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  • Water Operator of the Year
  • Wastewater Operator of the Year
  • Board Member/Director of the Year
  • Office Worker of the Year
  • John A. Garrett Outstanding Service Award

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ARWA 24th Annual Awards Program


William Snyder, ARWA Board Member and General Manager of the Monroeville Water Works was Master of Ceremonies for the Awards Luncheon

By George Marodis, Source Water Specialist

On Wednesday, March 18, 2015 the Awards Luncheon was the day set aside to recognize utility personnel and others for outstanding achievement.

Throughout four days of conference activity, a copious amount of information was made available at the technical training sessions. The rooms were packed with public water and wastewater utility personnel eager to learn. This desire to learn is a trait every professional possesses. The ARWA believes it is very important to recognize those professionals that rise above and beyond in their profession.

The categories for recognition are as follows:

  • Water Operator of the Year
  • Wastewater Operator of the Year
  • Office Worker of the Year
  • Board Member/Director of the Year
  • John A. Garrett Outstanding Service Award
  • Water and Wastewater Vision Awards

Water Operator of the Year (We have a tie)

L to R: Johnnie Jones, Old Line Water Authority, Kathy Horne, ARWA, Steve Jackson, Quint Mar Water Authority

Steve Jackson with the Quint Mar Water Authority and Johnnie Jones with the Old Line Water Authority tied for the Water Operator of the Year. Steve has been employed with Quint Mar for 23 years. Before he began working for Quint Mar, Steve was the Assistant Supervisor for the Greenville Water Works & Sewer Board. He is a Grade II Certified Water Operator.

As Quint Mar’s Manager, Steve is on call 24/7 to handle any emergency that may arise. Under Steve’s leadership, Quint Mar has undergone several improvements including the addition of new water sources and tanks, and the replacement of outdated infrastructure. He is currently overseeing a project involving an upgrade to radio read meters. He is a Deacon at the Danielville Baptist Church and serves as a member of the Crenshaw County Animal Society.

Congratulations Steve!

Johnnie Jones has been employed with the Old Line Water Authority for 28 years. During some of those years, he also worked for the Boise Paper Mill. When Johnnie began working with Old Line it was a small water system with financial issues and approximately 200 customers. Johnnie’s first order of business was to collect past due accounts and implement payback schedules for those in hardship. Shortly thereafter, he procured a USDA RD loan and began to lay the groundwork to expand the utility.

Through his hard work and leadership, the Old Line Water Authority grew to over 2,000 customers and added several hundred miles of new waterline as well as several new water wells.

Congratulations Johnnie!


Wastewater Operator of the Year

Kathy Horne, ARWA, David McAlpin, Blountsville Utility Board

The winner of the Wastewater of the Year Award is David McAlpin with the Blountsville Utility Board. David is the General Manager and has been employed with the Blountsville Utility Board for over 16 years. He has been responsible for numerous duties including operations, maintenance and management. Through David’s leadership, he has helped the Blountsville Utility Board meet Wastewater regulatory compliance and permit requirements. To meet those requirements, David has utilized aeration in one of the lagoons, implemented a chlorination/de-chlorination system, and was diligent with flow monitoring and repairs of high infiltration areas throughout the system.

Congratulations David!



Office Worker of the Year

Kathy Horne, ARWA, Shay Gregory, Loachapoka Water Authority

The winner of the Office Worker of the Year is Shay Gregory. Shay has been employed with the Loachapoka Water Authority for 15 years. She is the Office Manager and has worked diligently to improve and enhance Loachapoka’s office operations. In that effort, Shay has improved the billing and collections program. She has also overseen upgrades to the Authority’s office computers and assisted with the integration of the radio read meter program. Shay also provided input in support of updates to office policies and procedures. In addition, Shay has helped the Loachapoka Water Authority utilizing her financial and accounting skills to manage the Authority’s portfolio including the procurement of bonds that saved Loachapoka over $2,000,000 in interest.

Shay is active in her community. She teaches Sunday school for grades 5 through 8, is the mother of a 15 year old daughter.

Congratulations Shay!


Director of the Year

Kathy Horne, ARWA, Richard Robinson, Copeland Ferry Pumpkin Patch Center Water Authority

The winner of the Director of the Year award is Richard Robinson. Richard has served as Board Member with the Copeland Ferry Pumpkin Center Water Authority for 14 years.

Richard is President of the Board and at a young 82 still is willing to out into the field and help with any situation that arises. He is willing to help customers locate leaks, he helps locate existing water lines and helps with the installation of new water lines.

In addition, Richard spent many of his years with the local volunteer fire department and was Chief from 1958 to 1973.

Congratulations Richard!




