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Partnership for Safe Water

Partnership for Safe Water Program at ACE17 in Philadelphia



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Recent Partnership for Safe Water Treatment Presidents Workshop Completed in Allentown, PA

A workshop was conducted on February 23, 2017, in the Allentown, PA area to assist utilities in preparing and submitting applications for consideration of the Presidents award.  The Presidents recognition can be awarded to utilities that adopt and maintain additional voluntary individual filtration goals and have successfully completed the Phase III process with achievement of the Directors Award.

A total of 15 attendees from 8 individual utilities were present to learn from PA-AWWA Partnership Program representatives John Bartol, Paul Zielinski and Gordie Miller the process of gathering information for the application, proper data collection, choosing the correct monitoring locations,  proper data review and interpretation for optimization, and finalizing the application process. The group was also briefed on the goals and requirements of the Phase IV Excellence program.  Gordie Miller, one of the two Phase IV Excellence Awardees in PA, presented his experiences with preparing the final report.  A water treatment plant tour was also offered to attendees.

Keys to the success of the workshop were great audience participation and the open sharing of experiences and ideas.  Other workshops are being considered for Central and Western PA later this year.  The PA-AWWA reps for each area will reach out to utilities prior to the workshop to ensure they are notified.  If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please contact one of the PfSW Representatives.


Partnership for Clean Water…Wastewater Treatment Plant Optimization is coming!!!


Dear Partnership for Safe Water Subscriber,

The Partnership for Safe Water is excited to announce the launch of its parallel program for wastewater treatment plant optimization – the Partnership for Clean Water!  This new program will officially launch at AWWA’s ACE16 this June.

The Partnership for Clean Water is an optimization and recognition program developed specifically for wastewater utilities.  Applying the Partnership’s proven techniques for self-assessment and optimization, the Partnership for Clean Water is designed to help wastewater treatment plants optimize performance and operations, with a focus on operational efficiency and effluent quality, and receive recognition for their efforts.

As a Partnership for Safe Water subscriber utility, your utility is part of a select group that has recognized and realized the benefits of program participation.  We are pleased to offer your utility the opportunity to be one of the first participate in the Partnership for Clean Water as a Charter Subscriber.  Charter Subscribers will receive priority access to program tools and resources, exclusive access to online training events, and recognition for being one of the first to make the commitment to optimization through the Partnership for Clean Water.

ACE16 Partnership for Clean Water launch events include a professional session (MON02, held on Monday, June 20 from 2:00-5:00pm) and roundtable solutions session (held Wednesday, June 22 from 1:00-2:00pm in the exhibit hall classroom).  Partnership staff and volunteers will also be present at the AWWA Pavilion, located in the exhibit hall, throughout the conference.

Learn more about the Partnership for Clean Water program, ACE16 launch events, or subscribe to the program, on the Partnership for Clean Water website.  A utility’s first-year subscriber fees are pro-rated.

Please feel free to contact AWWA’s Partnership staff if you have questions or would like any additional information about either program.  If you are employed by a drinking water-only utility, please consider forwarding this invitation to your local wastewater treatment utility – and help support their efforts to protect environmental water quality and public health.


Thank you for your support of the Partnership for Safe Water.  We appreciate your consideration and support as Partnership programs expand to offer their benefits to a growing number of utilities across North America.

Thank you,

Barb Martin

Barbara Martin

Sr. Manager – Partnership Programs

American Water Works Association

6666 West Quincy Ave., Denver, CO 80235 USA

Direct 303.347.6220 | Mobile 303.913.3107 |


Distribution System Optimization Program 101


Author William Wankoff, of D&B/Guarino Engineers

“How Any Utiity Can Participate in the Partnership’s Distribution System Optimization Program”

Completing the Partnership’s distribution system self-assessment process to achieve the program’s Directors Award is a goal of many Partnership for Safe Water subscriber utilities.  In “Distribution System Optimization Program 101,” author William Wankoff, of D&B/Guarino Engineers, provides an overview of the program, as well as several options for structuring a diverse utility team to complete the self-assessment process.

