President's Message

As I recommence into my third year as your association President, I (again) thank you for your support and look forward to representing all of you as the President of the Rhode Island Clean Water Association in the upcoming year.


Since 1952, the name of this association has been called the Narragansett Water Pollution Control Association (NWPCA). We are an affiliated state association of the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) and the International Water Environment Federation (WEF).

In order to reflect our mind set with the environment on clean water, we, as a Board, proposed to the members that the name of the association be changed to the Rhode Island Clean Water Association (RICWA), which was approved by the members. As of January 1, 2020, we are officially called the Rhode Island Clean Water Association (RICWA).

I would like to provide an update of this association in 2022.


The Board has continued to have its board meetings in person at various Wastewater Treatment Facilities, and all of our events are now back in person as well. In preparation for all of our events, we still follow the current RIDOH’s COVID guidelines.

For the NEWEA Boston Annual Meeting and Exhibition, RI was well represented with awards. Scott Goodinson (RI NEWEA Operator Award), Kathy Perez (Alfred E. Peloquin Award), Ops Challenge Team consisting of two from RI, Ed Davies & Riley Greene, and two from CT., and me (WEF Quarter Century Operator’s Club). RICWA sponsored six operators to attend the Operator’s Day. Scott Goodinson was elected as the Vice President of NEWEA, and this association is looking forward to when he becomes the NEWEA President in 2024!

Our next event was the annual Clean Water Legislative Event that was held at the RI State House, and we give special thanks to Janine Burke-Wells for being the Chair. The Honorable Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi, Speaker of the House, provided opening remarks along with Senator Jack Reed and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse via video. At this event, we reflected on the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act. We had the following panel discussing the Clean Water Act in a question and answer format: Terry Gray, Director of RIDEM, Jeffrey Diehl, Executive Director & CEO of RI Infrastructure Bank, Laurie Horridge, Executive Director of NBC, and Alicia Lehrer, Executive Director of Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council. The association appreciates all of them taking the time out of their busy schedules to participate in this great event. Lastly, RICWA has created the Clean Water Legislator of the Year Award to recognize all the hard work involved in getting substantial, effective legislation enacted in support of the water environment. The 2022 awards recognize the sponsor of the RI Act on Climate. This year’s recipients were Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi, Speaker of the House, Senator Dominick J. Ruggerio, Senate President, Representative Lauren Carson, and Senator Dawn Euer. Congratulations!

In April, RICWA sponsored Open Houses at the following WWTF: NBC Field’s Point, Block Island / New Shoreham, Suez – East Providence, South Kingstown, Warwick Sewer Authority, and West Warwick. We thank all the staffs at each facility for taking the time to provide the town, and they were all well represented.

In May, we held our annual Awards Banquet at the Cranston Country Club, and this is one of our favorite events because it gives us the opportunity to recognize all of the hard work our members do day in and day out. Our guest speaker was Joseph Haberek, RIDEM. Please go on our web site for the list of award recipients.

At the NEWEA Spring Meeting at Mt. Washington, NH, our RI Ops Challenge Team, “RISING SLUDGE” did an excellent job in the Ops Challenge competition. They earned 1st place in the process control, 1st place in the laboratory analysis, 1st place in safety, 1st place in pump maintenance, and 3rd place in collections. JOB WELL DONE! Their strong performance and first place finish overall for New England has afforded them an invitation to compete at the national competition for the 7th straight year, during the WEFTEC 2022 Conference, which is going to be held in New Orleans from October 8 – 12. The Ops Challenge team consists of Ed Davies, Riley Greene, Dave Bruno, Rob Norton, and Max Maher.

Our Annual Golf Outing was held on June 20th at the Potowomut Golf Club, and it was fully attended for the eight straight year. A big thank you to our members, committee, and volunteers, along with everyone at the golf club, who all made it another great and well attended event. The proceeds went to six Scholarship recipients, web site upgrade (currently in progress), and other needs towards the association.