Water and Wastewater Vision Awards

Recognizing Utilities that Excelled in Water & Wastewater Service

Wayne Character, Jody East , Clay County Water Authority & Kathy Horne

The Vision Award winner for Water was the Clay County Water Authority (CCWA). The CCWA is undergoing a new project that will vastly improve the CCWA ability to expand. The existing water treatment system and distribution mains were constructed in 1972. The current capacity of the treatment plant is 2 MGD. New improvements will allow the facility to produce 3 MGD and eventually double the existing plant capacity to 4 MGD. The CCWA currently has approximately 550 residential and 22 commercial users. There are “dead spots” in the system. Pressure is low in some areas and there are few interconnections. The system is very spread out in different regions of the county which has hindered any significant economic growth.

The proposed project would include expansion and interconnection of the water distribution system. This would result in approximately 636,200 linear ft. of new waterline which is approximately 120 miles, 3 water storage tanks, 3 booster pumps and one hydro-pneumatic booster station. The extensions would be installed within 4 general areas of the county: 1. North, 2. Northeast, 3. Southeast, and 4. West. There are 572 existing users and anticipated 1,014 new hookups for a total of 1,586 users.

Scott Downey, Utilities Board of the Town of Gilbertown & Kathy Horne, ARWA

The Vision Award winner for Wastewater Operations is the Utilities Board of the Town of Gilbertown. No sewer system currently exists in the Town of Gilbertown. The service area for this project was extended beyond the town limits and customers are located in Census Blocks Group 3 and 4 using the 2010 census data. The town limits have now been expanded as of 2012 and all users are inside the new recently expanded town limit.

The new sewer collection system will consist of 4” and 6” low pressure force mains with grinder pumps at each user. Existing septic tanks will be abandoned. The treatment system will be a decentralized. It will include two, 40,000 gallon pre-treatment tanks, one 50,000 gallon recirculation tank and one 50,000 gallon dosing tank with final UV light disinfection. An effluent lift station will discharge treated effluent into the Okatuppa Creek.


John A. Garrett Outstanding Service Award

Kathy Horne, ARWA;
Ronnie Davis, USDA RD

The winner of the John A. Garrett Outstanding Service Ward is Ronnie Davis. Ronnie is State Director of the Alabama USDA Rural Development Program. He has held this position since 2009. As State Director, he has worked closely with his staff to identify areas in Alabama with the greatest needs and consequently established priorities to meet those needs including the efficient use of funding and technical assistance to help provide clean, safe drinking water and sanitary sewer services to rural Alabama.

Ronnie worked closely with the ARWA and other Federal and State agencies to facilitate the restoration of critical infrastructure services to the tornado-ravaged areas of North Alabama as well as drought stricken communities in the southern portion of Alabama.

During the past 6 years, under his leadership, grant investments totaling more than $58 million dollars and loans of over $86 million dollars have been awarded to utility providers throughout Alabama’s rural communities and small towns to help with the installation and improvement of water and sewer infrastructure.

He has encouraged the USDA RD staff to work with funding and technical assistance partners and local communities to ensure that USDA Rural Development funds are used wisely and efficiently to maximize the benefits to the borrowers and customers of Alabama’s public Water and Wastewater Utilities.

Congratulations Ronnie!


4-Wheeler Giveaway

The Awards Ceremony ended with the very popular 4 WHEELER GIVEAWAY. To be eligible for the 4 wheeler, attendees were preregistered with a paid full registration received by March 6, 2015. The lucky winner was Richard Smith with the West Etowah County Water Authority.

Kathy Horne presents the key to Richard Smith,
West Etowah County Water Authority



ARWA 24th Annual Awards Program
honoring Individuals for Outstanding Performance

Read the Waterline story (pdf)


Individuals are recognized in the following Award Categories:

Water Operator of the Year Award- recognizes a State of Alabama Certified Water Treatment Operator with outstanding leadership abilities and accomplishments in water utility operations.

Wastewater Operator of the Year Award - recognizes a State of Alabama Certified Wastewater Treatment Operator with outstanding leadership abilities and accomplishments in wastewater utility operations.

Office Worker of the Year Award - recognizes an administrative employee for outstanding performance in office management and procedures.

Board Member/Director of the Year Award - recognizes an individual who serves as a board member responsible for governing decisions resulting in significant contributions toward the success, growth and customer satisfaction of the utility.

John A. Garrett Outstanding Service Award - recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions throughout the State in support of water and wastewater during his/her career. This award offers an opportunity to nominate a professional individual such as an Alabama Department of Environmental Management staff member, USDA Rural Development staff member, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs staff member, Alabama Congressional Member, State of Alabama Legislator, engineer, etc. who has been instrumental to the success of utility growth and progress in Alabama.




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