FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – The County’s Wastewater Management Program received what amounts to ‘gold’ in the industry by winning the National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards in the MS4 Phase I Overall Category. The award for the MS4 program was presented at the Water Environment Federation’s annual WEFTEC Awards 2023 ceremony which recently took place in Chicago. With this win, the MS4 program is now recognized as the best in the country.
Stormwater Planning Division Director Craig Carinci, “This is especially noteworthy when you think about the number of the Phase I communities throughout the country that participate in the Water Environment Federation (WEF).”
In short, the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) is a permit administered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality that requires the County to prevent the discharge of pollutants from the stormwater system into waterways to the reasonable maximum extent. The panel of experts judging the awards agreed the County’s MS4 program excelled in two pivotal categories: program management and innovation. In addition to saying the County’s MS4 program serves as an inspiration for other programs the panel said, “This recognition is indicative of your organization’s ability to effectively manage stormwater and green infrastructure initiatives, surpass regulatory requirements, and demonstrates a commitment to pushing boundaries and embracing innovative solutions.”
Also at the ceremony, Wastewater Management received its official recognition as a Utility of the Future, one of only 47 utilities nationwide to receive the designation. There are approximately 16,000 publicly owned wastewater systems in the U.S. Since the UOTF program launched in 2016, almost 200 utilities have been recognized with the honor.