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other natural resources. In April 2009, OWASA began serving the University of North Carolina with 
reclaimed water to meet certain non-drinking water demands of the university (chilled water, irrigation 
of landscaping and athletic fields, toilet flushing). The University paid the cost to build the RCW system, 
excluding a $1.6 million grant from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund to pay for 
engineering design and permitting costs, and a $625,500 grant from the US EPA to help pay for 
construction of the system. In 2015, reclaimed water accounted for approximately 9% of the water 
supplied to the community and approximately 28% of the University’s total water demand.   

The reclaimed water project has enabled OWASA to meet non-drinking water needs in a cost-effective 
manner while freeing up the community’s drinking water supply and treatment capabilities to provide 
services consistent with the growth management and land use plans of the Town of Carrboro, the Town 
of Chapel Hill, and Orange County.  We maintain open and positive communications with our 
governments and neighboring water utilities and cooperate in regional initiatives where appropriate and 
consistent with OWASA’s commitment to our member governments.  

None of this would be possible without our employees. We value our employees as our most important 
resource and provide them competitive compensation and a safe and rewarding work environment 
which promotes diversity and equal opportunity for all. We strive to provide secure jobs, a safe work 
environment, excellent working conditions, and meaningful opportunities for employees to participate 
in decision-making and in training and development programs. The health and safety of our employees 
is also of paramount concern. We have a comprehensive safety training program for all employees, and 
our safety record consistently exceeds the industry average.  

Through our “How 2 OWASA” (H20) education program, employees are provided the opportunity to 
attend a course of two-hour training sessions that provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities 
and interrelationships of the various departments and functions within the organization. We provide 
tuition assistance for employees seeking to advance their knowledge and skills through additional 
coursework. We encourage all employees to look for innovative and creative ways to save money and 
work more efficiently and incentivize this by cost-sharing the savings. We focus on growing our 
employees and engaging them in leading the organization.   

We seek innovation and creativity in accomplishing our mission and enhancing our services. We work to 
inspire this innovation and creativity within the organization. A critical strategy in achieving this goal is 
AfterAction Reviews. In After-Action Reviews, we seek honest appraisal (from within and without the 
organization) on our performance and direct our efforts to correct shortcomings. AARs provide the 
opportunity to increase (transfer) knowledge and improve performance.  

We believe that by working together with our community, industry colleagues, and researchers, we can 
achieve more and be more cost-effective than if we act on our own. We are fortunate to be in the 
backyard of leading national research institutions and welcome the use of OWASA’s operations as a 
living laboratory for the advancement of the industry.   

OWASA’s leadership sets goals to lead change and advance continuous improvement. We achieve these 
goals by empowering our employees, partnering with the community, and strategically tracking our 
performance. We evaluate and incorporate the triple bottom line into our decision-making. It is from 
this foundation that OWASA has and will continue to be a Utility of the Future. The following application