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Chuck Gray, water superintendent for city of Mt. Vernon, Ind.was awarded with a Building Efficiency Local Leader (BELL) Award. The BELL Award was presented at the 2011 American Water Works Association (AWWA) Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE11) in Washington, D.C.


The BELL Award is presented to individuals and municipalities that demonstrate outstanding environmental stewardship and commitment to energy efficiency. With support from the city's utility board, Gray's leadership to successfully implement a comprehensive water conservation program earned him this recognition.


"I'm honored to receive this award on behalf of the city of Mt. Vernon," said Gray. "This vital water conservation program will have a lasting positive impact on our community, providing our city with safe water, significant cost savings and a reduced carbon footprint without increasing tax dollars."


The multi-phase water and energy program launched in 2007 with the implementation of an Automated Meter Reading (AMR), including the replacement of 3,300 outdated water meters. Phase two completed in 2009, included water treatment plant upgrades, increasing treatment capacity to 4.4 million gallons and preventing 720,000 gallons of contaminated water per day from being discharged into the Ohio River. The comprehensive program is expected to save Mt. Vernon more than $13 million in energy costs over 15 years.


"Gray and the utility board should be commended for their vision and ongoing efforts to make a real difference for Mt. Vernon residents," said Tom Hogan, account executive, State and Municipal Solutions, Johnson Controls. "The AMR and water treatment plant solutions will ensure a healthier and more sustainable environment for many years to come."