By ASCE Blog Editor and ASCE Awards Committee
John W. Schombert is 2015 ASCE-Pittsburgh recipient of the Service to the People Award. John is the executive director of the 3 Rivers Wet Weather (3RWW), a non-profit organization, created in 1998 to help municipalities in the Pittsburgh region to address their aging and deteriorating sewer infrastructure. Funded by federal, state and local governments and private foundations, 3 Rivers Wet Weather helps communities by benchmarking wet weather technology and creating regional solutions to sewage and stormwater overflow issues.
“John was instrumental in establishing this organization which assists local municipalities address their aging sewer infrastructure needs,” says colleague, Ralph Gilbert. “He initiated the 3RWW Conference, an annual event that brings representatives of government, industry and the consulting community together to exchange ideas and highlight successful projects from across the country.”
“He is an outstanding leader with years of experience who has toiled tirelessly on the wet weather issue that is critical to the vitality and sustainability of our region,” adds colleague, Jonathan Shimko. “I truly believe that the regional wet weather progress has been so significant, in great part, because John is at the helm.”
Prior to joining 3 Rivers Wet Weather, John worked for nearly three decades in the Allegheny County Health Department’s (ACHD) water pollution, public drinking water and waste management programs where served as Program Chief in his last 12 years with ACHD. John is chairman of the Coraopolis Water and Sewer Authority, chairman of the Riverview Sanitary Authority and a member of The Pennsylvania State Board for the Certification of Sewage Treatment Plant and Waterworks Operators.
“He has been a champion in our region for reducing Combined Sewer Overflows and Sanitary Sewer Overflows, promoting the clean rivers campaign,” Mr. Gilbert says.
John is a graduate of Theil College with a B.S. in physics. He also serves on the Board of the Local Government Academy in Pittsburgh.
“John exudes enthusiasm in all he does, from meeting with civil engineers and regularly serving as guest speaker in local university environmental classes to providing input to elected officials,” says Mr. Shimko. “He inspires everyone around him.”