Honors, Awards, & Voluntary Programs

Our dedicated and knowledgeable staff drive the numerous awards we've received.

20-Year Presidents Award, Partnership for Safe Water Program (2018)

We are a member of the Partnership for Safe Water Program, a voluntary program for water treatment plants that commit to treating water beyond what's required by regulations. The program focuses on filtration effectiveness, and the Directors Award recognizes utilities that have achieved the highest levels of performance assessed against performance goals. Our Hanahan Water Treatment Plant was recognize for meeting these performance goals for 20 years.

Best Places to Work in South Carolina (2011 - Present)

This award recognizes the state's best employers based on an application process that includes an employee survey. Learn more.

Charleston Healthy Business Challenge Platinum Level Award (2018, 2019)

Collaborative program offered via partnership between the Medical University of South Carolina’s Office of Health Promotion and the City of Charleston designed to help businesses and organizations improve the overall health and well-being of their employees. The program’s goal is to reduce the growing cost of preventable illness and disease and create a culture of wellness in the workplace by implementing evidence-based best practices for effective wellness strategies. Learn more.

Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, GFOA (1988 - Present)

We receive this award, sponsored by the Government Finance Officer's Association (GFOA), for our Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.

Commendation of Excellence Award (Safety), SC Chamber of Commerce (2009 - Present)

We've been recognized for our low lost time case rate and commitment to safety.

Accepting Governors Quality Award

South Carolina Governor's Quality Award (2011)

The Governor’s Quality Award is South Carolina's top honor for organizations that achieve performance excellence by implementing the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Read the press release.

NACWA Peak Performance Award (Various)

Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Plant
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies' (NACWA’s) Peak Performance Awards recognize wastewater treatment plants for outstanding compliance of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits. This recognition program consists of three categories: Platinum (100% compliance over five years), Gold (No permit violations for the entire calendar year, and Silver (No more than five violations per calendar year.)

2016-17      Gold
2015            Silver                          
2011-14      Platinum5/6/7/8
2007-10      Gold                          
2004-06      Silver
2003            Platinum
1999-2002  Gold
1997-98      Silver

Area Wide Optimization Program Excellence Award (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020)

The AWOP program, sponsored by SCDHEC, recognizes water utilities for optimizing water treatment beyond what's required by regulations, specifically particle removal and disinfection. Learn more about AWOP.

ISO 14001 Certification (1999 - 2016)

In 1999, Charleston Water System became the first public water and wastewater utility in the nation to earn certification under ISO 14001, the standard for environmental management. Learn more about our certification and Environmental Management System (EMS).

Silver Achiever Award, SC Quality Forum (2009

This award recognizes organizations that achieve significant progress toward implementing the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

National Environmental Achievement Award, NACWA (2009)

Our Wastewater Collection Department received this award for it's Infiltration/Inflow Reduction Project, which involved systematically finding and eliminating sources of entry of rainwater and groundwater into the West Ashley sewer system, which takes up needed capacity in wastewater pipes and can cause sewer overflows during heavy rain events. As a result of the I/I Reduction Project, we saw a 100% reduction in wet weather sewer overflows over a three-year period.

South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP) Award

The SCEEP is a voluntary initiative designed to recognize and reward South Carolina facilities that have demonstrated superior environmental performance through pollution prevention, energy and resource conservation, and the use of an environmental management system. We were accepted as a member of the program in 2004 based on our Environmental Management System (EMS) and commitment to continually improving the environment. The SCEEP program is administered by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).

Palmetto Award, American Society of Civil Engineers (2008)

We received this award for engineering work on a 40-inch directionally-drilled water line from North Charleston to East Cooper.

Award of Merit, SC State Historical Records Advisory Board (2008)

We have a rich history, and our efforts to preserve historical documents and provide access to these earned us the this award. View the award description on the SC State Historical Records Advisory Board website.

AMWA National Gold Award (2005

We are one of seven water utilities in the nation to receive the National Gold Award from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), a prestigious award recognizing competitiveness in the utility business.

EPA Region IV Safe Drinking Water Act Excellence Award (2000, 2005)

The EPA presents this prestigious award annually to three utilities in Region IV (the southeastern US) in the categories of small, medium, and large water systems. The award is based on regulatory compliance, operation and maintenance excellence, customer service, and management. We received the 2005 Excellence Award in the Large Surface Water System category.

Certificate of Safety Achievement (2005)

In 2005, we earned this prestigious award for the third time in eight years. The SC Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, issues the award recognizing one million hours worked without a lost time injury or illness. That translates into sixteen months with no injury or illness among all of our 450 associates. In March 2005, our Safety program received the Commendation of Excellence Award from the SC Chamber of Commerce for no lost time injuries in 2004.

NACWA Excellence in Management Award (2004)

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies, formerly the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA), presented our utility with the Excellence in Management Award in 2004. We were one of 38 wastewater utilities nationwide to receive the award, which recognizes utilities that have successfully implemented progressive management initiatives to address the wide range of challenges facing the industry, including pollution prevention, system capacity and reliability, operations and maintenance, and leveraging technology.

Trident United Way Family Friendly Workplace Award (2004)

we were honored for offering family-friendly policies and services to our employees.


View award images.