Not many people can say that there is an award named after them. Andrew Sullivan of the Eden Prairie Utilities Division is someone who can now say that. The American Water Works Association- MN Chapter recently named a public education award after Andrew to recognize his tireless efforts to educate all of us throughout Minnesota about our underground infrastructure.
His major project to date is Liquid Assets Minnesota- which is a program that explores concerns about Minnesota’s aging water infrastructure. Many drinking water systems, sanitary sewers and storm sewers throughout the state are rapidly approaching the end of their useful life, and communities of all sizes are trying to come up with ways to replace these vital utilities that are routinely taken for granted. The rural cities of Brandon, Hoffman, and Battle Lake are featured, in addition to the City of Duluth and the City of Eden Prairie, to demonstrate how each of them are grappling with the task of maintaining a high quality standard of water in this time of tight budgets.
Andrew Sullivan was the man with the vision for this program, working countless volunteer hours to gain support for the production of a video program which educated the public about critical health services they never normally think about. Andrew approached Minnesota Public Television with the idea, and upon learning that thousands of dollars would be required to make his dream a reality, he set to work garnering financial support from suppliers, consultants, and contractors who service the water and wastewater industry every day. His diligent several week campaign of door-knocking, and dogged determination to convince others of the importance of this project ultimately produced more donations than his budget required. Finding cities who were willing to highlight their aging infrastructure proved equally challenging, requiring dozens of phone calls and face-to-face meetings with public works professionals all over the state. Andrew also created a website- Blue Print Minnesota- to facilitate the creation of this project and updated it at least weekly to help get the word out about the project.
In addition to the award named in his honor, Andrew has been also recognized for his contributions to public education of water and wastewater infrastructure by the following agencies:
- MN Rural Water Association – 2012 Achievement Award
- Water Environment Federation (WEF) – National Excellence in Public Education Award
- MN Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers – Letter of Recognition
Congratulations, Andrew. We are proud to have you on our Eden Prairie team!