The City of Boca Raton’s Utility Services Department has once again received worldwide recognition as a Utility of the Future Today for its commitment to providing environmentally-sound treatment for wastewater using a sustainable operation and best management practices. The City is one of just 47 water utilities being recognized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), a global organization of water quality professionals that provides standards, education, and advocacy for human and environmental well-being in the water sector.
The award honors the City’s Utility Services for its Beneficial Biosolids Reuse, transformational work in community engagement, watershed stewardship and recovery of resources such as water, energy and nutrients.
“Our water and wastewater systems are just one example of the City planning for the future, implementing today and being sustainable forever. We are proud to accept this prestigious award from the Water Environmental Federation and being recognized as a Utility of the Future Today,” stated Chris Helfrich, Director of Utility Services. “Every day, our Utility Services staff members work innovatively to provide the best water and wastewater service for our community.”
Wastewater biosolids - solid organic matter recovered from a treatment process - are an inevitable result. The City’s ability to incorporate biosolids into the community after additional treatment is a highly sustainable practice that only a few wastewater utilities in South Florida practice. The process involves the production of Class B biosolids (as defined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection) on-site. These biosolids are then treated and sent to a drying facility at the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) of Palm Beach County. Treated again, the material becomes Class A biosolids, which expands the City’s ability to re-use them or sell them as environmentally friendly fertilizer.
The Utility of the Future Today program is vital as water systems around the world face challenges such as aging infrastructure, water pollution, workforce shortages, and impacts of drought, floods, storms, and sea level rise. The program was launched in 2016 by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the WateReuse Association, with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“The innovations coming to the water sector present an opportunity for a paradigm shift in the way utilities think about and solve long-standing challenges to clean and reliable water,” said Jackie Jarrell, WEF President. “WEF is excited to recognize City of Boca Raton for embracing innovative ways to better serve their communities.”
The City previously received a Utility of the Future Today Award in 2020 for its reclaimed water system.
Learn more about the Utility of the Future Today Award, and the WEF.
For more information on the City’s award-winning wastewater system, visit the City’s website.
Ileana Olmsted, Public Relations Specialist
[email protected] | p: 561-393-7788