to a growing number of utilities across North America - and worldwide.
Annual data reports are currently being accepted for the treatment plant and distribution system optimization programs. Treatment plant and distribution system data is an important component of the Partnership program, as it enables the program's long-term impact on water utility performance to be quantified. Learn about the annual reporting process by accessing this news item. Once complete, annual data, narrative reports, and compliance statements may be submitted to:
Partnership staff and volunteers are excited to announce the launch of the Partnership for Clean Water!  Officially introduced at ACE16, the Partnership for Clean Water is a global optimization and recognition program for wastewater utilities, established to parallel the Partnership for Safe Water.  Access this article to learn more about this innovative new program that brings Partnership resources and benefits to a growing utility audience.


Learn about Partnership for Safe Water awards and congratulate the Partnership's newest award recipients!

Utilities receiving new awards during June-October 2016 are listed below.  For a full list of award winners, including longevity awards presented at ACE16, visit the Partnership Awards page.

Directors Award - Treatment
City of Thomaston, GA
City of Thomaston Water Treatment Plant

Monroe County Water Authority, NY
Webster Water Treatment Plant

Lake County Department of Utilities, OH
Aquarius (West) & Bacon Road (East) Water Treatment Plants

Presidents Award – Treatment
Water Works Board of the City of Birmingham, AL
Carson Filter Plant & Putnam Filter Plant

Charleston Water System, SC
Hanahan Water Treatment Plant

Southern Nevada Water Authority/ Las Vegas Valley Water District
Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility
River Mountains Water Treatment Facility

Directors Award - Distribution
Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority
Albuquerque, NM


Welcome to the recent new & returning Partnership for Safe Water utility subscribers:

Alberta, Canada
City of Calgary Water Services (Distribution)

Searcy Water Utilities (Treatment)

Marina Coast Water District (Distribution)

City of Thornton (Treatment)
Parker Water & Sanitation District (Treatment)

Ontario, Canada
Regional Municipality of Halton (Treatment)

Village of Gurnee (Distribution)

Citizens Energy Group (Treatment & Distribution)

City of Ann Arbor Public Utilities Department (Treatment)

Kansas City Water Department (Treatment)

North Carolina
City of Sanford (Treatment & Distribution)

Birdsboro Municipal Authority (Treatment)
East Greenville Borough Water Department (Distribution)

City of Winchester (Treatment)

Victoria, Australia (Distribution Pilot)
Coliban Water

Tapping In - AWWA Announcements

Partnership for Safe Water - Coming Soon to a Conference Near You!

Look for Partnership representatives and presentations at the following conferences and meetings:


Iowa Section AWWA Annual Conference - Altoona, IA (October 4-6)

Southwest Section AWWA Annual Conference - Rogers, AR (October 23-25)

California/Nevada Section AWWA Fall Conference - San Diego, CA (October 24-27)

AWWA Water Infrastructure Conference - Phoenix, AZ (October 30-Nov 2)

Water Quality Technology Conference - Indianapolis, IN (November 13-17)

Utility Management Conference - Tampa, FL (February 7-10, 2017)


More Partnership for Safe Water conference appearances coming in 2017.


Visit the Partnership's resources page (or the links below) for case studies, tech-tips, webinars, the Getting Optimized series, newsletter archives and more:

partnership resources

October 2016 Tech-Tips:
TECH-TIPs: Tips for Optimizing Coagulation & Filter Surveillance
October's Tech-Tips focus on the optimization of key particulate removal water treatment unit processes, including coagulation and filtration.  Visit the Partnership Resources page to access helpful tips, contributed by Partnership for Safe Water staff and program volunteers, that can help operations staff improve the performance of these critical treatment processes to protect water quality and public health. 

The Partnership presents Webinars related to treatment and distribution system optimization as a subscriber benefit to program participants. Access: Emerging Regulations and Water Quality Concerns Webinar, presented by Keith Cartnick, Sr. Director of Water Quality and Compliance with United Water.

October 2016 News (above)
October 2013 Newsletter
July 2013 Newsletter
Newsletter Archive

Plus, a wealth of additional information is available on the resources page - learn about:
AWWA Journal
AWWA Opflow - Getting Optimized Series
AWWA Events Calendar
AWWA Store
Partnership Contacts


AWWA Events Calendar

Southwest Section Annual Conference
October 23, 2016 / Rogers, AR

California-Nevada Section Annual Conference
October 24, 2016 / San Diego, CA

Methodology for Delineating Wetlands
October 25, 2016 / Basking Ridge, NJ

Introduction to Wetland Identification
October 26, 2016 / New Brunswick, NJ

Search All Events

Partnership Contacts

Michael Barsotti
Partnership Steering Committee Chair
Tel: 802.864.7454 Ext. 102

Jack Wang
Partnership PEAC-Distribution Chair

Kevin Linder
Partnership  PEAC-Treatment Chair 
Tel: 720.859.4701
Partnership for Safe Water/AWWA
6666 West Quincy Ave.
Denver, CO  80235-3098

Barb Martin

Partnership Program Sr. Manager
Tel: 303.347.6220

Tom Schippert
Partnership Program Sr. Coordinator
Tel: 303.347.6169


Send us an email and we'll add you to the distribution list to receive a quarterly email wrap-up of Partnership News.


Call us at: 303.347.6169

Fax us at: 303.794.6303


The Partnership for Safe Water is an alliance of six drinking water organizations:

AWWA logo

ASDWA logo

NAWC logo
WRF logo


Utilities subscribe to the Partnership for Safe Water to ensure delivery of safe, high quality water.

Partnership awards promote system excellence with the public and regulators; and materials let utilities create connections with the media and officials to share their outstanding achievements.

Subscribe to Treatment Program (PDF)

Subscribe to Distribution Program (PDF)