ORWA Honored for Protecting Public Health

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality recognizes ORWA staff for their dedication to providing for Oklahoma’s rural communities.

Oklahoma DEQ recognized the Oklahoma Rural Water Association on Friday, April 30 for their commitment to public health and to rural Oklahoma throughout the historic winter storms in February 2021.

Together, ORWA, Oklahoma DEQ, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy’s office, coordinated response plans and acted as boots on the ground to restore water and wastewater services across the state.

“It was an honor to meet with the staff at Oklahoma Rural Water Association today and to present them certificates of appreciation for their tireless efforts working with rural water and wastewater systems in Oklahoma,” said Shellie Chard, Oklahoma DEQ Director of Water Quality. “ORWA are not only first responders in an emergency, they are continuous responders every day.”

The Oklahoma Strategic Alliance, established by Governor Stitt, was implemented in order to foster interagency cooperation and allows for resources to be shared in order to better serve Oklahomans.

“The Strategic Alliance is a perfect example of how state agencies can work hand in hand with technical assistance providers, like ORWA, to improve public health and the environment for Oklahomans,” Chard said.

During the historic storms, Strategic Alliance partners created a shared drive in order to share live updates on affected systems.

“We would like to thank DEQ and their staff for this recognition and the collaborative efforts of their staff during these recent historic events,” said Jimmy Seago, ORWA Deputy CEO. “Thank you to our own, J.R. Welch for coordinating our team and their efforts.

“We are grateful to our partners, for together we are able to tackle monumental challenges,” Seago said.

For more information regarding ORWA and the Oklahoma Strategic Alliance, visit orwa.org.

— Written by JD Rosman

The Oklahoma Rural Water Association was formed in 1970 and was the first of its kind, giving a voice for rural water systems and districts across the state. Today, ORWA represents more than 550 water and wastewater utilities, providing management solutions, training opportunities, serves as their legislative voice, and provides technical assistance to its membership. The ORWA works to meet the needs of its members, always working to provide the best and safest water supply to its customers. Learn more about ORWA at orwa.org.  

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