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Plant of the Year (Small, Medium, Large)
The Plant of the Year award recognizes accomplishments in compliance, innovative practices, cost effectiveness, and superior plant performance in small, medium and large categories. Winners from the last year are not eligible to apply for this year.


Required narrative information and supporting documentation:

  1. Provide the plant’s official name, classification, average daily dry weather design capacity, treatment type, and process description along with a plant schematic.
  2. Provide a brief description of the accomplishments that form the basis of this nomination, focusing on compliance results, innovative practices, management systems, cost effectiveness and cost reduction and other evidence of superior plant operations from within the past three years.
  3. Provide answers to the following operational and facility questions: (please include the question in your answer)

      a. Has your facility had permit violations in the past three years? Note: Permit violations can have a severe impact on the outcome of judging your plant for Plant of the Year. Include NPDES, WDR and Air Permits. If yes, state number, type, permit limit, violation level, cause and resolutions.

      b. Provide a list of benchmarks you use to manage your facility.

      c. Describe in detail the facility process control strategy and lab tests used for process control.

      d. Describe how your approach to industrial discharges and pretreatment achieves an efficient waste management program for your community and the environment. (Medium and Large plants only.)

      e. Describe how your facility minimizes the environment impacts of biosolids processing use and disposal.

      f. Describe how your laboratory support activities enhance plant operation, process control, reliable effluent monitoring and permit reporting.

      g. Describe what you have done to ensure that your financial management and user charge systems provide the level of operating revenues necessary to sustain efficient operations at present and in the future? Provide revenue and expenditure dollar figure amounts for your last full budget year. Show the budget direction over the last three years.

      h. Describe how your facility ensures that personnel staffing and training programs meet OSHA and other requirements.

      i. Describe how your facility ensures the professional development of its staff. What is the average dollar amount budgeted for training per employee? How many hours per employee per year for inside training and how many for outside training (Include safety separately.)

      j. Does your facility offer tuition reimbursement

      k. Describe the steps taken to involve and educate the general public and public officials in your facility.
  4. Provide answers related to the facility operation and maintenance program: (please include the question in your answer)
       a. Provide a description of your facility’s approach to energy conservation and resource recovery.

       b. Describe your facility’s approach to inventory control. (e.g. parts, supplies, chemicals and equipment.)

       c. Discuss (in detail) innovative measures of your maintenance, laboratory, operations or other programs you have developed that are extremely efficient or which distinguish your facility.

       d. Describe how your departments use computers or other automated systems to enhance the effectiveness of your organization’s operations, maintenance, laboratory and administrative program? List software programs your facility uses and state basic purpose.

       e. Provide an overview of the goals and objectives of your maintenance program, Include a description of your facility’s approach to analyzing trends related to maintenance costs and performance of equipment to assure optimum operations and reliability.
  5. Provide the following documentation:

       a. Current organizational chart
       b. Information for Inspection team
               i. Contact name 
              ii. Facility location including directions 
             iii. Phone number and e-mail address of Contact person

Please note:

In the event that your application results in your facility being selected as your local section plant of the year winner, then this narrative will be forwarded to the Leadership Development Committee to be evaluated in order to determine which facilities will have an on-site inspection by a Plant of the Year inspection team. The Plant of the Year inspection team will require additional information to be available at the time of the inspection. Additional information will include safety manuals, training records, State permits, plant brochures, and other information that may be utilized to assist the team in evaluating the facility. Also, please be prepared to provide employee information that includes CWEA membership, participation and certification information.


For most CWEA awards, you must apply at your Local Section level first. Direct your questions to the Local Section Awards Chair. If you need additional assistance, contact Megan Barillo at mbarillo@cwea.org.