369 

 

NARRATIVE: NEW Water, the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District (GBMSD) has 
changed its approach to delivering clean water over the last few years to reflect the initiatives identified 
in the Utility of the Future concepts. NEW Water incorporated those concepts into its recently released 
Strategic Plan, and they now drive much of the Utility’s day to day operations. 

NEW Water’s leadership has participated in several initiatives sponsored by EPA, WEF, and NACWA that 
include: Effective Utility Management (EUM), Water Resources Utility of the Future (UOTF), and as a 
road tester for EPA’s Sustainability Roadmap. NEW Water’s Executive Team and Management Team 
involvement in reviewing and implementing the output from these initiatives has given staff a deeper 
understanding of the concepts and how to incorporate them into their daily business. 

In anticipation of the changes needed to transform the utility to better meet future needs, GBMSD 
orchestrated and implemented a rebranding of the utility in 2012 starting with the name, NEW Water, 
which provided a platform to introduce significant changes in the way the utility functioned, both 
internally and externally. This rebranding process has launched a new era for the public perception of 
NEW Water as well, as the utility strives to collaborate as a partner and leader, working for a more 
sustainable community. 

Beginning in 2003, NEW Water committed itself to operational excellence by achieving 100 percent 
compliance with all aspects of its discharge permit and has maintained that level of excellence through 
2016. Using that as a base, staff have ventured into other areas such as risk based asset management, 
employee leadership development, customer and stakeholder communication, resource recovery, and 
leading efforts in the watershed with a wide variety of stakeholders to make even greater improvements 
in regional water quality and habitat restoration. 

NEW Water created an employee leadership development program, in conjunction with a local technical 
college, to deliver formal and informal leadership skills to its employees at three levels of leadership. 
The program presents material from an instructor and encourages peer to peer learning to identify real 
examples to validate the training. 

In efforts to propel the organization forward with a strategic focus, NEW Water’s staff have developed 
annual personal goals that support organizational, division, and department goals. Ongoing training is 
provided to help employees stay on track. 

Faced with a need to address an aging solids handling system, NEW Water took a new approach. Instead 
of just replacing the technology in kind, NEW Water’s staff and consultant envisioned a system that 
would cost-effectively maximize resource recovery and ensure system reliability. The resulting project, 
called Resource Recovery and Electrical Energy or R2E2, met customer service and permit requirements 
to process solids, but also incorporated recovery of electrical and heat energy to offset 50% of 
purchased energy, added capacity to accept high strength waste to generate even more electricity, and 
added a struvite recovery system to capture phosphorus and provide an annual $400,000 revenue 
stream. 

The R2E2 project was the first initiative by NEW Water into resource recovery and has spurred staff to 
look at opportunities to reduce resource consumption at the facilities, as well as identify the next 
opportunities to recover resources from the material NEW Water receives from its customers. These 
opportunities are built into goals for individual employees as well as teams of employees.