BOCA RATON, FL (Boca Post) (Copyright © 2023) — The City of Boca Raton’s Utility Services Department recognized for sustainable, environmentally conscience practices.

The City of Boca Raton’s Utility Services Department has once again gained global recognition as a Utility of the Future Today for its dedication to environmentally friendly wastewater treatment through sustainable practices and effective management. The Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international organization focused on water quality, has acknowledged the City as one of just 47 water utilities worldwide that exemplify standards, education and advocacy for human and environmental well being in the water industry.

“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.”

This prestigious award celebrates the City’s Utility Services for its exceptional contributions in community engagement, watershed stewardship and resource recovery such as water, energy and nutrients. One notable achievement is the City’s successful utilization of wastewater biosolids. Solid organic matter obtained from the treatment process. In a sustainable manner that only a handful of wastewater utilities in South Florida practice. The process involves generating Class B biosolids (as defined by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection) on site followed by their treatment and transportation to a drying facility operated by Palm Beach County’s Solid Waste Authority (SWA).Once again, when the material is treated, it transforms into Class A biosolids. This enhances the City’s capacity to reuse them or market them as eco friendly fertilizer.

The Utility of the Future Today program plays a crucial role in addressing various challenges faced by water systems worldwide, including aging infrastructure, water pollution, workforce shortages and the impacts of droughts, floods, storms and rising sea levels. Launched in 2016 by esteemed organizations such as the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the WateReuse Association in collaboration with insights 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.”

In recognition of its reclaimed water system, the City was previously honored with a Utility of the Future Today Award back in 2020.