For 93 years, water professionals from across Arizona have gathered for the annual AZ Water Conference and Exhibition, which seeks to advocate for Arizona's water through connecting professionals, providing education and inspiring environmental stewardship. This year’s conference, originally scheduled for April, has been postponed and will occur as a virtual conference in July.
Part of the annual conference is the AZ Water Awards – a celebration of the professionals who have demonstrated excellence in the Arizona water and wastewater industry. While winners of these important honors won’t be able to pick up their awards in person, Scottsdale Water is excited to celebrate their achievements.
Water Quality Director Suzanne Grendahl, who has been with the city of Scottsdale since January 1999, was recognized with the Environmental Stewardship Award for her work as the driving force behind a long list of environmental and water quality initiatives. Most recently, Suzanne led the city’s landmark achievement of obtaining Scottsdale Water’s Direct Potable Reuse Permit – the first DPR permit in Arizona and only the third in the nation.
Suzanne is also directly responsible for creating and expanding the city’s state-of-the-art water quality laboratory at the Scottsdale Water Campus and has been the city’s liaison with the US EPA and the Participating Companies regarding the North Indian Bend Wash Superfund site, ensuring the impacted aquifer is restored and the clean water put to local beneficial use.
Capital Project Management Construction Supervisor Jon Hughes was awarded the Construction Professional of the Year Award for his significant contribution to the industry and the residents and businesses of Scottsdale. Scottsdale Water has over 90 active water and sewer construction projects with a value over $40 million, all of which Jon and his inspection team are responsible for overseeing. Jon’s efforts have assured the city that the quality of construction meets Scottsdale’s high standards.
“Both Suzanne and Jon are extremely deserving of these prestigious awards,” said Scottsdale Water Executive Director Brian K. Biesemeyer. “Their dedication to serving the Scottsdale community exemplifies Scottsdale Water’s vision of Water Sustainability through Stewardship, Innovation and People.”
Eight Scottsdale Water facilities and work teams were also recognized with Awards of Honor or Merit for operating over one year without losing a single workday (Honor) or more than one work day (Merit) due to injury. The notable achievements were made by the Scottsdale Water Distribution System and Wastewater Collections teams, the Water Reclamation Plant, Gainey Ranch Wastewater Treatment Facility, Advanced Water Treatment plant, the Central Groundwater Treatment Facility and the CAP and Chaparral Water Treatment Plants.
“Safety is of paramount importance at Scottsdale Water,” said Biesemeyer. “We are committed to not only providing safe water and sewer services for our customers, but also to ensuring the safety of the men and women who provide these essential services to the community twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Our operations personnel work in a variety of difficult environments and working safely in these conditions reflects not only on our programs but on the professionalism of our staff.”
Scottsdale Water – the city’s municipal water utility – has been providing quality drinking water and advanced reclamation services to Scottsdale businesses and residents for over 40 years. An industry leader, the utility has been recognized with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies’ Sustainable Water Utility Management Award – the highest industry recognition conferred to municipal water agencies – and as a Utility of the Future Today by the Environmental Protection Agency and its partners.