SF Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board presents 2016 “WuHoo” Pollution Prevention Award to City of San José

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board presented the 2016 Dr. Teng-Chung Wu Award to the City of San José for its innovative pollution prevention activities.

Kerrie Romanow, director of San José’s Environmental Services Department, accepted the award for the City on September 14, 2016 at a ceremony in Oakland, California. “This prestigious award recognizes the strong partnerships that San José has developed to help keep our creeks and Bay clean; we’ll continue to grow our efforts and keep up the momentum by looking for new ways to protect the environment and serve our community ,” Romanow said.

SFBWS Board of Directors President Cecilia (Ceal) Craig at the 2016 WuHoo Awards. Credit San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

SFBWS Board of Directors President Cecilia (Ceal) Craig at the 2016 WuHoo Awards. Credit San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

San José manages the largest wastewater operation in the region, serving 1.4 million people in Santa Clara County through the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility and thousands of miles of collection system.

San José has also remained focused on pollution prevention, and has actively forged partnerships to keep its pollution prevention programs creative and effective.

Among the City’s innovative activities include broadcasting pollution prevention messages with the San José Earthquakes major league soccer team; launching a Fats, Oils, and Grease Pilot Art Project with the San José Public Art Program; and expanding the “Living Wetlands” education and outreach program with the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge Education Center. The Living Wetlands program is administered by SFBWS to help bring school children and the public to learn about life-long stewardship for San Francisco Bay, the habitat the refuge supports, and our role in keeping the baylands healthy for generations to come.

The City has also partnered with the San Francisco Estuary Institute and the California Department of Pesticides Regulation to participate in groundbreaking wastewater studies and pilot programs to prioritize new efforts to keep emerging contaminants out of the Bay.

The Water Board presents the “WuHoo” Award annually in memory of former Water Board employee, Dr. Teng-chung Wu, an early advocate for pollution prevention. After Bay Area utilities spent billions of dollars during the 1980's to implement traditional treatment technologies, Dr. Wu believed pollution prevention was the most cost-effective next step in improving water quality.

To advance pollution prevention in the Bay Area, Dr. Wu introduced a collaborative regional approach involving many public agencies and utilities in pollution prevention. His efforts lead to the formation of the Bay Area Pollution Prevention Group. Because the public is ultimately the source of pollutants in wastewater, Dr. Wu believed strongly in the public outreach and awareness elements of pollution prevention programs.

The award reflects Dr. Wu's pollution prevention philosophy by encouraging submissions from agencies that have worked together on pollution prevention projects or have shared their ideas and experiences with others to foster new and expanded pollution prevention programs. Awards are based on leadership, innovation, commitment, measurable results, and benefit to the environment and community.