Now in their fifth year, the Water Industry Achievement Awards are all about celebrating innovation and best practice in the water industry. This year’s awards attracted more entries than ever before.

Greener Waste celebrated its success as this year’s event, winning the Outstanding Innovation 2011 title. Other winners included Southern Water, MWH, Siemens and Cranfield University.

Presented at a glittering black tie ceremony at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham compered by Paul Tonkinson, winners in 11 categories were announced covering the latest innovations and best practice in the water sector.

Over 340 guests attended the event, organised by Faversham House Group (FHG) titles WET News and Water & Wastewater Treatment.

Following a champagne reception, guests sat down to dinner, then it was time for the audience to celebrate the innovative achievements of the award winners and finalists as the presentations got under way.

The first winner of the night was Imtech Process, taking the award for Carbon Reduction Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Asset International, for its Cardiff and Afan AD plants.

Southern Water was a double winner, being awarded the Community Project of the Year title, sponsored by Siemens, for employing a full-time charity and community officer, and the Customer Satisfaction Initiative of the Year accolade, sponsored by UKDP, for its Help Us Get Better Tours scheme.

Another double winner was Greener Waste, which won the award for the Most Innovative New Technology of the Year, as well as the award for Outstanding Innovation 2011, sponsored by Ofwat, for its Modular High Efficiency Reed Bed.

The award for Partnership Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Imtech Process, went to Thames Water for its gas-to-grid scheme. Meanwhile, Cranfield University’s Centre for Water Science, took the People Initiative of the Year award for its STREAM scheme. The Health & Safety Initiative of the Year award was given to Nomenca for its If It’s Not Safe initiative, while Less Mess! won the award for the Fats, Oil & Grease (FOG) Reduction Initiative of the Year, for its Fat Trap.

MWH and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water won the SUDS & Flood Management Initiative of the Year for its surface water management initiative. Sponsored by Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, the award for the Most Innovative Use of an Existing Technology of the Year went to Siemens Water Technology for its Choloroclam technology.

Finally, the award for the Outstanding Individual Contribution to the Water Industry went to Milo Purcell, deputy chief inspector at the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

After the awards presentation was over guests were entertained by a band called Captiv8. The evening ended with a charity auction on behalf of WaterAid, which saw guests dig deep for some fantastic prizes including: two tickets for a Manchester City Premier League match, courtesy of Analytical Technology Industries; the Severn Trent Renewable Energy Experience, courtesy of Severn Trent Water; a signed Newcastle United football shirt courtesy of Southern Water; a Yorkshire County Hamper courtesy of Greener Waste; an Amazon Kindle, courtesy of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies; tickets for the Manchester Utd v Chelsea Champions League quarter final courtesy of Nomenca; two tickets to see England play at Wembley; and a Jeep tour for two people to view the London Olympics site, courtesy of Atkins.

The auction raised £5,300 for WaterAid.

Maureen Gaines, editor of WET News, said: “The Water Industry Achievement Awards are a highlight of the sector’s calendar and this fifth anniversary year has been no exception. The judges were impressed, not only with the highest number of entries ever, but also with the calibre of those entries.

“Innovation, sustainability and carbon reduction are objectives for the industry and were strongly represented in the entries. The organisers are thrilled to be able to reward best practice in this way.”

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