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Recipients of the Walter A. Weers Outstanding Achievement Award

  • The Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Certification Board did not present a Walt Weers Outstanding Achievement Award in 2013.



Sid Copeland has served the water industry for over 25 years.  For the past 20 years, he has been successfully leading the operation of the City of Louisville's water treatment facilities and providing the community with high quality drinking water.


During Sid's advancement as a water plant operator, he saw the need to become involved in the certification process and made the decision to give back to his chosen profession through Colorado's network of certification volunteers.  He got involved with the examination process first by assisting as a  proctor at exam sites, and then running the proctor program.  This has required him to recruit proctors, coordinate the proctor needs for all of the exam sites through all the exam cycles ,and oversee the set up of the exam sites.  For many years, Sid attended every exam site in person, regardless of its location in the state, yet another level of extreme voluntary dedication.  He has been doing this for well over ten years.


Sid's commitment to the certification program is not limited to the exam proctor coordination.  He has also served on the Certification Board's Reciprocity Committee for the past 11 years.  This process requires significant time in reviewing applicant information, reserarching certification requirements of other states and making contacts for veriifications and deeper investigations.  His recommendations have always been fair and well-balanced for a task that can be highly subjective.


The dedication of Sid Copeland to the advancement and recognition of water and wastewater operators in general and more specifically to the Colorado Waste and Wastewater Operator Certification Program is very clear and adequate appreciation cannot be expressed.


    Betsy Beaver created one of the most unique and valuable Facility-Operator Programs in the country, dedicating 10 years to the Water Quality Control Division, the systems and communities they serve, and the certified water professionals of Colorado who supervise the water and wastewater systems. She is tremendously respected and has earned a level of trust not always found in a regulator-regulated community relationship. Her efforts in working toward assisting the public water and wastewater systems in Colorado achieve the certified water operator requirement for compliance, helped ensure that compliance rates were 90 to 95% and above within each county in the state. (CRS 25-9-110 that mandates that each facility be under the direct supervision of an appropriately certified operator in responsible charge (ORC)).


    Betsy was the liaison between the state, the operators and the systems. She offered an excellent level of public service that is rarely seen in a governmental entity whose main objective is compliance and enforcement. Betsy treated each operator and system with respect and worked to help operators and systems achieve compliance with state requirements.


    Betsy provided community outreach to as many operator trainings and schools across the state as she was able; she spoke about ethics, professionalism, and communication within the water and wastewater management vocation. She encouraged operators to elevate their status in their communities, and empowered them to do better in their profession. Betsy retired in August of 2010, but her exemplary work was the foundation for the excellent Facility-Operator Program within the Division.

The Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Certification Board did not present a Walt Weers Outstanding Achievement Award in 2010.


    Lee Simpson has dedicated nearly 50 years to the water profession in Colorado and to the advancement of expertise and professionalism among Colorado’s water and wastewater operators. Lee was a founding member of the St. Charles Mesa Water District in Pueblo County and was, for 36 years its district manager. During the 1970s and 80s, Lee organized and taught water and wastewater operators in Southern Colorado through the Pueblo School District.


    In 1980, Lee led the effort of water districts in rural Colorado to organize. This effort resulted in the formation of the Colorado Rural Water Association, an organization dedicated to providing quality training and professional assistance to operators throughout Colorado. Lee served as president of the Colorado Rural Water Association for 8 years and later served 8 years as a director on the board of the National Rural Water Association. Lee has been an exemplary leader. He has dedicated many years to the hard work of seeing that Colorado’s water and wastewater operators are well-trained and reflect high professional standards.

    Both Mr. Butler and Mr. Wiseman were involved in the development of the 2000 statute, which reorganized and revitalized Colorado’s operator certification program - Dale as an active member and representative of the Rocky Mountain Section of Water Environment Federation (RMWEA) and Jim as the General Chairman of the Colorado Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Certification Council.


    Mr. Butler spearheaded the founding, organization and incorporation of Colorado Environmental Testing, Inc. (CECTI), served as its first president; oversaw the first certification exams under the new system; worked with the WWFOCB to establish administrative policies; and helped the OCPO office establish administrative procedures.


    Mr. Wiseman negotiated the conditions under which the Certification Council’s program would become a part of the state’s certification program; and continued to provide professional and educational services to the operators.


    These two men have dedicated years to seeing that Colorado’s facility operators hold certifications representative of high professional standards. Colorado has a certification program that is nationally recognized for its excellence.

    Herman Wooten’s dedication to the Colorado Rural Water Association spanned more than 20 years. During that time he made himself available to operators in need, in all areas of water treatment operations including training and operator certification. His efforts spanned the entire state.


    His dream of a training facility and reference center open to all operators in the water and wastewater industry was fully realized in the year 2000 with the construction and dedication of the Colorado Rural Water Association headquarters and training center in Pueblo West. Mr. Wooten served on the Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Certification Board for 7 years. His carefully reasoned input on the Certification Board has been a powerfully stabilizing force when challenging or contentious issues have arisen.

    Walter A. Weers has devoted over fifty years of service to the education and certification of professionals in the Colorado water and wastewater industry. As an Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of Colorado, Dr. Weers was instrumental in founding the Rocky Mountain Water and Wastewater Schools, which include the Plant Operators School and the Distribution and Collection System Short School. In 1954, Dr. Weers assumed the role of Director of the Water and Wastewater Plant Operators School because he recongnized the need to provide water and wastewater treatment plant operators with the education necessary to provide clean and safe water quality service to their communities. He still serves on the School Advisory Board today.


    Dr. Weers has also served on the Colorado Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Systems Certification Council since 1978. In recognition of five decades of leadership in this industry, the Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Certification Board presented Dr. Weers with a "Lifetime Achievement Award".



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