OC San GM wins NACWA environmental award


The Orange County Sanitation District (OC San) has announced that General Manager Jim Herberg has been awarded the 2023 National Environmental Achievement Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) for Utility Leadership. The award will be presented at the NACWA winter conference to be held Feb. 13-16 in Sonoma, Calif.

Herberg has worked for OC San since 1986 and is slated to retire in February 2023. He has worked in the water and wastewater sector for more 35 years, guiding OC San through groundbreaking projects while maintaining perspective as a public servant and paying close attention to detail.

“Jim’s knowledge, passion and genuine concern for doing the right thing for the environment, the public and OC San staff is reflected in his daily actions,” said OC San Board Chairman Chad Wanke. “This is a well-deserved award just as he ends his 30-year tenure at OC San.”

Herberg is receiving the recognition for his outstanding contributions to the water sector advancement and environmental protection. His achievements include securing $1.32 million from the United States Bureau of Reclamation Title XVI under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act to expand the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS).

Herberg’s involvement and leadership also helped secure a $450,000 Bureau of Reclamation grant for a $2 million effluent reuse study. This study was intended to identify plant improvements to support GWRS’s final expansion and assist OC San in reaching its goal of 100 percent recycled water which was accomplished in late 2022.

OC San is a public agency that provides wastewater collection, treatment and recycling for approximately 2.6 million people in central and northwest Orange County. OC San is a special district that is governed by a 25- member Board of Directors composed of 20 cities, four special districts, and one representative from the Orange County Board of Supervisors. OC San has two operating facilities that treat wastewater from residential, commercial, and industrial sources. For more information, please visit ocsan.gov.

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