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City Press Releases

Posted on: October 13, 2021

Valpo City Services Recognized

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Valparaiso City Utilities has once again earned state and national recognition for operational excellence by industry leaders in water management. Valparaiso’s Utility has been recognized with a Peak Performance Award for continued operational excellence by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) and awarded distinctions for laboratory excellence, safety and ground water protection by the Indiana Water Environment Association (IWEA). “We are once again very pleased to be recognized by industry leaders. I want to congratulate our extraordinary operational team for the consistently excellent performance recognized by these most recent distinctions,” said Steve Poulos, Executive Director for Valparaiso City Services, which combines both utilities and public works divisions.

 Presented in Washington, D.C., the NACWA Peak Performance Award was Valparaiso’s second consecutive Gold Award, a recognition for having zero permit violations for the entire calendar year. The award was Valparaiso’s eleventh recognition from NACWA, the nation’s recognized leader on clean water issues, including water management, sustainability and ecosystem protection. 

 Additionally, Valparaiso City Utilities was recently recognized at the state level by the IWEA with the following awards:  

  • 2020-2021 Laboratory Excellence Award (for the 15th time)
     Awarded for outstanding achievement in the implementation of laboratory technique and administration.  To receive an excellence award, the laboratory must score 85% or higher in each category as well as an overall score of 90% or higher, based on a thorough lab audit. These audits, similar to those performed by Indiana Department of Environmental Management, are an excellent tool for hands-on consulting in the laboratory.
  • 2020-2021 Safety Award (for the 12th time)
     Safety Awards recognize facilities for maintaining a low number of lost-time accidents and performance on an annual safety report.  
  • 2020 Ground Water Guardian Award (for the 15th time) 

The Hoosier Water Guardian program recognizes communities for exceeding state standards for Wellhead Protection and Source Water Protection. This is a voluntary initiative for all community public water supplies that depend on groundwater for all or part of their drinking water. 

“Our Valparaiso City Utilities has repeatedly distinguished itself and our city for its fiscal strength, environmental protection and overall efficiency,” said Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy. “These latest recognitions are further affirmation of solid performance for our community,” he said.   

Valparaiso City Utilities, a division of Valparaiso City Services, is a publicly owned utility providing water, wastewater and stormwater services for more than 33,000 customers located in or adjacent to 

the City of Valparaiso. The team responsible for the City’s excellent utility performance includes 66 dedicated employees, as well as a committed board of directors.   Today, Valparaiso City Utilities is governed by a five-member board of directors, including David Bengs, Mike Sur, John Walsh, Mark Thiros, Kari Bennett and Michael Langer. Valparaiso City Utilities extends a special thanks to the Water Reclamation Department staff under the leadership of Operation and Maintenance Director Shihua Chen, Superintendent Paul Scott, Chief Operator Terry Wampler, Assistant Maintenance Manager Bill Fessler and Laboratory Pretreatment Director Hanna Seats. For more information, visit



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