HRSD Receives 2018 U.S. Water Prize for Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow


U.S. Water Alliance recognizes SWIFT for outstanding achievement

VIRGINIA BEACH – HRSD has been recognized by the U. S. Water Alliance, earning the prestigious U.S. Water Prize in the public sector for SWIFT, HRSD’s Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow. Awarded annually, the US Water Prize celebrates outstanding achievement in the advancement of sustainable, integrated, and inclusive solutions to water challenges and is the pre-eminent national recognition program for exemplary efforts to secure a sustainable water future for all.

SWIFT is an innovative water treatment project designed to ensure a sustainable source of groundwater to meet current and future needs in the region. The project takes HRSD's already highly treated water that would otherwise be discharged into the Elizabeth, James or York rivers and puts it through additional rounds of advanced water treatment to produce drinking quality water. The SWIFT Water is then treated to match the existing groundwater chemistry and added to the Potomac Aquifer, the primary source of groundwater throughout eastern Virginia, ensuring a sustainable source of groundwater while addressing environmental challenges such as Chesapeake Bay restoration, sea level rise and saltwater intrusion.

"We are humbled by the recognition. HRSD has been the one wastewater solution for our 18 independent cities and counties for more than 85 years. With SWIFT, we look forward to becoming the model of one-water regional solutions for the nation. As an appointed leader, my fellow commissioners and I have an obligation to promote, advance and deliver greater solutions for our region and the water sector," said HRSD Commission Chair Rick Elofson as he and several HRSD staff accepted the award on July 10 at the U.S. Water Alliance's One Water Summit 2018 held in Minneapolis, MN.

The SWIFT Research Center, located on the grounds of HRSD's Nansemond Treatment Plant in Suffolk, VA, began operations on May 15. Using advanced treatment processes the Research Center is now recharging dwindling groundwater resources in the Potomac Aquifer at a rate of one million gallons of drinking water quality SWIFT Water per day.

HRSD's mission is to protect public health and the waters of Hampton Roads by treating wastewater effectively. A political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, HRSD was created by public referendum in 1940 and currently serves 18 cities and counties in southeast Virginia - an area with a population of 1.7 million.

HRSD Vision: Future Generations will inherit clean waterways and be able to keep them clean.

Should you have any questions or comments, you may contact:

Media Contact:

Leila Rice, APR - 757.460.7056
Director of Communications