The National Ground Water Association announced this year’s crop of award recipients. Awardees formally accept their awards at the 2013 Groundwater Expo in Nashville this month. This year’s awards recognize a variety of groundwater professionals and projects.

“The thing I am most proud of is passing the knowledge that I was gaining in this field onto everyone through my books and my column,” said Evan Nyer, a longtime NGWA columnist and one of three Life Member Award recipients this year. “I had a lot of unusual ideas that I think helped the industry progress and develop the technologies needed to clean our nation’s groundwater.”

Nyer is in good company with this year’s award recipients. They include a city-wide groundwater plan that saved Phoenix thousands of dollars a year, innovators like the inventor of the Zipliner soil and sediment sampling liner, and recognitions for commitments to safety and the preservation of groundwater.


Winners for 2013 include:

• Steve Maslansky of Prescott wins the Individual Safety Advocate Award. Maslansky chaired NGWA’s Safety Committee from 1983-1987 and 2002-2009, and has taught numerous health and safety courses.

• City of Phoenix wins the Groundwater Supply Award. The honor recognizes the city’s 2010 groundwater management plan, which involved three aquifer storage and recovery wells and saved the city about $110,000 per year in rehabilitation costs.

• ARCADIS receives the Groundwater Protection Award. ARCADIS developed a groundwater flow model for impact analysis for an open-pit phosphate ore mine at Blackfoot Bridge, Idaho.

• ARCADIS wins the Groundwater Remediation Award for a project involving a Superfund site in Saegertown, Penn.

• Ron Peterson of Baroid Industrial Drilling Products receives the top National Ground Water Association Award. Peterson, a 35-year industry veteran, helped develop standards for water wells in Utah, Idaho and Nevada.

• University of Alabama’s Chunmiao Zheng wins the group’s top science award. Zheng developed a contaminant transport model that has been an industry standard since the 1990s.

• Arthur E. Becker receives the National Ground Water Association Award. Becker has worked in the groundwater industry for more than 40 years, served as NGWA president in 2011, and currently works as general manager of the environmental drilling division of SGS North America Inc. in West Creek, N.J.

• Gregory Buffington with Layne Christensen Co. receives a Life Member Award. Buffington has worked with Layne Christensen since 1967, has deep involvement with NGWA and helped found the Illinois Groundwater Association.

• USGS’s Dr. Leonard Konikow receives a Life Member Award. Konikow has served the groundwater sector for 42 years, all of it at the United States Geological Survey, and helped develop one of the first generic solute transport models for groundwater.

• Evan Nyer of Tampa receives a Life Member Award. Nyer founded remediation equipment maker Detox Inc. and has written a column for NGWA’s “Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation” journal for more than 20 years.

• Michael Gefell of ARCADIS wins the 2013 Technology Award. Gefell, a 24-year groundwater industry veteran, helped develop the Zipliner plastic soil and sediment sampling liner for use with direct-push or manual tooling.

The opening ceremony for this year’s Groundwater Expo is 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Music City Center’s Davidson Ballroom.

It will include the presentation of awards, as well as two “H2O Talks.” The talks, presented by Michael Campana, Ph.D, and Thom M. Hanna, RPG, will cover “Health … Humanitarian … Opportunities” for groundwater professionals. (See page 14 for a preview of Campana’s talk about “hydrophilanthropy.”)

NGWA is a nonprofit that supports responsible development, management and use of water resources. It’s comprised of groundwater professionals ranging from contractors to equipment manufacturers to scientists and engineers. For more information, visit