2018 Industry Award winners

Congratulations to the individuals who were honoured for their innovation and excellence at the BCWWA Annual Conference & Trade Show Awards Lunch on May 15, 2018, in Penticton, BC.


Industry Excellence Award: Excellence in the Water and Waste Industry – Victor M. Terry Operator Award

Recognizing ingenuity and proficiency in facility operations and/or maintenance


Russ Megas

Metro Vancouver


Russ began working in water and wastewater operations with Metro Vancouver in 1988. He is currently the Supervisor of Operations for the North Shore, Vancouver and Burnaby areas, supervising a team of 15 operators. Russ holds Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP) level IV certifications in both Water Distribution and Wastewater Collections, and is a Public Works Association of BC-certified Public Works Supervisor.


Russ has been active in operator education in BC since 2000 when he joined the BCWWA’s Operator Education Committee and began developing and delivering training for operators. Russ has been a water distribution and wastewater collections subject matter expert for the EOCP’s Training Registry since 2009, reviewing submissions for recognition as applicable training.


“Russ exemplifies passion, resourcefulness and technical ability in the wastewater field. Metro Vancouver is fortunate to have Russ use these qualities and skills as he leads his staff in optimizing operations and delivering quality service to our municipal partners.”

Mani Deo, Metro Vancouver

Industry Excellence Award: Excellence and Innovation in the Water and Waste Industry Award

Recognizing innovation and excellence that advances the water and waste industry


Danny Higashitani

Department of Indigenous Services Canada


Danny is a Professional Engineer who has worked with the Department of Indigenous Services Canada (DISC) for the past 18 years. During this time, he primarily worked on water and wastewater infrastructure projects for First Nation communities in BC. While at DISC, he managed the commissioning, start-up, performance monitoring, and process optimization of over 40 water treatment plants. He has also provided strategic advice to senior management on engineering issues around water supply, treatment, and distribution, and on federal government policies.


In his current role in asset management, his focus is empowering First Nations in their journey towards ensuring the proper day-to-day function of their infrastructure assets with due regard to health, safety and service delivery, by providing them with capacity building opportunities to be able to develop appropriate maintenance and asset management programs. Prior to joining DISC, Danny worked on water and wastewater infrastructure projects both locally and internationally. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia.


“I have known and worked with Danny for over 17 years, and throughout that time Danny has been a passionate and tireless advocate for First Nations communities throughout British Columbia. This award is well-deserved.”

Gerson Neiva, WSP

Industry Excellence Award: AWWA George Warren Fuller Award

Recognizing sound engineering and leadership skills, and distinguished service to the water industry


Len Clarkson

Vancouver Coastal Health


Len has served as an Environmental Health Officer in BC since 1976, mainly out of the Squamish office of Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). He currently serves as Drinking Water Protection Specialist and Drinking Water Officer at VCH. He has generously contributed his time and expertise as a very active member of various BCWWA technical committees since 1995, and chaired the Drinking Water Committee (DWC) for some years.


Len has led or contributed to many BCWWA reviews of water legislation and policy, including the Drinking Water Protection Act, Water Sustainability Act, and Health Canada Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Len also teaches various courses for BCWWA, including water treatment, to help students qualify for EOCP operator certification. Recently, Len worked as an instructor with the BC Institute of Technology on a water supply course.


“Through his tireless pursuit of an effective policy environment for safe drinking water, and his generosity in sharing his knowledge and experience, Len has made a huge contribution to BC’s community of water professionals.”

Colwyn Sunderland, Kerr Wood Leidal

Service Award: 5S – Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers

Recognizing outstanding meritorious service, above and beyond the call of duty, to the BCWWA


Keith Kohut

Associated Engineering


Steve Conrad

University of British Columbia


Criteria: Current member of the BCWWA and contributed actively, continuously and meaningfully to the BCWWA over the last three to five years (e.g. committee, project, etc.)