His recommendations are based on personal experience consulting with a large utility to assist them with completing the self-assessment process.  From this experience, Wankoff also provides lessons learned for expanding the distribution system self-assessment process beyond those parameters specifically covered in the Partnership’s self-assessment guidance, as well as the benefits gained by the participating utility.


East Greenville Borough Water Department joins the new Partnership for Safe Water (PfSW) “Distribution Optimization Program”


East Greenville Borough Water Department, located in Montgomery County, recently became a member of the PfSW “Distribution Optimization Program”, a voluntary effort to provide safe drinking water to all customers. Presently, The Borough’s Water System provides drinking water service to approximately 3,100 people.


The Distribution System Optimization program is similar to the existing water treatment plant program.  However, the distribution program is specifically focused on preserving distribution system integrity to include water quality preservation, hydraulic reliability, and physical security.  Surface water, groundwater, and consecutive water systems are all eligible to enroll in the new Distribution Optimization Program.  The program consists of 4 phases which include a commitment to the program, annual data collection and submittal, a self assessment phase, and a final phase of Excellence in Distribution System Operation.


The PfSW is a voluntary cooperative effort between the Pennsylvania DEP, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, AWWA and other drinking water organizations.  Its goal is to implement preventative measures that are based on optimizing treatment plant performance and distribution system performance.  By participating in the program, the East Greenville Borough Water Department is working to provide an additional measure of protection to their drinking water consumers.

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6666 West Quincy Avenue | Denver, Colorado | 80235-3098 |
Main Tel: 303.347.6169 | Fax: 303.794.6303
e-mail: | Web:

April 2016 |   Volume 21   |   Number 1


The 2016 Spring newsletter includes information that you will not want to miss. The items highlighted in this email, along with additional Partnership news and resources, have recently been published on the Partnership’s website.

Be sure to bookmark the Partnership for Safe Water website and visit often to read the latest announcements, articles, case studies, features, and technical tips – or access our archived material.

The items highlighted below represent a short summary of the wealth of information available on our website. We hope you continue to enjoy our new and improved newsletter and website format. As always, your feedback and comments are welcome.

Thank you for your continued support of the Partnership for Safe Water!

LETTER FROM PARTNERSHIP STAFFT Schippert K Linder B Martin Award Presentation

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell

In light of the situation in Flint, Michigan, Partnership for Safe Water staff have frequently been approached with the question of “How does the Partnership address lead and copper?”

The distribution system optimization program directly addresses corrosion control as one of the evaluation parameters included in the self-assessment process. While the focus of thePartnership’s treatment plant optimization program is primarily particulate removal, its principles may be applied to address many water quality challenges.

Most importantly, applying the Partnership for Safe Water philosophies of preparedness, tenacity, avoiding complacency and creating a utility culture of excellence helps to build a resilient utility that is prepared to face the water quality challenges of today – and those of the future.

Read Barb & Tom’s full April letter and learn more about the Partnership for Safe Water’s optimization programs on the Partnership news page.

Tom Schippert (L) and Barb Martin (R) congratulate Kevin Linder (C) of Aurora Water (CO) for receiving the Excellence in Water Treatment Award for the Peter D. Binney Water Purification Facility. Aurora Water is the only utility to have achieved three Phase IV Excellence in Water Treatment Awards.



The Partnership for Safe Water is pleased to announce the release of the program’s 2016 Annual Data Summary Report. This report provides a performance summary of thePartnership’s treatment plant and distribution system optimization programs and features utility and program highlights from 2015 – the Partnership for Safe Water’s 20th Anniversary year.

The Annual Report continues to communicate the impact of this critical drinking water optimization program, which has furthered its mission of improving drinking water quality to protect public health, for more than two decades.

To read more about the Annual Report’s contents, and to access the report, visit the Partnership news page.



Distribution Program coverCompleting the Partnership’s comprehensive distribution system self-assessment process to achieve the Directors Award is a goal of many Partnership for Safe Water subscriber utilities. However, it can be a challenge for utilities to know where and how to begin.

