Water utilities win awards

Published on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 by By Emily Resch, Birch Bay Water & Sewer District

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< Blaine fourth grade students created water awareness posters for a contest sponsored by Birch Bay Water and Sewer District (BBWSD) and the city of Blaine. Winners were awarded water bottles and the first place winner earned a pizza party for their classroom.

The city of Blaine and Birch Bay Water and Sewer District were each recently awarded two water conservation awards from the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association (PNS-AWWA). 

PNS-AWWA provides leadership to drinking water professionals in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The city and district won top awards for their joint school program and summer outdoor water conservation campaign under the following categories: Water conservation for youth and residential outdoor water conservation program.

Every year the city of Blaine and Birch Bay Water and Sewer District visit the fourth grade classrooms at Blaine elementary school to teach about the importance of water conservation and protecting our local water resource. 
The students then participate in a water awareness poster contest and the winning posters are displayed at Blaine city hall for the duration of the summer. The school program serves as the kick-off for the city and district’s summer water conservation program.

In 2008, the city and district implemented for the first time a voluntary watering schedule from June 15 to September 15 as a new addition to the existing summer outdoor water conservation program. The voluntary watering schedule also served as the first regional conservation activity for the Whatcom Water Alliance, a group of local government water utilities that share the common goal of working together to improve the management of our water resources. 

The voluntary watering schedule proved to be successful. The district reduced their peak usage by 8 percent from the 2007 peak usage data and did not have to use storage to meet peak day demand as in previous years. Peak week was also stabilized and lowered down to historical peak week water usage levels recorded in 2005. The city exceeded their water use efficiency goal of reducing peak season use by 1 percent per year by 12 percent.