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


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 Brook Henry, 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

    This award acknowledges extraordinary personal service to a Member Association.

    Bedell Recipients

    Nomination Form
  • Burke Safety Award

    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.

    Burke Award Recipients

    Nomination Form
  • Clinebell Award

    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.

    Clinebell Award Recipients

    Nomination Form
  • Golden Manhole

    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

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

    Hatfield Award Recipients

    Nomination Form
  • Lab Analyst Award

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

    Laboratory Award Recipients

    Nomination Form
  • Merideth Award

    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.

    Merideth Award Recipients

    Nomination Form
  • Outstanding Young Professional

    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.

    Outstanding Young Professional Award Recipients

    Nomination Form
  • Public Official Award

    Technical The Public Official Award is presented to an elected or appointed 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.

    Public Official Award Recipients

    Nomination Form
  • 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, listed below, are presented at the Water Environment Federation Annual Meeting (WEFTEC) each year. You can find award descriptions and past IWEA recipients on the FEDERATION LEVEL AWARDS web page. 
  • 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. The application form and a list of past IWEA recipients is available on the QUARTER CENTURY OPERATORS CLUB web page.
  • Illinois Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (I5S):
    WEA 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. More information and a list of past recipients is available on the ILLINOIS SELECT SOCIETY OF SANITARY SLUDGE SHOVELERS web page.