This informative article, contributed by William Wankoff, of D&B/Guarino Engineers, addresses the challenge! The article provides an overview of the distribution system optimization program, several options for structuring a diverse utility team to complete the self-assessment process, and a summary of lessons learned and benefits gained by completing the process. Access a wealth ofPartnership resources – including tech-tips, AWWA Opflow articles, and informative videos – on thePartnership resources page.




ACE16 logoAWWA’s 2016 Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE16) is taking place in Chicago, Illinois from June 19-22. The Partnership for Safe Water has a full schedule of events planned for the conference, including a Subscriber Appreciation Reception, the program’s Annual Awards Luncheon, a distribution system optimization professional session – and the launch of the Partnership’s parallel optimization program for wastewater utilities, thePartnership for Clean Water.

Visit the Partnership for Safe Water booth at the AWWA Pavilion in the exhibit hall to learn more about Partnership programs and have your questions answered by Partnership staff. Partnership for Safe Water Staff look forward to seeing many utility subscribers at the conference!

Read more about the Partnership’s ACE16 activities on the Partnership news page.


Learn more about Partnership happenings and other events on the Partnership news page.

AWWA Delivers Valuable Member Benefits
Members receive news and information, periodicals and Section membership, as well as discounts on technical resources, conferences and other online learning opportunities. Learn more.
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Visit this resources page often for tech-tips, case studies, AWWA Opflow and industry articles designed to help utilities manage treatment and distribution optimization practices.

2016 Annual Data Summary Report (PDF, 2 MB)

The Partnership’s Steering Committee and Staff are pleased to present the 2016 Annual Data Summary Report (PDF) 2 MB.  Released annually, the report includes data from both the treatment plant and distribution system optimization programs.

Partnership for Safe Water Strategic Plan (PDF)

Since the beginning, Partnership programs have been developed “For Utilities; By Utilities.”  In 2014, thePartnership developed and adopted a new strategic plan, designed to guide the program into a successful future.  Read the plan and learn more about our vision, mission, and strategic goals.


Partnership for Safe Water Program News: Birdsboro Membrane Plant Sets Their Sites on Phase III


From L to R in the picture – Ed Chescattie, Dean Miller, John Ruth, Aaron Durso, and Randy Straub

Kevin Anderson, Ed Chescattie, and Randy Straub met with Aaron Durso (Borough Manager), Dean Miller, and John Ruth (Lead Operator) for approximately 1.5 hours to develop a plan for completing the Phase III self-assessment.  Birdsboro staff expressed commitment to moving forward and becoming the first membrane plant to complete phase III via the newly revised SAG.

Partnership for Safe Water Newsletter Summer 2014

 2015 Safe Water Conference Presentations available here.
Special thanks to: John Brady, Entech Engineering

 Helpful Links for Our Partners!!!

2015 Water System Optimization Conference-Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Partnership for Safe Water Program: October 28-30, 2015







Malvern Instruments, Inc.
Western Berks Water



2015 Safe Water Conference Presentations available here.
Special thanks to: John Brady, Entech Engineering


What is the Partnership for Safe Water?

The Partnership for Safe Water is a voluntary initiative for enhancing water treatment to provide higher quality drinking water. The Partnership program is a four-phased, self-assessment and peer-review process to help water suppliers examine their water operations, maintenance, and management practices to determine where improvements can be made.
Read More »

Partnership Headlines

-Harrisburg Utility Taps Smart City Solutions to Stem Water Loss, Improve Revenues

-The One AWWA Operator Scholarship for PA-AWWA…Deadline is November 2, 2018

-ADVISORY – TUESDAY – DEP to Host Live Webinar to Discuss County-Level Planning to Improve Stream and River Health in Pennsylvania Communities in Chesapeake Bay Watershed

-The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) unanimously adopted the Safe Drinking Water General Update and Fees final rulemaking today.

-Important information from US EPA: CDC/ATSDR Toxicological Profile on Perfluoroalkyls

See All Headlines »

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    Partnership for Safe Water


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