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September 14, 2010

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Member News

New England Chapter to Host Fall Meeting

The New England Chapter of the National Association of Water Companies invites you to attend their fall meeting in Newport, Rhode Island on November 4-5.

On November 4th the Chapter will hold a reception and dinner. The program on the 5th promises to be one you will not want to miss. The Chapter will start the day with an update on regulatory activities in New England followed by a national update from the National Association of Water Companies. The NAWC New York Chapter will present on its consumer education campaign on the value of water. Additionally, cost of service study experts will share their insights and perspectives on rate design to address various systems and customer classes.

Please click here for additional information on the meeting and to register for the hotel accommodations. Meeting registration can be found by clicking here.


Water For People Announces New Board of Directors

Water For People ( announced the individuals that will join the newly structured Water For People Board of Directors.

In line with Water For People’s 2010-2014 Strategic Plan released in March, the new board will complement the strategic direction of the organization moving forward. Moving away from the philanthropic norm of simply reporting annual beneficiaries, Water For People is committed to measuring the impact of its water and sanitation projects over three, six and 10 years, through in-depth mapping, monitoring and evaluation.

Water For People celebrates the contributions of its previous board of directors and the achievement of its 2011 goals two years earlier than anticipated, and in June the board voted for visionary and far-reaching governance changes. Water For People is the designated nongovernmental organization (NGO) partner for the North American Water and Wastewater community. Water for People was founded in 1991 by leaders of the American Water Works Association.

“Water For People owes its very existence and its unique place in the water and sanitation sector to the wisdom and foresight of leaders in the North American water and wastewater community," said Elisa Speranza, president of CH2M HILL's O&M Business Group and current chair of the Water For People Board of Directors. "The grassroots support we get from water and wastewater utilities, suppliers, consultants and other partners forms the strong platform from which we operate. Now we are adding some new perspectives to our board to complement the guidance and wisdom of board members who have served in the past. This new governance model will enable the organization to continue pioneering solutions to end water and sanitation poverty in the developing world."

The new members joining Water For People’s Board of Directors are: Paul Bowen, Water Technology director and director of Strategic Business Initiatives, The Coca-Cola Company; Erich Broksas, senior vice president, Innovation and Investments, The Case Foundation; Monica Ellis, chief executive officer, Global Environment and Technology Foundation and Global Water Challenge; Mary Kay Kaufmann, chief marketing officer and vice president of Sales – Americas, Nalco Company; Pat McCann, president and chief executive officer, Weston Solutions, Inc.; Harold MacNeil, engineering information engineer, Halifax Regional Water Commission; David Nastro, managing director, Morgan Stanley; Darwin Nelson, senior vice president, CDM; Connie Roesch, superintendent, City of Cincinnati – Greater Cincinnati Water Works; and James Williams, president and chief executive officer, Peerless-Midwest, Inc.

Continuing Board members include: Charles DiLaura, president, Neptune Technology Group; Mark Premo, general manager, Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility; and Elisa Speranza, president, CH2M HILL’s O&M Business Group.

“The past achievements of Water For People are a true testament to the invaluable drive, direction and inspiration that the members of our previous Board of Directors have provided us,” said Ned Breslin, chief executive officer of Water For People. “As we move forward guided by our 2010-2014 Strategic Plan, the compilation of the new board members in alignment with the direction set forth by the plan will allow Water For People to achieve maximum, lasting impact in the quest to end global water and sanitation poverty worldwide.”

"Water For People's reconfiguration of their board of directors to more closely align with the objectives of their strategic plan is a great example of the focus and discipline they demonstrate across the entire organization," said Marjorie Schaffner, principal, The Wellington Group. "Having worked with numerous not-for-profit organizations on board structure and governance, I recognize the powerful impact this alignment will have on the organization's work and look forward to following Water For People's successes in the future."

Orientation of the Water For People Board of Directors will take place in September, and the first full Board meeting is scheduled for January 2011 in Honduras.

Board member bios are available on the Water For People website at

For more information about Water For People, contact Peter Mason, director of Marketing and Communications at or visit the website at


West Virginia American Water Welcomes New External Affairs Manager

Laura Jordan
Laura Jordan
Kelly Gillenwater
Kelley Gillenwater

West Virginia American Water welcomes Laura Jordan as its new external affairs manager. Jordan takes over for Kelley Gillenwater, who was recently promoted to internal communications manager after serving in the external affairs role for two years. Jordan comes to West Virginia American Water from the YWCA of Charleston, where she served as director of marketing and communication.

In her new role, Jordan will lead all aspects of West Virginia American Water’s external communications efforts. In addition to serving as company spokesperson, she will work closely with the management team to develop and direct comprehensive strategic communications planning. This includes the coordination of media communications, as well as community and customer outreach efforts.

Kelley Gillenwater now handles the internal communications needs for the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. She will continue to be located in the Charleston office but will work closely with company presidents and other managers in each of the eight states she covers to ensure effective internal communication.

“I am confident Laura will be a great asset to the West Virginia American Water team. Her experience in public relations, her community involvement and her enthusiasm for new challenges make her an ideal fit for this role,” said company President Wayne Morgan. “I also want to congratulate Kelley on her promotion. I am delighted for the opportunity to continue to work with her in her new Eastern Division position.”


SouthWest Water Company Names Keith C. Rice Vice President, Safety and Compliance

SouthWest Water Company announced that Keith C. Rice, P.E. has joined the company as vice president, safety and compliance.

