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Celebrating 100 Years of Safe Drinking Water

Thursday, May 8, 2014 3:00 AM


For Release: May 4, 2014



New York Section AWWA

Jenny Ingrao, Executive Director






Celebrating 100 Years of Safe Drinking Water

Liverpool, NY - On January 20, 1914, 100 members of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) formed the New York Section American Water Works Association (NYSAWWA), the first of 43 Sections of the AWWA. Today, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific, and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water.

New York State was the heart of AWWA for the early part of the 20th Century. AWWA Annual Conferences were held in New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester; and AWWA was led by New Yorkers -men like Allen Hazen, George Warren Fuller, Nicholas S. Hill, and Malcolm Pirnie - all pillars of the water industry.

"When that group of 100 men met for the first time in New York City in 1914, it would have been hard for them to imagine that the New York Section would grow into a diverse group of water professionals from scientists, to engineers, to administrators, to water treatment specialists, to distribution system operators, to service providers, researchers and students," said Connie Schreppel, Section Director and Director of Water Quality, Mohawk Valley Water Authority. "Today, we have over 1800 members that continue to make great strides following in the footsteps of our founding members, protecting the public's health and producing the best quality water all across New York State."

100 years later, over 700 water professionals, dedicated to protecting the nation's most valued resource, will gather at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center from across New York State May 13-15, 2014 for the New York Section AWWA's Annual Water Event and to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Section.

"This is literally a once-in-a-lifetime event ," said Amanda Bauner, P.E., NYSAWWA 100th Anniversary Committee Chair and Past Board of Governors Chair.  "We have been planning for this historic event for several years.  We will celebrate the lasting legacy of our first 100 years, delivering safe drinking water to New York State, and educating water professionals and the public on drinking water issues.  We will also look toward the future - imagine what the next 100 years may bring to our industry, the challenges faced by climate change and aging infrastructure, and opportunities that new technologies offer for water treatment and distribution."

Opening Session by author Dr. Michael McGuire
This year's event will kick off on Tuesday, May 13 at 1:00 PM with the Keynote Address by Dr. Michael McGuire, author of "The Chlorine Revolution: Water Disinfection and the Fight to Save Lives." Dr. McGuire's book, published in 2013, is about a courageous physician and his partnership with the greatest sanitary engineer of the time to plan, build and operate the first, large-scale drinking water disinfection system in the U.S. 

At 5:00 PM on May 13th, the City of Rochester Mayor, Lovely Warren, will be in attendance for the NYSAWWA Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Joining Mayor Warren is Monroe County Executive, Maggie Brooks; Matthew Driscoll, President and CEO, New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation; Stefan Fleming, New York State Governor's Regional Representative; Jim Chaffee, President, AWWA; and Tom Curtis, Deputy Executive Director for Government Affairs, AWWA.

Other Event Highlights
Tours of the newly completed Webster Water Treatment Plant at the Monroe County Water Authority; networking opportunities with 127 exhibitors and over 500 water professionals; contests featuring New York State water utilities competing for "Top Ops", "Meter Madness" and the Best Tasting Water ; educational  sessions featuring topics important to every water professional  -- and take a step back in time to visit our Historical Water Museum featuring tools and equipment over the past century - learn how water has shaped New York State.

For more information on the New York Section American Water Works Annual Water Event and 100th Anniversary Celebration, visit http://www.nysawwa.org/ or contact the Section office at 315-455-2614.


Established in 1914, the New York Section is the first and oldest in the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The Section's history, and that of its parent organization, is tied to the public's health. The New York Section American Water Works Association provides a forum for water supply professionals to assure the safe delivery of drinking water of the highest quality and sufficient quantity.