SA Operator of the Year

Sponsored by the Department for Energy & Mining

This is the most prestigious award presented to operations staff in the South Australian Water industry annually.  The award is presented to operators of network systems or water or wastewater treatment facilities to recognise excellent performance, initiative, and all-round attention to detail.

All employers of operators in South Australia to nominate appropriate “operations staff” to be considered for the award.

Award criteria

Nominees should be employed in South Australia and should have direct responsibility for operational decisions within network systems or at community water and wastewater facilities

The following features are taken into account in considering worthy recipients:

  1. Continuing education/training achievement
  2. Overall plant or system management and condition
  3. Demonstrated attention to work, Health and Safety, and other regulatory responsibilities
  4. Initiative and innovation, demonstrating improved treatment and efficiency

The completed applications are judged by an independent panel nominated by the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) and the winner of the South Australian Operator of the Year Award will be announced at a WIOA event annually.

The winner receives a perpetual trophy for his or her organisation to keep for 12 months plus a personal trophy to keep permanently.  The winner will also join the WIOA operator delegation on their annual trip to New Zealand to join the study tour and participate in the WIOG NZ operations conference.

Nominees should be employed in South Australia and should have direct responsibility for operational decisions

Previous Winners

2023 – To be announced at 2024 SA Conference 10 April 2024 
– Jamie Hay (District Council of Coober Pedy)
2021 – Not conducted
– Not conducted
– Billy Hajek (SA Water)
 – Brad Alcon (SA Water)
– Brendan Roesler (Trility)
2016 – Daniel Partridge (SA Water)

Best Paper at SA Conference

Sponsored by Control Components

This prize is an open award, with all Paper presenters eligible to win. By using the votes from the paper judges, the presenter with the highest number of votes will receive the Award for the Best Paper at the conference.

Award criteria

Papers & presentations are based on:

  • The content and layout of the written paper;
  • The originality of the ideas portrayed;
  • The use of visual aids during the presentation;
  • The verbal presentation and whether or not the author sticks to the allotted time; and
  • The demeanor of the presenter including how well they answer any questions.

Previous Winners

2023 – Colin Shackleford & Dale Cuthbert (Alexandrina Council) – Sponsored by Control Components
2022 – Not Held (Covid)
2021 – Not Held (Covid)
– Not Held (Covid)
– Adrian Cavallaro (Allwater) – Sponsored by Control Components
 – Melanie Slimming (SA Water) – Sponsored by Hydramet Australia

Ixom Best Tasting Tap Water in South Australia

Sponsored by Ixom

The Ixom Best Tasting Tap Water in South Australian is a fun and exciting way to raise awareness of the quality of SA’s drinking water and to recognise the efforts of local water service providers in delivering valuable water services to their communities.

The award for the Best Tasting Tap Water will be judged and the winner announced as having the Best Tasting Water in the State.

About the Ixom Best Tasting Tap Water in South Australia 


  1. All water providers/councils in South Australia are invited to participate in the Ixom Best Tasting Tap Water competition.
  2. All water treatment facilities in South Australia are invited to provide a sample for inclusion in the competition.
  3. Entrants must have at least one person attending the taste test. This person may be required to provide further information about the sample, and accept certificates or trophies on behalf of the water providers/council if successful.
  4. All entries must have incurred no serious state or federal drinking water violations during the past 12 months*.


  1. Samples must be submitted in a clearly marked container with the name of the water business it represents and the location/town from where the sample is derived and be delivered to the conference venue by the nominated time.
  2. We require 3 litres of the sample water which must be provided in 3 x 1 litre sealed containers.
  3. Samples must be provided at room temperature (not cooled).
  4. Samples will be served at room temperature, to help the judges better taste, appreciate and rank each sample.
  5. All entries must provide a completed entry form.

Competition Judging


  1. Heats will be conducted at 12.30pm at the WIOA SA Conference and Expo on the Wednesday at the conference venue – Murray Bridge Racing Club.
  2. The competition will be divided into a number of heats, with entries placed in each heat randomly drawn by WIOA staff.
  3. Each heat will have a heat coordinator.
  4. Heat judging will be undertaken by attendees at the conference who shall taste the samples and select their most favoured water sample by giving it one vote.
  5. The sample with the most votes will be judged the heat winner and the winner will proceed to the Grand Final.
  6. In the case of a tie, the winner will be chosen by the heat coordinator from those that are tied.

Grand Final

  1. As with the heats, the origin of each sample will not be revealed. The samples will be judged by a panel nominated by WIOA comprising technical water experts and water industry connoisseurs.
  2. Samples will be judged on a point scale from Good to Best.
  3. Scores will be aggregated and the winner will be the sample with the highest combined score. The winning water business and water supply location will be announced.
  4. Only the identity of the Grand Finalists and the supplier of the winning sample will be announced – Grand Final or Heat samples will not be ranked, nor will any of the scores be released.
  5. The decision of the judges is final.

*A “serious” water quality incident includes protracted periods of poor water quality or boiled water alerts, an event leading to immediate potential public health risks or other break-down of risk-management protocols.

For more information, please contact the WIOA Office on 03 5821 6744, or email

Previous Winners

2023 – Olympic Dam Desal Plant – BHP
2022 – Murray Bridge WTP – TRILITY
– Anstey Hill WTP – SA Water / Suez
2020 – Woolpunda WTP – Woolpunda (SA Water)
– Swan Reach WTP – Swan Reach (TRILITY)
 – Woolpunda WTP – Woolpunda (SA Water)
 – Morgan WTP – Morgan (SA Water)
2016 – Morgan WTP – Morgan (SA Water)
– Happy Valley WTP – Adelaide (Allwater)