Partnership for Safe Water

Treatment Plant Optimization Program

Treatment Pipes

Treatment plant optimization

More than 250 utilities and 400  treatment plants consistently provide the highest quality drinking water possible to 85 million people... and counting.  Become a Partnership subscriber and helps ensure the production and delivery of safe, high quality water.


How the Treatment Plant Optimization Program works

Drinking water utilities of all sizes are invited to participate in the program, as long as they provide filtered surface water and plan to optimize their treatment plants to improve performance.

The treatment plant optimization program is comprised of four phases:

committed people
Phase I: Commitment
An honest commitment is required so that utilities are fully engaged in the optimization process.
Download Partnership Fact Sheet (PDF)

Phase II: Baseline & Annual Data Collection
Baseline & annual data is submitted for inclusion in the Partnership's annual report and to measure improvement.
Download Baseline Data requirements (PDF)
Download Annual Report requirements (PDF)

Phase III: Self-Assessment

The Phase III Self-Assessment Completion Report is the basis for the Directors Award and reviewed by treatment plant optimization experts. 

Download Phase III Checklist (PDF - for use with 1997 version self-assessment guidance)

Download Updated Phase III Checklist (PDF - for use with 2015 version self-assessment guidance)

Note: The Partnership for Safe Water recently updated the program's treatment plant self-assessment guidance.  Contact Partnership staff with questions and visit the Requirements and Reports page for additional details and information. 


treatment facility
Phase IV: Fully Optimized System
Phase IV recognizes the highest level of optimization with exclusive Excellence in Water Treatment Award, and the Presidents Award, recognizing progress towards full optimization.
Presidents Award Guidelines (PDF)

Phase IV Excellence in Water Treatment Award Guidelines(PDF)

pen and padReporting Data
Treatment plants are required to report turbidity data and optimization information as part of the program's Annual Reporting process.
Learn about Requirements and Reports




The Partnership’s awards offer a unique opportunity for utilities to be recognized for the high-quality water they deliver throughout their community and to share the news with regulators, the media and customers.

Directors Award
Awarded based on a peer-reviewed self-assessment of plant operations and water quality data, the Directors Award establishes utilities as high-performing providers of safe drinking water.

5, 10 & 15-Year Directors Awards
The long-term achievements of subscribers are celebrated with awards for 5, 10, and 15 years of maintaining consistent high-quality performance and commitment to optimization.

Presidents Award
More stringent performance requirements recognize treatment plants that achieve the Partnership's rigorous individual filter effluent turbidity standards and are working to full optimization.

Excellence Award
The highest level of Partnership awards, the Phase IV Excellence Award celebrates achieving the most rigorous of requirements and realizing full system optimization.

Award Winners
Discover the many utilities that have been recognized for outstanding water treatment plant performance by visiting the Award Winning Utilities and Plants webpage.


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)