Our Mission: To connect and enrich the Illinois water community
and increase the awareness of the impact and value of water.


Deadline for nominations is October 14, 2024.

Every year the IWEA and the Water Environment Federation has a slate of honors and awards which are presented to deserving members, supporters, and facilities. Use the links below to learn more about the various awards and their past recipients. Please contact Christopher Buckley, Awards Committee Chair, with any questions.

Member Association Awards:
These awards, listed below, are presented at the Illinois Water Environment Association Annual Meeting each year. You can find information regarding award criteria, nomination forms, and past recipients on the MEMBER ASSOCIATION AWARDS web page.
  • Bedell Award

    Congratulations to Rick Lallish, our 2024 award winner.

    This award acknowledges extraordinary personal service to a Member Association.

    Criteria for Nomination:
     - Any WEF Member

    Nomination Form
    Bedell Recipients
  • Burke Safety Award

    Congratulations to the City of Crystal Lake, our 2024 award winner.

    This award was established to encourage municipal and industrial wastewater facilities to participate in promoting an active and effective safety program and to stimulate the collecting and reporting in injury data. The recipient is chosen based on the quality of their documented safety program as well as innovative actions taken to prevent injuries and corrective measures taken when an injury occurs.

    Criteria for nomination:
    - WEF member employed by a municipal or industrial wastewater facility

    Nomination Form
    Burke Award Recipients
  • Clinebell Award

    Congratulations to Kam Law, our 2024 award winner.

    This is a special/prestigious award to recognize an individual who has and continues to provide significant contributions to the Illinois Water Environment Association. The recipient will have given outstanding service to the IWEA over the longevity of their membership.

    Criteria for nomination:
    - Current primary member of the IWEA
    - IWEA member for a minimum of twenty years

    Nomination Form
    Clinebell Award Recipients
  • Golden Manhole

    Congratulations to John Manijak, our 2023 award winner.

    This award acknowledges an individual that has made significant contributions in promoting individual professionalism and pride among those working in the design, management, construction, operations and maintenance of collection systems. It also acknowledges contributions to the success of the Illinois Water Environment Association and its goals, and effort over an extensive period of time which has positively contributed to the betterment of individuals associated with collection systems.

    Golden Manhole Award Recipients
  • Hatfield Award

    Congratulations to Adam Gronski, our 2024 award winner.

    This award acknowledges an operator of a wastewater treatment plant for outstanding performance and professionalism.

    Criteria for nomination:
    - WEF member employed by a municipal or industrial wastewater facility

    Nomination Form
    Hatfield Award Recipients
  • Lab Analyst Award

    Congratulations to Eva Kiss, our 2024 award winner.

    This award acknowledges an individual for outstanding performance, professionalism, and contributions to the water quality analysis profession.

    Criteria for nomination:
     - WEF member employed by a municipal or industrial wastewater facility

    Nomination Form
    Laboratory Award Recipients
  • Merideth Award

    Congratulations to Tony Bukala, our 2024 award winner.

    This award acknowledges an individual who has performed duties above and beyond the usual employment requirements so as to elevate the status of the plant operator and promote operator professionalism within the State of Illinois.

    Nomination Form
    Merideth Award Recipients
  • Outstanding Young Professional

    Congratulations to Jeffrey Kowa, our 2024 award winner.

    This Award recognizes the contribution of  young water environment professionals for significant contributions to the IWEA and to the advancement of knowledge, technology, and practices in the operation, management, design or construction of wastewater and pollutions prevention systems.

    Criteria for nomination:
    - IWEA member
    - 35 years old or younger at the time of nomination

    Nomination Form
    Outstanding Young Professional Award Recipients
  • Public Official Award

    Congratulations to Dave Kaptain, Mayor of Elgin, our 2024 award winner.

    The Public Official Award is presented to a public official that has made a documented significant contribution in the areas of clean water legislation, public policy, government service or another area of public prominence that resulted in improvements to the water environment. The award can be presented for public service at local, state or federal level.

    Criteria for nomination:
    - Nominees must be an elected or appointed office, and do not need to be a member of WEF. 
    - Significant contribution that resulted in improvements to the water environment. 

    Nomination Form
    Public Official Award Recipients
  • Technical Presentation Award

    This award is acknowledges outstanding presentations at the IWEA Annual Conference. The award recipient is chosen based on evaluations submitted by conference attendees.

    Technical Presentation Award Recipients

Other Awards

  • Federation Level Awards:
    These awards are presented at the Water Environment Federation Annual Meeting (WEFTEC) each year. You can find award descriptions and nomination forms on the WEF website.

    WEF Award Descriptions & IWEA Recipients

  • Quarter Century Operators Club:
    This award is presented to WEF members whom have been in wastewater treatment business for 25 years, 10 of which they have been actively involved in day-to-day  collections, maintenance, operations, laboratory, or management of a wastewater transportation or treatment facility. 

    Criteria for nomination:
    - Member of WEF for a minimum of five consecutive years immediately preceding application.
    - Significant, full-time participant in the water industry for a minimum of 25 years, 10 years of which must have been in active participation in the day-to-day collections, maintenance, operations, laboratory,or management of wastewater transportation or treatment facility.

    Nomination Form
    Quarter Century Operators Club Members
  • Illinois Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (I5S):

    Congratulations to our 2024 I5S winners: Barb Scapardine, Rick Lallish and Howard Carter.

    IWEA members may be awarded the "Golden Shovel" by serving the Association as Committee Members or Chairs over a period of years. They may be on multiple committees for a short term or one committee for a decade.  The bottom line is service and support of IWEA goals and programs. 
    Congratulations to Doug Armstrong, Matt

    Criteria for Nomination:
    - I5S members are nominated by the standing group of shovelers.  

    I5S Members