The Annual Chowder Cook-Off was held on August 19th at the Narragansett WWTF. As always, we want to thank the Town of Narragansett for allowing us to utilize their awesome facility that has a great ocean view. In addition to the BBQ, we had six members make clam chowder to see who would be voted the best “CHOWDA”. For the 4th time in eight years of holding this event, our very own Scott Goodinson was crowned champion.

In order to accommodate our members and vendors, the venue for our Trade Show was held at the Crowne Plaza Providence in Warwick on September 9th. The committee was very excited to see that this event was well attended by our members, and it was much better setup for all for the vendors who participated in it. During this event, RIDEM held its monthly Superintendent’s meeting, Nora Lough held a training class on Microbiology, the Ops Challenges team provided some entertainment by performing the Collections Event and had pipe cutting contests, the graduation ceremony for the RIDEM/RICWA Boot Camp participants, and a great buffet to end the day that included a raffle. During this week, we hosted a wastewater professional, Will Sheffer, who is a Lead Pump Station Mechanic at the South Burlington WQD in VT. Besides attending the Trade Show, he was escorted to visit the following WWTF: Town of Narragansett, South Kingstown, Quonset Point, East Greenwich, Warwick Sewer Authority, Veolia – Cranston, West Warwick, and Narragansett Bay Commission Field’s Point. We thank all of those wastewater treatment facilities for taking the time to allow Mr. Sheffer to have a tour and see how RI wastewater workers operate.

The Ops Challenge Team, “RISING SLUDGE”, attended the 2022 WEFTEC National Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans October 8th – 12th at the Ernest Morial Convention Center. The team that consists of Ed Davies, Riley Greene, Dave Bruno, Rob Norton, and Max Maher did an excellent job again at this extremely touch and “challenging” event. We are all appreciative of all who contributed that allowed them to continue being successful. The results are as follows: 4th place in Process Control, 11th place in Laboratory Analysis, 10th place in Safety, 14th place in Maintenance, and 12th place in Collections. In a category with many teams, RISING SLUDGE earned an 8th Place overall finish in Division 2. Mr. Ed Davies was awarded the Bobby Williams Competitive Spirit Award, which is a huge honor and it was well deserved. In speaking on behalf of the Board, we all want to say CONGRATULATIONS ED! Well earned!  Way to go team for another great year!

RICWA continues to offer the Grade 1 Certification Exam Preparation classes, and a special thanks to Ed Davies, who is our NEWEA State Director for the association, for taking this class over in order to get newly employed wastewater personnel their license. All other training classes are submitted to the RIDEM Certification Board for approval. Please keep an eye out for e-mails sent to our members and go on our web site for all training that will be offered in 2022.

We encourage all of our members to go onto our web site and take a look at it as we continue to update it…or as we say, a work in progress! If you wish to drop us a line, please go to our web site at https://ricwa.org/contact/ because we like to hear from you on any thoughts, ideas or training topics you like to see us provide.

As this year is coming to an end (already), the next event will be our annual Holiday Party that will be held at the Potowomut Golf Club on Thursday, December 8th. The flyer has already been e-mailed to all members and is posted on our web site. Please respond by December 2nd for your dinner selection. If you have any questions on this event, please contact either Eli Hannon at ejhprofessionalservices@gmail.com or Kim Sandbach at ksandbach@narrabay.com. In addition to celebrating, we will hold elections and vote on changes to our by-laws. If you are interested in running for a position, please contact Scott Goodinson at sgoodinson@narragansettri.gov.

Like every year, the continuous support from our members, from the wastewater personnel, vendors, consultants, and others help us maintain the high level of standard that we set in order to make sure that you get something out of this association, and WE THANK ALL OF YOU!

On behalf of the entire Board, we look forward in ending this year on a high note and hope to see all of you interacting during our events and training sessions throughout 2023.


Peter J. Connell

Giving Back to the Environment

Established in 1952, the Rhode Island Clean Water Association (RICWA), formerly the Narragansett Water Pollution Control Association (NWPCA), is a non-profit organization created to promote the advancement of knowledge concerning the nature, collection, treatment, and disposal of domestic and industrial wastewaters.



Rhode Island Clean Water Association

P.O. Box 8805

Cranston, RI 02920