"A safe working environment and regulatory compliance are essential for our employees, clients and customers," said Mark Swatek, SouthWest Water's chief executive officer and president. "Keith's extensive knowledge of the water and wastewater business will be of tremendous value to our efforts to be an industry leader in both areas."

Rice, 57, is a 34-year veteran of the water and wastewater industry. He most recently served as Principal Engineer for AECOM, a global provider of professional technical and management support services, where he was client service manager and project manager for several high-profile water and wastewater projects. Over his long career in the industry he has held project and program management roles over water treatment plants, reclaimed water projects, pipeline rehabilitations, water quality master plans and wastewater treatment plants. Rice earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Vermont and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. He is a registered professional engineer in Florida.


Missouri American Water Groundbreaking Celebrates Approximately $11 Million Water System Investment

Missouri American Water broke ground on new water intake pipelines to draw water from the Missouri River, as well as a water pumping station that will pump the water from the river to the water treatment plant. The project will replace obsolete local infrastructure that is 50 to 120 years old. This significant investment will also expand the capacity of the intake and pumping station to deliver water to the water treatment plant and will help meet peak plant capacity, even at low river levels.

To help ensure reliable water delivery from the river, a 20-foot diameter vertical wet well pumping station will be excavated near the existing pumping station. The new wet well replaces a 120-year old structure that was likely dug by hand.

A new 7-foot-tall tunnel containing two, 20-inch diameter water intake pipelines will extend from the wet well 220 feet under the ground to a point where water can be drawn from the river. Located approximately 75 feet underground, the new tunnel will be 30 feet deeper and extend 80 feet farther into the river than the existing 1960s-vintage structure. The depth and reach of the new tunnel will help to improve water delivery reliability during icy winter conditions and low river levels in the summer.

The project start-up follows a two-year engineering and design process that evaluated multiple alternatives to enhance the reliability and capacity of the systems that deliver water to the water treatment plant. “This option was the most cost-effective choice,” said Jefferson City Operations Superintendent Gilbert Cole.

“This project is replacing water system components that have reached the end of their useful lives,” Cole said. “It is designed to be a critical first step in avoiding the water usage restrictions of 2005 and 2006 and sustain quality, reliable water service for many years. These water infrastructure investments will help maintain public health, safety and the economic vitality of our community.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that the nation’s water utilities will need to make more than $335 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 20 years to ensure public health. These investments include replacing thousands of miles of pipe and making upgrades to treatment plants, storage tanks and other assets.

Dr. Paul Worsey, co-host of The Detonators on the Discovery Channel, brought students from his demolition class at the Missouri University of Science and Technology to create a simulated explosion and pyrotechnic show as part of the project ground breaking.


Aqua Pennsylvania Chairman to Accept Environmental "Green Power" Award for Solar Farm

Aqua Pennsylvania's Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis will accept the Green Power: Turn it On! award for the company from Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture). Aqua Pennsylvania is receiving the award for the construction of a 1.0 megawatt photovoltaic solar power array at its Ingram's Mill water treatment plant in East Bradford Township, Chester County, Penn. The solar farm, among the largest in Pennsylvania, received the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) earlier this year.

PennFuture awards recognize individuals and organizations annually for their work in promoting the clean energy economy in Pennsylvania. The Green Power: Turn it On! campaign is a multifaceted, multiyear campaign aimed at building the renewable energy market in the state.


Pennsylvania American Water Announces $850,000 Upgrade to Shickshinny Water System

Pennsylvania American Water recently announced the start of a series of water main upgrades in the borough of Shickshinny to improve reliability for customers, reduce service disruptions and increase water flows for firefighting. The combined cost of the system improvements is approximately $850,000.

“When completed, these projects will replace pipe dating back to the early 1900s, ensuring that we continue to provide reliable water service to our customers,” said Anthony Gangemi, superintendent of field services for Pennsylvania American Water.


California American Appoints New Corporate Counsel

California American Water announced that Olivia Para has been appointed to the position of corporate counsel. Para will be based at the company’s San Francisco office.

In this role, Para will focus on the company’s rates and regulatory filings. Corporate counsel plays a vital function in the rate setting process and assists in formulating, drafting and filing regulatory requests at the California Public Utilities Commision.

“Olivia Para has a proven track record of successful work with regulatory agencies in the state, which will make her an important asset to our regulatory team,” said Rob MacLean, president of California American Water.

Para joins California American Water after having spent several years at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, LLP, where she represented utility clients in rate cases and other matters before the CPUC. Para has also litigated contract, construction defect and antitrust matters in both state and federal court. Para earned her law degree from Stanford Law School and her undergraduate degree from Stanford University. She is a member of the California Bar and is fluent in Spanish.


New Jersey American Water Supports Aspiring Entrepreneurs

New Jersey American Water recently supported aspiring business owners by donating work stations and chairs to the Rutgers Camden Business Incubator, a nonprofit committed to assisting new entrepreneurs achieve their future endeavors.

In June the Business Incubator received its first donation of gently-used desk accessories, binders and folders when New Jersey American Water transitioned offices from Cherry Hill to Voorhees. “The Rutgers Camden Business Incubator would like to thank New Jersey American Water for their generous donation,” said Incubator Manager Suzanne Zammit.

The Incubator encourages entrepreneurs to locate their businesses in Camden and assists them with low-cost office and conference space, technical support services and mentoring for a successful startup.

“We hope the donation will help reduce the expenses ambitious entrepreneurs face when launching a new business,” said Peter Eschbach, director of communications and external affairs for the Incubator.