AKRON The Ohio Water Environment Association recently awarded Jim Hewitt, city of Akron engineer, with the Collection System Award.

The award is given out each year by the Ohio Water Environment Association (OWEA) recognizing one individual for meritorious service in the Sewer Collection Industry. Individuals are nominated by peers and the nominees are thoroughly reviewed by the OWEA awards committee and the winner is recognized at the yearly OWEA state conference.

"Winning this award is great honor and totally unexpected," Hewitt said. "Although winning awards is not my goal, it is nice to be recognized by my peers at the local, state, and national levels. I am fortunate to have worked with extraordinary staff at the city and could not have achieved this without their help."

Hewitt has been with the city of Akron for 28 years and said he started with the city as an engineering co-op student and then was hired full-time following the co-op.

"During this time, I have worked on several great projects for the city including Firestone Stadium, Mud Run Golf Course, Canal Park Stadium, and our CSO program," he said. "Through hard work, dedication, and passion I have been fortunate to progress through the ranks from a co-op all the way to city engineer." 

Hewitt has received an Ohio EPA Wastewater Collection Class II license, an Ohio EPA Water Distribution Class II license, Ohio Professional Engineer (PE) license, and Ohio Surveyor In Training License (SIT). Additionally, he has won several awards including the Ohio Golden Manhole in 2009, Northeast Section OWEA Collections award in 2013 and the Water Environment Federation National Golden Manhole in 2015.

"Although some days are definitely better than others, I would not trade my experiences working for the city for any other job," Hewitt said.  "The difficult days have made the great days even better."

Hewitt said he is very passionate about his job and strives to provide exceptional service to the citizens of Akron.

"Jim has been a great employee and true asset to the Engineering Bureau," City of Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said. "I am pleased to see him being recognized by the Ohio Water Environment Association for the contributions he is making in advancing wastewater collection. Our city of Akron is fortunate to have Jim on our team leading us into the future with our Akron Waterways Renewed sewer program."

Hewitt said Akron is his home where he has raised his family and where he plans to retire from.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my career at the city and look forward to many more years working here," Hewitt said.