Jacobs-Operated Utilities of the Future Today Show Innovation, Share Best Practices
Jacobs and client partners among 39 water utilities named 2021 Utility of the Future Today winners
Jacobs’ Operations Management and Facilities Services’ (OMFS) teams and client partners, the City of Vancouver, Washington, and the City of Dodge City, Kansas, were among 39 water utilities named 2021 Utility of the Future Today (UotFT) winners. UotFT honorees demonstrate innovation and forward thinking to advance operations and leadership of wastewater utilities.
The UotFT recognizes transformational work in community engagement, watershed stewardship and recovery of resources, such as water, energy and nutrients. The program allows utilities to share utility advancements, experiences and lessons learned. This knowledge sharing from nationwide industry experts lets utilities learn from each other and advance their efforts to provide resilient, value-added services to their communities.
“This recognition is a reflection of our commitment at Jacobs to improving the quality of life for our communities and being responsible stewards of the environment,” says Jacobs Global Vice President of Operations Management and Facilities Services, Steve Meininger. “I applaud our teams for collaborating with our clients and key community partners to develop and implement innovative programs that address community challenges and result in smarter, more efficient operations. Together, we can provide the know-how and technology to become future-focused utilities that provide reliable, safe and affordable services.”
This year’s program recognized Jacobs teams and clients in two categories:
- Energy efficiency: Vancouver’s Marine Park and Westside Wastewater Treatment Facility received recognition for a two-year wastewater utility energy management cohort between Jacobs, Clark Public Utilities, the City and other key stakeholders. The cohort establishes energy savings using behavioral, operational and capital improvement opportunities at the facility. The engagement provides valuable incentives via utility rebates when reductions in energy are noticed and allows Jacobs to operate the wastewater treatment plants more efficiently. Recently, the facility avoided $30,000 in energy use costs and received a rebate of more than $20,000 from Clark Public Utilities, which will be reinvested in the City Sewer System Fund.
- Energy generation and recovery: The Dodge City South Reclamation Facility was recognized for recycling biogas through what is known as the Warrior Biogas Project. The purified gas is sold to KWIK Trip convenience stores and as automotive fuel additive in Europe. With nearly 72% of the produced raw gas converted and sold as renewable biomethane at the facility, it has not only advanced the City’s progression on sustainable operations, but also become a great revenue generator for the City. The revenue goes toward paying down the City’s debt, deferred maintenance of infrastructure and funding for future capital improvement projects.
The UotFT program was launched in 2016 as a joint initiative led by the Water Environment Federation, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Water Research Foundation and the WateReuse Association, with input from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and those that Jacobs has had the opportunity to work with over the years. The winners were recognized during the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference in Chicago. For additional information on the UotFT program, visit the WEF website.