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May 21, 2010 > Alameda County Water District receives prestigious Award

Alameda County Water District receives prestigious Award

Submitted By Frank Jahn

On May 5, the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) presented the prestigious Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence to the Alameda County Water District (ACWD) for its innovative "Stop that Running Toilet" school outreach program. ACWD was selected from among four finalists to receive the award which recognizes outstanding achievements by public water agencies.

"ACWD is an outstanding example of a local agency implementing creative solutions to manage California's water resources," ACWA President Paul Kelley said. "ACWD's program demonstrates innovation but also achieves real water savings by actively engaging school-age children in water-conservation activities."

"ACWD is extremely honored to receive the Clair A. Hill Award," said Marty Koller, ACWD Board President. "This award is coveted by water agencies throughout California and reflects our commitment to excellence in managing our water resources and service to our customers."

Seeking a measurable way to reduce water losses, the District called in ZunZun, a musical duo from Santa Cruz, to teach students about water conservation using fun songs, unusual instruments and audience participation. After the assemblies, which featured a humorous segment on "running" (leaking) lavatories, the District distributed Toilet Leak Detection Kits to the students so they could test their latrines for leaks at home. Students recorded the test results on a postcard and sent it to ACWD. The District followed up with students with leaky loos by sending a free flapper valve (the most common culprit for leaks) with installation instructions.

During the 2008-2009 school year, more than 15,000 students attended the assemblies and received Toilet Leak Detection Kits. More than 600 later reported leaky lavatories and were sent replacement flapper valves. ACWD estimates the program will save up to 13 million gallons of water annually.

ACWA's Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence is an annual award program. Award recipients are selected based on demonstrated success in creatively addressing water industry issues, commitment to water-use efficiency and conservation, leadership in broad water-related issues, excellence in agency management and operations and effective public information and outreach to stakeholders and customers. The winning agency has the honor of awarding a $5,000 scholarship to a deserving student in the name of Clair A. Hill, founder of the consulting engineering firm CH2M Hill.

The Association of California Water Agencies is the largest coalition of public water agencies in the country. Its nearly 450 public agency members collectively are responsible for 90 percent of the water delivered to cities, farms and businesses in California.

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