William D. Hatfield Award

2018 Recipient: John Dodson, City of Durham

2018  Recipient: John Dodson, City of Durham


 John Dodson’s career started at the City of Durham. In 1998, after graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Resource Management, he accepted a position as a plant operator at the North Durham Water Reclamation Facility. Not long after starting as an operator, John became actively involved with the NC AWWA-WEA’s Wastewater Schools Committee, teaching at the annual Biological Wastewater Operators and Physical/Chemical Operators Schools.


 John briefly pursued advancement opportunities by taking positions with the Town of Cary and then the City of Greensboro, before returning to the City of Durham as Superintendent.  A true hands-on leader, he serves as the Operator in Responsible Charge (ORC) for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit as well as the land application permit.  He also supervises a staff of 16 operators and mechanics, overseeing the day-to-day operations. John is also responsible for managing the operations and maintenance budget.


 John is extremely dedicated and passionate about wastewater treatment and protecting the environment.  He takes great pride in the efforts he and the North Durham staff make daily to serve Durham’s customers by striving not only to remain in compliance but to also go well beyond limits, especially those for nitrogen and phosphorus.   


 He supports the continuous learning philosophy by encouraging staff to not only take the necessary trainings for certification, but to also learn more about the “business” by hosting workshops such as blue print reading on site and conducting plant tours.  John knows it’s important to prepare the next generation to step in and assume responsibility for keeping water and the environment safe.


 John also gives back to the community, supporting his son’s Scouting activities and his church.  He is also an active cyclist and participates annually in the “24 Hours of Booty” fund raising activity to fight cancer.






The William D. Hatfield Award is presented to operators of wastewater treatment plants for outstanding performance and professionalism. The award was established in honor of Dr. William D. Hatfield, Superintendent of the Decatur, Illinois Sanitary District, who was President of the Central States Sewage Works Association in 1944-45 and served as President of the Federation in 1958-59.

The award consists of a plaque suitably inscribed with the recipient’s name and is presented by a Federation representative at the Member Association annual meeting.

Criteria: Member Associations control the selection process following the Federation general criteria indicated below:

i. Must be a member of the North Carolina Water Environment Association.
ii. A successful system of reports from the operator to his or her superiors that fulfill the information requirements and provide the operator with a forum for suggestions for improvements.
iii. Use of a good public relations program.
iv. The nominee should have contributed to the dissemination of information concerning advancements in the field.

The N C WEA is permitted to honor one member of the Section with the William D. Hatfield Award. The terms and conditions governing the selection of the awardee are as follows:

  • The purpose of the William D. Hatfield Award is to recognize operators of wastewater and waste treatment plants who are doing an outstanding job in performance of their duties as well as to operators demonstrating distinguished professionalism. The aspects of plant operation upon which the award is based serve these purposes:
    • Encourage better public relations between plant operators and the public.
    • Recognize the outstanding reports which serve the requirements of the operator’s superior officials and provide a basis for recommendations by the operator for improvements to his plant for better efficiency of treatment and economy of operation.
    • Recognize the outstanding reports which serve the requirements of the funds and care of the treatment plant and accessories entrusted to the operator.
    • Advancement of the art and knowledge of wastewater treatment by dissemination to other engineers and operators the basic information and data concerning a particular plant and process through papers, articles, meetings, and reports.
  • It is specifically emphasized that the conferring of an award is in no sense mandatory and should be made only after careful deliberation and when it is the opinion of the Committee that an outstanding member of the Association qualifies for the award.
  • The citation covering this award shall be limited to not more than fifty (50) words.


William D. Hatfield Award Sub-Committee
Organization: The William D. Hatfield Award Committee shall be appointed by the Chair and shall consist of the three most recent recipients of the award. The first of the three members to receive the award becomes the chair.

Primary Activities:
This Committee should meet promptly after appointment, and, in any event, must submit its completed report, including the citation, to the Board of Trustees. This Committee will function each year.

Past Recipients

2017 Paul Ray

2016 Melinda Ward
2015 Darrell DeWitt 

2014 Michael Wiseman

2013 Jeff Mahagan
2012 Kim Neely
2011 John Gibson
2010 TJ Lynch
2009 Chris Parisher
2008 Ken Vogt
2007 John Kiviniemi
2006 Lynn Bishop
2005 Michael Fox
2004 Dwight Lancaster
2003 Roy Purgason
2002 Stanley Curtis
2001 Clarence Sell
2000 Douglas E. Carter
1999 Russell P. Brice
1998 Robert D. Dodson
1997 Andres A. Vinent, Jr.
1996 Joe Clayton
1995 Thomas Spain
1994 William W. Telford
1993 Don Register
1992 Roger A. Spach
1991 Arthur L. White
1990 Melvin Allen
1989 Walter Gottschalk
1988 Gary Frick
1987 Lee Byerly
1986 Billy Ray Creech
1985 James T. Hunter
1984 Susan S. Rexrode
1983 Ronald Williamson
1982 Bill Mull
1981 Frank Ward
1980 Wadie D. Lewis
1978 Earl Weisner
1977 Charles Ostrand
1975 William L. Brown
1974 Leslie Matthews
1972 Clayton H. Maynor
1971 J. W. Bunn
1969 D. O. Holder
1968 Morris Tarlton
1964 Frank C. Styers
1961 John S. Welch
1958 John L. Brown

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