Each year, water utilities from across the region submit their brochures, reports, websites, and other communication tools to the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association (PNWS-AWWA) Communications Committee for award consideration.
EWEB won three awards this year in the following categories:
- Electronic Communications by a Large Utility, awarded for our Preparing for Winter & Preventing Frozen Pipes infographic, developed in partnership with students in the University of Oregon School of Journalism & Communication.
- Wild Card by a Large Utility, awarded for our “Tapping into Clean Water” children’s museum exhibit, developed in partnership with Springfield Utility Board, Rainbow Water District and The Science Factory.
- Best in Show by a Large Utility, also awarded for the “Tapping into Clean Water” exhibit.
The awards were presented during a ceremony at the section annual conference in Kennewick, WA on May 5.
“Tapping into Clean Water” helps kids look at this amazing natural resource in a whole new way
The “Best in Show” award is given each year to the top entry from among all the individual category winners. At the awards ceremony earlier this month, we received the exciting news that our “Tapping into Clean Water” science museum exhibit was the first entry ever to achieve a perfect score for the Best in Show category.
The exhibit challenges kids to navigate a raindrop through the landscape to the water treatment plant, learning about pollutants along the way. Other stations explore water filtration and treatment processes that are similar to those we use at our Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant to deliver safe drinking water from the McKenzie River to customer homes.
The project was an ambitious two-year undertaking that involved technical experts from the three local utilities, an exhibition contractor and science educators, according to Jill Hoyenga of EWEB’s Communication, Marketing & Research Department, and one of the exhibit’s designers.
“It was an honor to be part of the team that created this fun, hands-on activity to help young people embrace the value of water and watershed protection,” says Jill.
Kids and parents can visit the award-winning “Tapping into Clean Water” exhibit throughout 2017 at the Science Factory, 2300 Leo Harris Parkway in Eugene.
Frozen pipes: A hot topic this winter
They say a good infographic is worth a thousand words. EWEB’s “Preparing for Winter & Preventing Frozen Pipes” infographic also was worth an honor from the American Water Works Association for excellence in electronic communication.
Students in the University of Oregon School of Journalism & Communication worked with members of EWEB’s Communication Department to create the infographic which does an impressive job of packaging useful information with eye-catching designs.
The award committee recognized the infographic for its applicability to all water utilities, and for the collaborative effort between industry and education.
“The collaboration, which took serious effort between the students and EWEB as the client, worked quite well,” said Connie Chandler, Public Relations Instructor at the University of Oregon. “It’s wonderful to see professional colleagues honor the work of students who are not even in the workplace yet.”
Another notable fact according to the award committee, was the infographic’s presentation of costs to homeowners from water damage and freezing pipes. The students dug into insurance industry data to uncover that water damage and freezing account for almost 22 percent of all homeowner insurance industry claims and average $4,024 per claim. A great bit of sleuthing and creativity by these future communications professionals!
The Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association was founded in 1927 and provides leadership to drinking water professionals in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington in the areas of water quality and distribution, water resource policy, conservation and engineering.
The Excellence in Communication Awards recognize outstanding communication efforts by water utilities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Congratulations to these creative teams for their much deserved awards!