December 07, 2021

Graves presented with Oklahoma Water Pioneer Award

Graves presented with Oklahoma Water Pioneer Award

Garver Operations Specialist Ronnie Graves has been recognized with the prestigious Oklahoma Water Pioneer Award for his more than half a century of dedication to Oklahoma water and wastewater infrastructure. The award is presented annually by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and endorsed by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt.

For more than 52 years, Ronnie has provided exceptional contributions in water planning, treatment, operations, and design. Every piece of water system infrastructure associated with the City of Lawton and Fort Sill can trace their planning, operation, upgrades, sustainability, and efficiencies to the direct influence and contributions of Graves.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with Oklahomans and for Oklahomans for so many decades,” Graves said. “I’m proud of the work that I’ve been a part of and am honored to be recognized alongside others in the industry who have shaped Oklahoma’s water and wastewater infrastructure.”

From the time he was a boy, it was clear Graves had water running through his veins. Growing up, his father, Leroy, worked nights at the Medicine Park Water Treatment Plant, and he often tagged along to help.

It wasn’t long before Graves took a job at the same Medicine Park Water Treatment Plant in 1969, where he worked his way up from Laborer to Plant Superintendent over the course of a decade. From there, he went on to oversee both the Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants and was later promoted to the Assistant Director of Lawton Public Works over Water and Wastewater Operations, ultimately in 2003 being named as the General Manager of the Fort Sill Water and Wastewater Utility.

In that capacity, he drew on his decades of experience to introduce critical water infrastructure improvements: a groundbreaking large-scale water reuse program that received the first ever Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality water reuse permit, and received the prestigious Water for 2060 Excellence Award for its water use efficiency and conservation of Oklahoma’s freshwater resources.

Along with his professional work history, Ronnie served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard from 1969-1991. During this period of service, he proudly served our country in Operation Desert Storm and achieved the rank of First Sergeant upon his retirement. In addition, he is actively involved in his church and has served many roles including Deacon.

To learn more about what Garver’s Water and Wastewater Team can do for you, visit our Water and Wastewater page.

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