Edward H. Ruehl Operator of the Year
This award was established to recognize outstanding licensed waterworks operators in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VA AWWA Plant Operations Committee will select from a pool of nominations received from the section membership (either Individual, Corporate, or Utility) for recommendation to the Board, which approves the nominee. Members are invited to submit nominations to the Executive Director by July 10th of each year.
The Edward H. Ruehl Operator of the Year Award recognizes eligible Virginia Operators for outstanding service in the promotion of Operator Programs.
Award Description
This is an individual statewide award given to an Operator who exemplifies an exceptional work ethic and demonstrates practices that help sustain and further promote Operator Programs.
Nominee Eligibility Requirements
  •  Must be a licensed waterworks operator in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  •  Be employed as a waterworks operator for a Virginia water utility.
  •  Must meet one or more of the criteria listed under criteria.
  •  Must be a member or employed by a corporate/utility member of the VA Section.
  •  Cannot be a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Section or current Chair of the Plant Operations Committee.
  •  Must have been licensed as a waterworks operator for at least a three-year period.
Nominees for this award must have achieved special performance in one or more of the following areas:
  •  Outstanding service to the promotion of operator programs.
  •  Consistent and outstanding contribution to plant maintenance.
  •  Continuous compliance with public health standards in drinking water.
  •  Development of new and/or modified equipment or significant process modification to provide for more efficient and/or effective treatment.
  •  Special efforts in training operators.
  •  Special acts not directly related to water treatment, but which demonstrate dedication to the public beyond normal operating responsibilities.
  •  Consistent and outstanding contribution to the operation and/or maintenance of distribution lines, pump stations, and reservoirs.
Nomination or Submission Deadline
The nomination form and specific submission guidelines can be obtained below. Members are invited to submit nominations to the Virginia Section Executive Director by July 10th of each year at:
                                                                           VA AWWA
                                                                           PO Box 11992
                                                                           Lynchburg, VA 24506
Method of Selecting Award Recipient
All nominations shall be in writing and shall indicate the candidate's qualifications. The Section Executive Director will forward all nominations to the Plant Operations Committee for review and recommendations. The Plant Operations Committee will select from a pool of candidates for recommendation to the Board of Trustees which approves the nominee. Only one selection for an award will be made annually, and then only if a qualified recipient exists. Candidates may be nominated by one or more of the following individuals, organizations, or groups:
     1. A member of the Virginia Section AWWA
     2. A fellow official or employee of a water utility within Virginia
     3. The Plant Operations Committee
Awarded annually provided a suitable candidate has been nominated.
Presentation of the Award
The Award shall be presented by the Section Chair at the Annual Meeting. The award shall consist of an appropriate plaque designating the award name, recipient's name, and date of the award.