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Jennifer L. Messemer-Skold
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Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) wins two of only 100 national awards

MIAMI (June 08, 2017)

With thousands of entries being submitted for consideration, the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) ultimately earned two of only 100 national awards bestowed by the National Association of Counties (NACo). WASD recently was the recipient of eight NACo Achievement Awards, which were further reviewed and determined to meet the high criteria of the organization’s 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work initiative.

“Your entries showcase the best innovations in county government, and with appreciation, we are pleased to recognize your work to improve residents’ quality of life,” said NACo President Bryan Desloge.

WASD Director Lester Sola is proud of the department’s recognition.

“Thousands of worthy projects were reviewed and we were honored to be among the 605 national Achievement Awards,” said Sola. “To then be two of the final 100 recipients of this additional recognition is outstanding. This acknowledgement is a testament to WASD’s commitment to exemplary customer service and high quality service delivery to our 2.3 million customers daily.”

Award-winning projects at a glance:

“Self-Service Applications Improve Customer Service Interactions” in the category of Information Technology. Based on the IBM Watson program, WASD implemented a virtual intelligence chat feature that is available to customers 24 hours a day. The Automated Virtual Assistant – or A.V.A. – allows customers to request bill pay extensions, receive general department information and are provided direct weblinks to payment option functions and WASD FAQs. Future uses for A.V.A. include the ability to start, stop and transfer service requests, as well as answer billing related questions.

“WASD-WAZE Partnership Helps Quality Assure WASD CIP” in the category of Information Technology. WASD creatively leveraged the established Miami-Dade County – WAZE partnership to help improve traffic congestion - which is the intended use of WAZE – yet mining information to update internal departmental construction job data, thereby improving quality control, research and analysis. WAZE representatives mentioned that this was this first project they had ever witnessed to leverage their tools for internal controls.

WASD-WAZE notifications are provided daily, helping thousands of drivers in Miami-Dade County reach their destination using the best possible routes by detouring around WASD construction projects. Leveraging the notifications, the department has cleaned up dozens of project statuses and digitized missing projects in GIS. As more field staff are included as contributors, WASD will be able to keep its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) database as accurate as possible. WASD is also in the process of including contract donation projects, which account for more than 85 percent of department related construction. These notifications will continue to improve travel routes and keep all construction project related information current. 

It is the priority of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department to provide safe, reliable service to its customers. For additional information about Department services and programs, visit the department’s website.