NEW Water - A Message from Executive Director, Thomas W. Sigmund, P.E.

NEW Water Annual Report 2017 - Page 5

NEW Water - A Message from Executive Director, Thomas W. Sigmund, P.E. A Message from the

Executive Director

A little over ten years ago, NEW Water decided to broaden

its focus on improving the environment to areas outside of

its interceptors and two wastewater treatment facilities.

A desire to increase recovery of valuable resources set

the direction for the Resource Recovery and Electrical Energy Recovery (R2E2)

Project. At the same time, NEW Water was facing future significant capital and

operating expenses to remove a small amount of phosphorus from its effluent to

meet stringent limits. This led to considering Adaptive Management as a means

to meet those regulatory requirements, as well as work with agriculture to reduce

runoff of nutrients and sediment into area waterways.

With those two pending initiatives, we realized that a new brand was needed to

help focus the upcoming conversations on water in the most general sense with

a very diverse group of stakeholders; the end result was NEW Water.

The R2E2 Project construction made significant progress in 2017 and will be

ready for operation in 2018. NEW Water will then be able to generate about half

of its electrical energy needs and significantly reduce its use of natural gas by

extracting energy from the waste material it receives from its customers. We will

also begin recovering phosphorus for sale as an organic fertilizer.

The Silver Creek Adaptive Management Pilot Project continued in 2017 to

install best management practices on agricultural land to reduce sediment and

nutrient loss to waterways, strengthen existing partnerships, and form new

partnerships to assist NEW Water on how to proceed with a future full-scale

Adaptive Management program. That program will reduce the cost of regulatory

compliance for NEW Water’s customers and will also have a much greater positive

impact on area water bodies.

Year 2017 ended with the Green Bay Facility achieving 15 years of continuous

100% permit compliance and the De Pere Facility meeting six years. Actual

discharges from both facilities are well beyond compliance with the regulatory

requirements, resulting in cleaner water being returned to the Fox River and the

bay of Green Bay.

To take on initiatives like R2E2 and Adaptive Management, NEW Water needed

the support of its customers. Over the last seven years NEW Water has worked

very intentionally to enhance relationships with its customers through steady,

open, and honest conversations about both routine and difficult issues. We meet

with our customers in a group setting at least four times a year, as well as host

individual meetings. We believe we can now talk about difficult subjects, receive

input, and gain support for those important issues.

I hope this report demonstrates that NEW Water is delivering performance to its

community that is Beyond Compliance.

Thomas W. Sigmund, P.E.

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