Now accepting abstracts for the 2024 APWA/OWEA Joint Technical Conference & Trade Show! Deadline for submissions is January 5, 2024. Submit an abstract


2024 APWAOK/OWEA Joint Technical Conference & Trade Show

Share your knowledge with the Oklahoma public works and water environment community!

May 6-8, 2024
Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center
Tulsa, OK

Call for Abstracts

Abstract submittals for for 2024 joint technical conference are now being accepted!

If you have a topic you would like to present, please go to the link below to fill out the electronic submission form; include your paper abstract and presenter bio. Note whether you will be presenting for the OWEA or APWA track and whether you are a member of APWA or WEF. Abstracts submitted without bios will not be considered.

The deadline for consideration is January 5, 2024. We will notify all speakers of acceptance by February 2, 2024. Speakers are required to register for the conference during early bird registration period. 

For questions, please contact the following:

APWA Oklahoma Chapter
Stephen Higgins, President
Phone: (405) 292-4481

Andy Doerflinger, President
Phone: (405) 429-8690

OWEA Awards

OWEA presents awards associated with the annual conference

The Association is soliciting nominations for the Burke Safety Award.  The award is presented every year to a wastewater treatment facility that has exhibited the best safety record in the past calendar year.  The evaluation criteria include the overall safety record, the plant’s safety plan, and other criteria established by the Association.  The purpose of this award is to encourage an active and efficient safety program in municipal and industrial wastewaer facilities.

The Award consists of a plaque suitably inscribed with the selected facility’s name. The presentation will be presented at the Association’s annual meeting.


  • The documented and illustrated safety program and safety record of the facility for the preceding calendar year are the primary criteria for the award.
  • Additionally, each WEF Member Association is allowed full freedom to establish is own criteria.

This award is eligible for presentation every year to an individual who has provided extraordinary personal service to this Member Association.  The award is named for Arthur Sidney Bedell, the second president of the Federation who exemplified its purpose by his long devotion and service to the New York Sewage and Industrial Wastes Association, now the New York Water Pollution Control Association.  He was Chief of the Bureau of Sewage and Waste Disposal of the New York State Department of Health.

The award consists of a plaque suitably inscribed with the recipient’s name and presented at the Association’s annual meeting.

The evaluation criteria include:

  • The recipient must be a member of the Oklahoma Water Environment Federation.
  • Organizational Leadership, administrative service, membership activity, stimulation of technical functions, or similar participation.

Nominations for this award should include a one-page biography of the individual being nominated.

This award was established by the WEF Board of Directors in 1993 to recognize individuals for outstanding performance, professionalism and contributions to the water quality analysis profession.  The award consists of a plaque suitably inscribed with the recipient’s name and is presented by at the Association’s annual meeting.


  • Must be a member of the Water Environment Federation.
  • Candidate must be employed at an educational facility laboratory, industrial, commercial, or municipal laboratory which performs wastewater-related analysis, and must have direct analytical responsibilities.
  • Candidates are eligible for this award only once.
  • Qualifying criteria may include:
    • Membership and involvement in professional associations.
      Examples: Water Environment Federation Committees, Standard Methods Joint Task Groups, MA committees and conference activities.
    • Outstanding efforts in the area of wastewater and environmental aquatic analyses, including such items as innovative sampling techniques or solutions to a treatment, analytical or environmental problem.
    • Involvement in community activities or public relations.
    • Presentations at professional conferences, meetings, etc. relevant to water quality analysis.
    • Professional certifications.
    • Continuing education.
    • Contributions that have been beneficial to the nominees facility.
    • Unusual initiative or performance “beyond the call of duty”.

The William D. Hatfield Award is presented to operators of wastewater treatment plants for outstanding performance and professionalism. The award was established in honor of Dr. William D. Hatfield, Superintendent of the Decatur, Illinois Sanitary District, who was President of the Central States Sewage Works Association in 1944-45 and served as President of the Federation in 1958-59.

The award consists of a plaque suitably inscribed with the recipient’s name and is presented at the Association’s annual meeting.


Member Association controls the selection process following the Federation general criteria indicated below:

  • Must be a member of the Water Environment Federation.
  • Documentation of a successful system of reports from the operator to his or her superiors that fulfill the information requirements and provide the operator with a forum for suggestions for improvements.
  • Use of a good public relations program.
  • The nominee should have contributed to the dissemination of information concerning advancements in the field.


The original chapter of the Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5S Society) was founded in Arizona in 1940 for the many members who contribute in some outstanding measure to the affairs and success of the Water Environment Association. Inductions in Oklahoma began in 1998. Selection to membership is in recognition of “outstanding, meritorious service above and beyond the call of duty” to the Oklahoma Water Environment Association. Ceremonies may be conducted at the annual conference of the association.


Ronnie Graves – 2013

Carl Parrott – 2014

John Nelson – 2015

Robert Carr – 2016

The Golden Manhole Award is awarded to an individual who has had significant participation in one or more of the following areas: Operations, Maintenance, Design, Field Evaluation, Education, Training, Certification, Management, and Planning of Wastewater Collection Systems.

Nominators or Nominees shall not be on the Collection System Committee.

The committee will use the following criteria to select a nominee for the award:

  • Active in Collection Systems for ten years; with significant contribution to collection systems practice or advancement of the industry.
    Papers or articles accepted by state, regional, or national publications;
  • Technical presentations at professional conferences;
  • Participation in OWEA technical conferences as a Session Moderator;
  • Past participation in OWEA Collection Systems Committee.

Inductees into the Golden Manhole Society shall receive their OWEA Golden Manhole recognition pins and certificates during the OWEA Annual Conference.

If you wish to nominate an individual for these awards, submit the name of the individual and a one page biography and supporting documentation to the Awards Committee at

Nominations must be submitted no later than March 15 for all awards.