Scottsdale Water wins individual, team, safety awards

A view of the membrane replacement conducted by Scottsdale Water, which earned the wastewater maintenance group an award this year. (Submitted photo)

Scottsdale Water received multiple awards for excellence and safety at this year’s AZ Water Conference held at the Phoenix Convention Center April 16-19.

Brian Biesemeyer

“Scottsdale Water emphasizes a culture of safety and innovation in all we do to provide the highest quality of water and reclamation service to our customers,” said Scottsdale Water Executive Director Brian K. Biesemeyer, in a prepared statement.

“These awards demonstrate our commitment to exemplifying the Scottsdale Water vision of water sustainability through stewardship, innovation and people.”

The city’s wastewater maintenance group — comprised of Bobby Lorenson, Tim West, Tom Bishop and David Rabago — was awarded the annual Gimmicks and Gadgets Award for their innovative solution to replacing large-diameter reverse osmosis membranes.

The 16-inch diameter membranes are over 3 feet long, weigh 250 pounds each, and are mounted up to 12 feet above ground. The RO configuration is unique to Scottsdale Water’s Advanced Water Treatment Facility and a safe mechanism for replacing the membranes did not commercially exist, according to a press release.

Bids for a custom solution exceeded $40,000. The team manufactured a safer, more efficient mechanism in-house for under $8,000, the press release stated.

Water Operations Supervisor Randy Gomez, who has been with Scottsdale Water for over 20 years and currently leads the Water Meters Group, was named Operations Leader of the Year.

Mr. Gomez received the esteemed award in part for his role in leading the city’s conversion to Automated Meter Reading technology.

Principal Scientist Mark Xerxis was named Laboratory Analyst of the Year, a recognition received for not only his analytical expertise, project leadership and 20 years of service, but also his exceptional citizenship and civic involvement.

Scottsdale Water’s Security, Safety and Training Coordinators, Jeff Fritsch and Kerry Leib, were awarded the AZ Water Health and Safety Professionals of the Year Award for their dedication to health and safety and their continued commitment to identifying risks, creating action plans, establishing prevention programs and implementing extensive and innovative safety procedures.

As a testament to Mr. Fritsch and Mr. Leib’s success in fostering a culture of safety, six Scottsdale Water facilities were recognized with Awards of Honor for operating over one year without losing a single workday due to injury.

The notable achievement was made at the Water Reclamation Plant, the Central Groundwater Treatment Facility, the CAP and Chaparral Water Treatment Plants, the Gainey Ranch Wastewater Treatment Facility and by the Wastewater Collections team.

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