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The Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5S) is used by water environment associations (i.e., those working with sewage and sewage treatment) to honour those who have made a particular contribution to the industry.

Pennsylvania started the High Hat Society in 1937 and used the words "Sludge Shovelers Society" in its initiation ceremony. Later, this became known as the Ted Moses Sludge Shovelers Society. The second Chapter of the Five S Society was formed in Arizona in October 1940, the idea being conceived by A.W. "Dusty" Miller and F. Carlyle Roberts, Jr. There are chapters in many of the United States and in Canada, as well as the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

5S chapters do not accept applications, but select potential members. Each inductee receives a badge in the form of a gold tie bar in the shape of a round-nosed shovel.

5S recognizes individuals active in protecting the water environment through participation in Local, State, and/or Federal sponsored activities. 

Nominations are being accepted through March 15, 2021. Please consider nominating your peers who have or are contributing to the advancement of the wastewater profession. This is not a self-nominating award. Your peers count on you to recognize their achievements and nominate them.

How are 5S members selected? Nominations are accepted from individuals as well as Local Sections and CWEA committees. A select committee of Sludge Shovelers evaluates all the supporting documentation for each nominee. Only a few are selected each year. Selection is made solely on merit — it is not a popularity contest. 



Questions about the Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers? Contact the Committee chair or committee awards chair for questions about criteria.