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City Utilities honored again for partnerships, educational efforts

For the second year in a row, Fort Wayne City Utilities has received national recognition as a 2019 Utility of the Future Today.

The honor came in the category of Partnering and Education and recognized City Utilities’ partnerships with groups like the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative, the FWCS Career Academy students for concrete work, a robust internship program with several universities, work with Greater Fort Wayne Inc., teaming with the Conjure Coffee Co. for a water plant event, and collaboration with citizens serving on the Utility Advisory Group. In the Education area, the award recognized the hundreds of neighborhood meetings for projects, the Rain Garden workshops, and the many tours of the water plant and pollution control plant, along with the massive turnout for the tours of MamaJo, the Tunnel Boring Machine.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized for community outreach and important partnerships. The connection with our schools, neighborhoods, and businesses is important to City Utilities and Fort Wayne’s success in the future,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement. “It’s why we’re here. I’m proud that we are not only sustaining long-term partnerships but creating new ones and new opportunities for citizens to learn about the vital efforts of the Utility.”

New partnerships continue. On Friday, Oct. 4, City Utilities is teaming up with six local breweries to draw awareness to the role good water plays in beer and raise funds for the non-profit St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative. The event, Tours on Tap, will offer tours of the Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant and a beer tasting, featuring brewers Ambrosia Orchard, Chapman’s, GnomeTown, Hop River, Mad Anthony, and Summit City Brewerks, will raise funds for the watershed. Tickets are $10 at toursontap.eventbrite.com and must be purchased in advance of the event which runs from 6 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Last year, City Utilities won the Utility of the Future Today award in the category for energy generation and recovery efforts for the resource recovery program. The 2018 recognition focused on efforts to turn waste at the pollution control plant into methane gas to power portions of the plant. That program has saved City Utilities $1.5million on our electric bill.

A consortium of water agencies sponsors the Utility of the Future Today award, including the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the WasteReuse Association, with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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