The Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA) received three awards in 2013 recognizing the Utility for its efforts related to overall utility excellence, commitment toward improving water quality through optimization of system operations and completion of a major construction project that significantly reduced the energy use of two major pumping facilities.

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies recognized OCWA as one of six 2013 recipients of its prestigious “Platinum Award for Utility Excellence”.  OCWA, which qualified for award consideration by previously being awarded the AMWA Gold Award for Exceptional Utility Performance, has been recognized for continuous efforts related to improving product quality, customer satisfaction, employee leadership and development, operational excellence, financial viability, infrastructure stability, operational resiliency, community sustainability, and water resource adequacy.

OCWA also received the 2013 Partnership for Safe Water “Director’s Award of Recognition” from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for 15 consecutive years of compliance with the Agency’s voluntary self-assessment and optimization program for water treatment plants.  OCWA’s Marcellus Water Treatment Plant is one of the original program partners and was the 8th plant in the nation recognized for Phase 3 compliance in the voluntary program and has now sustained compliance for 15 consecutive years.

“We are honored to receive this award” said OCWA Executive Director, Mike Hooker.  “OCWA’s goal is to continually strive to optimize operations and improve the quality of the water we deliver to our customers. Achieving the Director’s Award demonstrates the dedication and commitment of the entire staff of the Marcellus Water Treat Plant and OCWA’s commitment to protecting public health.”

The Central New York Branch of the American Public Works Association also recognized OCWA by presenting the utility with its 2013 “Environmental Project of the Year Award” for improvements to OCWA’s Thurber Street and Seneca Pump Stations.  OCWA overhauled the two aging pump stations, replacing oversized and inefficient pumps with new, properly sized and energy efficient units.  Lighting and HVAC units at both stations were also replaced with energy efficient equipment.  Both stations were also outfitted with back up emergency generators.  As a result of the completion of the project OCWA has successfully reduced the energy consumption of the two stations by 30%.

“In addition to greatly reducing overall energy consumption we have extended the life of the facilities for at least another 40 years,” said Geoff Miller, P.E., OCWA’s Executive Engineer, “A win for both OCWA and our customers”.


The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies is an organization of the largest publicly owned drinking water systems in the United State, and its membership serves more than 130 million Americans with safe, clean, drinking water.


The Partnership for Safe Water was developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and is sponsored by the American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, National Association of Water Companies, the Water Research Foundation and the USEPA. 


The Central New York Branch of the American Public Works Association and its members serves Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, and Saint Lawrence CountiesThe American Public Works Association exists to develop and support the people, agencies, and organizations that plan, build, maintain, and improve our communities. Working together, APWA and its membership contribute to a higher and sustainable quality of life.