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The original item was published from 12/14/2016 10:22:00 AM to 12/14/2016 10:23:50 AM.

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Posted on: December 14, 2016

[ARCHIVED] CFPUA Receives Major Disaster Preparedness and Financial Awards

Honors highlight “outstanding achievement” in strengthening preparedness; 

“Commitment to meeting highest principles” of governmental budgeting 



CONTACT: Mike McGill

(910) 332-6704

(910) 622-8472

Wilmington, NC (December 14, 2016): Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) is pleased to announce that it has received two major awards for its commitment to emergency preparedness and financial transparency. For the fourth time in our eight-year history, CFPUA is the winner of the North Carolina American Water Works Association – Water Environment Federation’s (NC AWWA-WEA) Disaster Preparedness Award and, for the sixth straight year, CFPUA is the recipient of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Award for Distinguished Budget Presentation, the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting.

The NC AWWA-WEA Disaster Preparedness Award is presented to individuals and utilities in acknowledgment of “outstanding achievement in advancing disaster preparedness initiatives thereby strengthening preparedness and increasing the resolve to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of natural disasters, man-made disasters, and acts of aggression against our locality, county, state, and nation.” This year, CFPUA was honored for holding a rare, full-scale emergency exercise and for its use of the ICWater Modeling and Impact Tool, which protects drinking water by providing real-time assessments of the travel and dispersion of contaminants in streams and rivers.

The full-scale exercise, held back in March, was a day-long event that significantly tested the capabilities of CFPUA’s 1,000-plus-mile water system. It applied recent water supply-related events and required the mobilization of emergency response personnel and equipment to specific scenes as directed by our emergency response plans and procedures. Essential pieces of infrastructure were shut down or activated, allowing CFPUA to gain a wealth of information about the resiliency of its water system during emergencies.

The information gathered during the exercise paid almost immediate dividends in 2016. The data acquired was instrumental in forming CFPUA’s wide-ranging response to the failure of a Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority’s raw water supply line in October. The exercise’s findings helped enable CFPUA to deliver a sustainable level of safe drinking water in the face of a major reduction of supply through the use of emergency interconnects and wells, aquifer storage, and increased groundwater production.

“Providing safe, reliable drinking water is a public trust. Nearly 200,000 people rely on us to come through for them, especially in times of emergency,” said Jim Flechtner, CFPUA Executive Director. “We repeatedly test ourselves and incorporate the latest technologies not to win awards, but to make sure we can act swiftly and correctly to protect the people we serve when major incidents occur.”

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Award for Distinguished Budget Presentation is given to a governing body and its staff to “reflect their commitment to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.” In order to receive the award, CFPUA had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. The guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as: 1) a policy document; 2) a financial plan; 3) an operations guide; and 4) a communications device. Budgets must be rated “proficient” in all four categories to receive the award.

“Clearly communicating how we use our financial resources is crucial to building and maintaining public trust,” said John McLean, CFPUA’s Chief Financial Officer. “GFOA has yet again recognized CFPUA for our commitment to being open and accountable stewards of the funding we receive from our ratepayers.”

For more information, please contact Mike McGill, Chief Communications Officer, at (910) 332-6704 or

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Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) was formed by the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County to combine their water and sewer operations. It began operations on July 1, 2008. Today, the Authority serves more than 67,000 water customer accounts and more than 65,000 wastewater customer accounts. It oversees more than one thousand miles of water distribution mains and nearly one thousand miles of sewer mains. For more information, visit

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