The National Ground Water Association announced the winners of its annual awards, given to individuals and companies who have exhibited excellence in the ground water industry.

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) announced the winners of its annual awards, given to individuals and companies who have exhibited excellence in the ground water industry.

The winners presented during the 54th Annual Ground Water Expo in Las Vegas are:

The Oliver Award

Len Assante, vice president and co-owner of Assante Brothers/Plainfield Well Drilling Co., Martinsville, N.J., received the Oliver Award, presented to an NGWA member who has made outstanding contributions in the water industry.

Assante, NGWA's 2002 president, has been a member of NGWA for more than 25 years. His "get involved" philosophy has translated into decades of service for the association and the industry. Assante has served on -- and often chaired -- numerous NGWA committees, including the government affairs committee, rural water district committee, industry standards monitoring committee, DOT/OSHA committee and the research technology transfer committee. He also was chairman of the Northeast Expo board and the Mid-Atlantic Expo Board. In addition, Assante has been president, vice president and director of the New Jersey Ground Water Association.

Assante is a second-generation water well contractor whose father and uncle founded the business in 1919.

M. King Hubbert Award

Warren Wood, a noted research hydrologist working with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va., is this year's recipient of the M. King Hubbert Award, which is presented to an individual who has made a major contribution to the field of ground water science. Wood has a distinguished career of teaching and research at both the national and international level, providing critical contributions to the understanding of recharge in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. He has given lectures at more than 60 universities worldwide and worked on research in such diverse regions as Australia, Botswana, Israel, Japan, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and England, where he is currently a visiting professor at Oxford University. He also is a guest professor at China University of Geosciences, Beijing. Wood served five years on the board of directors of NGWA's Association for Ground Water Scientists and Engineers (AGWSE) and chaired the hydrogeology division of the Geological Society of America. From 1996-2001, he served as editor-in-chief of Ground Water, a peer-reviewed journal for hydrogeologists.

Life Member Awards

The Life Member Award is presented to active NGWA members who have retired or are of retirement age and who have contributed special service in the furtherance of the ground water industry and/or to NGWA. This year's Life Member Award winners are:

  • Joseph Birman, hydrogeologist, South Pasadena, Calif. Birman was a professor at Occidental College from 1950 to 1984. He pioneered the design and application of instrumentation to evaluate shallow ground water temperatures for ground water assessment, water resources exploration and development. Founder and president of Geothermal Surveys Inc., Birman has performed ground water exploration and development throughout most of the western United States, Mexico, South America and the Middle East. Birman is a Certified Ground Water Professional through NGWA's professional certification program and is a member of Groundwater Resources Association of California (GRA), where he recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Fletcher Driscoll, hydrogeologist and author, White Bear Lake, Minn. Driscoll is author of the second edition of the best-selling book, Groundwater and Wells, a standard reference for most practicing ground water specialists. Driscoll received his Ph.D. in hydrogeology from the University of Minnesota and has been a faculty member at the University of Minnesota, Carleton College and the University of Wisconsin. He is a consulting hydrogeologist and a former regional manager with Johnson Filtration Systems Inc. Driscoll is a former member of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council and is a longstanding member of NGWA, where he received the AGWSE division's Keith Anderson Award for outstanding contributions in 1987.

  • John Dufford, president of Dufford Drilling Company Inc., Glastonbury, Connecticut. Dufford, a past president of the Connecticut Water Well Association (CWWA), has been active in CWWA since its inception. He started and still chairs the annual Connecticut Workshop. A longtime member of NGWA, he has been a state delegate at the national convention for several years and also has participated in the Washington Fly-in. Dufford still is active in the well drilling business and operates a rig on a daily basis.

  • Carl Mason, Baroid Industrial Drilling Products, Bedford, Pa. Mason has been a part of the ground water industry for more than 40 years and was instrumental in the development of Baroid grout products. He holds several patents with Baroid. He has worked in 20 states with drillers and state officials and has received at least 25 awards in the industry. He also has traveled to Africa and worked in five African nations in industry education. Mason, an NGWA member for several years, has participated in the last three NGWA Washington Fly-ins and has served as a delegate at the national convention.

  • Joseph Proch, retired owner of Book and Proch Well Drilling, New Castle, Pa. Proch was a water well contractor for more than 50 years and still serves the industry by helping to secure domestic well standards for the state of Pennsylvania. A two-term past president of the Pennsylvania Ground Water Association (PGWA), he served on the PGWA Board of Directors for more than two decades. Proch's association with NGWA has taken him across the world. He served on NGWA's team of the People-to-People Ambassador programs to Singapore in 1978 and to China in 1998. He has attained the title of Master Ground Water Contractor through NGWA's certification program.

