Dave Neiman Source Water Protection Awards: Minnesota Department of Health

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.

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Winners and Finalists

Congratulations to the 2021 winners and finalists listed below! Previous winners and finalists are listed in the archive.

Small systems

  • Winner: City of Walker
  • Finalists: City of Big Falls, City of Hackensack, City of Keewatin
  • This year's Source Water Protection Award winner for small systems is the City of Walker. The city has engaged in strategic activities to preserve the quality of its drinking water source, including:

  • Identifying and addressing stormwater threats to the source;
  • Securing grant funding for security and maintenance; and
  • Helping contribute to the scientific understanding of contaminants in Minnesota groundwater through participation in the Pathogen Project.
  • Learn more by watching the Lakeland PBS video, Walker and Hackensack Recently Recognized for Efforts to Protect Drinking Water Sources (YouTube Video; 2:56).

Large systems

    City of Fairmont, Austin Utilities, City of North Mankato
  • Winner: City of Fairmont (top left)
  • Finalists: City of North Mankato (bottom left), Austin Utilities (right)
  • This year's Source Water Protection Award winner for large systems is the City of Fairmont. The city has worked extensively with state, regional, and local partners on projects to protect its drinking water source, including:

  • Developing an extensive monitoring program;
  • Securing funding for innovative biofiltration wetlands; and
  • Modeling watershed outcomes of best management practices.

Nominate an Outstanding Public Water System

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.

About Dave Neiman

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,

Picture of Dave Neiman“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.

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Updated Friday, 12-Aug-2022 13:49:35 CDT