Dave Neiman Source Water Protection Awards
Source Water Protection
Every year the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Rural Water Association (MRWA) jointly recognize public water systems who demonstrate outstanding commitment to protecting their drinking water source. The winner and finalists are announced at the Minnesota Rural Water Conference in March. They are presented with certificates signed by the Governor's office in hometown recognition ceremonies.
In 2020, MDH and MRWA created a new award category to recognize public water systems serving populations of 1,000 or less.
Effective in 2021, the awards were renamed the “Dave Neiman Source Water Protection Awards” to celebrate and commemorate the contributions that Dave Neiman made to source water protection in Minnesota over his career.
Congratulations to the 2020 winners and finalists listed below! Previous winners and finalists are listed in the archive.
- Winner: City of Balaton
- Finalists: City of Bovey, City of Calumet
- Educate the public and partners about how to protect their drinking water;
- Map storm sewer and catch basins;
- Conduct intensive monitoring of stormwater runoff; and
- Identify and manage potential threats to the drinking water source.
This year's Source Water Protection Award winner for small systems is the City of Balaton. The city's dedicated wellhead protection team has developed partnerships with neighboring counties, townships, and local organizations to:
- Winner: City of Annandale
- Finalist: City of Woodbury
- Developing spill and emergency response plans;
- Passing an ordinance requiring septic system inspections at the point of sale; and
- Passing an ordinance to limit construction of new wells within the city.
This year's Source Water Protection Award winner for large systems is the City of Annandale. The city has embarked on several major projects to prevent contamination of its drinking water source, including:
Fill out and submit a Nomination Form (PDF) to nominate an outstanding public water system. The form includes instructions. The public water system must have an approved source water protection plan.
Nominations are accepted from November 1- January 15 of each year.
Dave Neiman joined MRWA in 1995 and focused on source water, groundwater, and wellhead protection. Bruce Olsen, former MDH SWP Unit Supervisor said of Dave,
“Dave is one of the pioneers involved with developing the wellhead protection program and has greatly helped MDH staff determine the role that planners have in preparing and implementing wellhead protection plans. Dave is responsible for developing the roles that MRWA plays in protecting public sources of drinking water and was instrumental in helping the MDH assess the practicality of state wellhead regulations as they were being developed. The people of Minnesota owe a debt of gratitude to Dave for his devotion to drinking water protection and for the countless hours that he has contributed to helping public water suppliers protect everyone’s drinking water.”
Dave valued and represented the “salt of the earth” public water supplier perspective in wellhead protection planning and program development. He has left an amazing legacy and his efforts will continue to influence the future of source water protection. Some of Dave’s work can be found on the MRWA website.