  • David Keith Todd, president of Todd Engineers, Emeryville, Calif. Todd has devoted his career to advancing ground water technology and educating others about ground water. His classic text, Groundwater Hydrology, has been used by more than 50 U.S. universities and has been translated into six languages. In addition, Todd has made basic hydrologic information more accessible through six other books and more than 120 publications. He currently is a professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley. Todd's practice continues to address the occurrence, movement, development and quality of ground water, primarily in alluvial and some consolidated aquifer systems. His work has been centered in California but he has consulted in all parts of the world, including Africa, Central and South America and the Far East. He received the 1997 NGWA John Hem Award for his achievements.

The Outstanding Project in Ground Water Supply Award

This NGWA award recognizes outstanding engineering and/or contractor innovation in the area of supplying ground water. This year's winner, Malcolm Pirnie Inc. was honored for its Sanctuary Springs Water Supply Development Project. Nestle Waters of North America Inc. (NWNA), a producer of bottled spring water, wanted to develop a spring source and bottling plant in the Midwest. After NWNA identified Sanctuary Springs as a potential site in west-central Michigan, Malcolm Pirnie's team performed the following hydrogeologic investigations: assessed the site's potential to meet production needs, evaluated potential environmental effects of the development, provided data for long-term management and designed production wells adjacent to the springs. The studies included a network of monitoring points, which helps expand understanding of regional water resources in this region of Michigan. The team also went out of its way to locate the wells in locations that minimized the potential impacts of their pumping on their neighbors.

Outstanding Project in Ground Water Protection Recognition

This NGWA award recognizes outstanding engineering or do-it-yourself innovation in the area of protecting ground water. Outstanding Projects in Ground Water Protection Awards went to:

  • Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Palatka, Fla., for its Mill Water Conservation Project. Georgia-Pacific's pulp and paper manufacturing plant in Palatka is located in the lower St. Johns River drainage basin. In cooperation with St. Johns Water Management District, Georgia-Pacific's Palatka Mill was able to establish water conservation goals and implement a plan to reduce ground water consumption by 50 percent -- all without reducing paper production efforts. Through equipment installation, Georgia-Pacific developed a wellfield management plan to minimize the use of ground water and maximize the use of surface water ? a plan that began in September of 2000. Georgia-Pacific has succeeded in protecting the Floridian aquifer ground water supply from overdraft and contamination by saltwater intrusion, while protecting surface water and wetland resources.

  • CDM for its Wastewater Reclamation for Kingston, Mass., Project. CDM planned, designed and managed construction of an innovative wastewater treatment and disposal system for irrigating a golf course with reclaimed water during the growing season and disposing of the water at a leaching field under the practice range when the irrigation water was not needed. CDM worked closely with the town of Kingston to restore and protect ground water in a stressed, closed river basin while solving the treated effluent disposal problems faced by the community. The public involvement process used by CDM was noted for its effectiveness in disseminating information and achieving consensus. The project also assessed ground water-related impacts to local downgradient cranberry bogs and provided insight into the hydrology of these bogs.

Outstanding Project in Ground Water Remediation Awards

This NGWA award recognizes the outstanding engineering and do-it-yourself innovation in the area of remediating ground water. Two teams received Outstanding Projects in Ground Water Remediation Awards:

  • CDM is recognized for its teamwork on the Glendale Water Treatment System Project. CDM has been working for several years to provide comprehensive site remediation services for the Glendale Operable Unit site in Southern California. CDM's role included creating a detailed analysis of three alternative treatment systems and providing final design of the treatment facility. The Glendale treatment plant, where CDM is providing full-time operations and maintenance, has provided an effective and cost-effective solution to remediate and reuse ground water in the San Fernando Basin. CDM's efforts demonstrate how a large-scale plant can be used to reclaim water that would otherwise have been unusable.

  • A team from Michigan State University received recognition for its project, In-Situ Bioaugmentation for Remediation of a Carbon Tetrachloride Impacted Aquifer. The team focused its efforts on a sandy, glacial till aquifer in southwestern Michigan near the village of Schoolcraft. The aquifer was contaminated with carbon tetrachloride (CT) and nitrate. The Michigan State team developed an innovative solution using a novel bacterium that could respire nitrate while simultaneously degrading CT. Among the team's significant findings was the discovery that closely-spaced wells and intermittent pumping operations can permit effective delivery of the agents needed for remediation across a deep aquifer despite significant variability in hydraulic conductivity.