Western Monmouth Utility Authority Western Monmouth Utility Authority
Water drop

Western Monmouth Utility Authority Awards

Wave Award

The Western Monmouth Utilities Authority
Water Environment Award
Rose Fillimon- Lab Supervisor

Western Monmouth Utilities Authority decided to "reach out" to the local educational community during the summer of 1992 through the Water Environment Federation "Adopt-a-School Program". The WEF is a National professional trade association that many of the WMUA's staff joined as members to keep updated on wastewater treatment technology and best management practices that govern the management of wastewater treatment utilities like the WMUA.  The program was presented to the local educators.  Our service are includes Marlboro and Manalapan-Englishtown Middle Schools, both of which chose to adopt the Program.

The first step was to provide appropriate educational materials to the adopted Middle Schools.  The materials were developed by The Water Environment Federation.  Each teaching unit includes:  an informative and entertaining video that introduces students to the subject through a combination of life actions and animation, a teacher's guide for presenting the lessons, background subject material and in class activities.  Also, included is a set of colorful student guides with supplemental information and activities.  The subject matter describes the basics of wastewater treatment and water conservation.  The cost of this whole project to the Authority was initially about two hundred dollars for purchase of the teaching units and lunches thereafter. 

Next, a meeting was held with teachers and supervisors to discuss use of the teaching aids and the development of an eighth grade awards program.  It was out of these discussions that the "Western Monmouth Utilities Authority Water Environment Award" was born.  The positive reinforcement of a reward is always the  best way to stimulate study and achievement. 

The faculties of each school select a group of eighth grade students who demonstrate the most interest and excellence in the study of surface water qualify to be finalists for this award.  Of course, each school has its own flexibility in the method of selection.  Marlboro chooses to hold an essay contest.  Manalapan chooses to judge water quality research projects which are part of their science fair.  All this is done with constant interaction between the authority and faculty supervisors.  Two winners are chosen from each school.

A separate date is set with each school in the spring.  On that day, the award winners have the unique experience of participating in a "hands-on" receiving stream field analysis with their science teacher, and authority personnel.  The testing trip consists of stops at bridges over the Pine Brook and Matchaponix Brook from Englishtown to Spotswood above and below our plant discharge outfall, and the Duhernal Lake's dam prior to South River.  We test for dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and take samples for later analysis of other water quality criteria.  The purpose of this analysis is to demonstrate the high quality of our treatment plant's effluent and the characteristics of the local water environment.  Students are able to "close the loop" of true water recycling.  Non point source pollution issues are stressed.

After a lunch at a local shop, the students and teachers are give an in-depth tour of our plant and lab.  Our plant is equipped with "State of the Art" technology, including the state's largest reed bed system for converting sludge to usable "Bio-Solids".  The students and teaches are amazed at the use of engineering design to simulate the natural process of water renovation.  A view of activated sludge under the microscope is always exciting to our guests and stimulates discussion about Secondary and Biological Nitrogen Removal (BNR) treatment.  Both the plant staff and our guests have a very enjoyable learning experience. 

At their graduation, the Manalapan Eighth Graders are presented award plaques by the W.M.U.A.  The Marlboro students are given their awards at an Awards Assembly.  All winners also received a $50.00 gift card.

W.M.U.A.'s relationship with local schools has been a very rewarding experience far in excess of our expectations.  Additionally, we gain the great benefit of being perceived as an environmental leader in the community.  The W.M.U.A. is looking forward to working and growing with our students - the environmental future of our country.

 

Safety Program

The Western Monmouth Utilities Authority
Safety Incentive Highlights

The Western Monmouth Utilities Authority puts a high priority on safety awareness in the work place. In addition to meeting all of the required safety regulations for training, emphasis is placed on empowering the union employee through the safety committee.

The safety committee is set up as a joint union and management committee. A member and alternate are chosen by the union members from each of three departments. Management is represented by three supervisors. The safety coordinator, who is a supervisor, is currently serving as chairman of the committee.

The union members of the committee rotate on an annual basis. They may also serve as chairperson of the committee. Since there are twenty eight union employees for O + M at WMUA it is possible for all union employees to have a chance to serve on the committee. This rotation helps to further increase our employee's awareness of safety issues beyond the usual required training.

Safety committee meetings are not used as a forum for airing general complaints and grievances. The safety committee devotes its attention to health and safety matters. Although disagreement is to be expected on some issues, these are resolved in a non - adversarial atmosphere based on known facts and logical thinking. This atmosphere leads to reasonable recommendations and solutions. Formal voting is avoided because it tends to hinder the joint committee process. No one individual has veto power over the recommendations or activities of the committee. Consensus is reached by allowing each member present their arguments without being debased by other committee members. Unresolved issues are resolved at the upper management and union local level. This case is extremely rare.

The committee takes regular " safety tours " of buildings or outside areas of the WMUA. The findings are presented as part of the agenda of the monthly committee meeting. A " safety tour " can present the employee with a different perspective of his/her work area. Many times this different perspective will enable an employee to perceive a safety problem that would otherwise be ignored.

The Safety Committee also helps to write and is asked to comment on required written programs.

All committee minutes are posted for all employees to review. This helps educate employees about their health and safety problems and the work of the committee. Of course, Safety Committee members are encouraged to attend the JIF SAFETY EXPO and share their knowledge with others.

Additional training such as CPR, AED, and first aid training, are offered to all employees to maintain proficiency and certification. Many employees, including office personal, take advantage of this opportunity.

WMUA also runs a video program to reinforce required training and to present additional safety topics of interest. Safety Committee members were given the list of MEL videos and asked to recommend some titles. This program is called WMUA's " Break for Safety ". Announcements of video showings are made in movie poster format and placed on both the company and union bulletin boards.

Wellness is promoted at WMUA by maintaining complete medical benefits, a corporate membership at the local YM - YWCA, and by showing wellness oriented videos.

At WMUA we feel that employee involvement and self motivation are the keys to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.

The WMUA has received the New Jersey Utilities Authorities Joint Insurance Fund Recogntion Award for achieving a perfect score in their annual safety incentive program from 2001 to 2006.