Philadelphia Water Department’s “Delaware Valley Early Warning System” Receives 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 13, 2015 – On April 28th , the City of Philadelphia Water Department received a 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) for the “Delaware Valley Early Warning System - Tidal Spill Trajectory Tool”.  The award recognizes the innovativeness and public safety benefits of a custom developed web-based system designed to safeguard water quality for 1.6 million people served by public and private water utilities located on the Schuylkill and Lower Delaware River Watersheds. 

The Early Warning System (EWS) integrates real time water quality monitoring using river gauges and water quality sensors with analysis and modeling tools to project the downstream spread and estimated arrival time of pollution cause by spills, accidents, and floods, and assists response planning, and automated alerting using targeted mass telephone notification, and e-mail to alert water utilities, regulatory agencies, and public safety officials who are partners to the system.   The 2014 addition of a tidal spill trajectory animation tool provides enhanced analysis of tidal flow influences on pollution events within the tidal zone of the Delaware River which improves response planning.    

“We are thrilled the Department received this Award”, said Kelly Anderson, Source Water Protection Manager for the Department.  “The EWS project represents the Department’s long term commitment to protecting the region’s water quality supplied by the Lower Delaware Watershed.  A key success factor has been the willingness of our partners who share our commitment through their support and use of the system.”

CDM Smith (prime contractor) and geographIT® (subcontractor) jointly developed and enhanced the Early Warning System for the Water Department.  Michael Tzoanos has served as the system architect and lead developer for the EWS system since 2004.   “This project exemplifies the success of a long term collaborative partnership between the Philadelphia Water Department and CDM Smith,” said William Cesanek, Vice President of CDM Smith, “and we are delighted that Michael Tzoanos’ technical achievements and long term commitment to the project were recognized by this award”.

The April 28th Awards dinner was sponsored by the PEC and held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Acting Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley was the keynote speaker.   Visit the PEC web site ( http://pecpa.org/) for more information about the event.




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