Congratulations to Keith Kontor and thank you
for your service to the NWEA, WEF, and the Community
The Bedell Award was established to acknowledge
extraordinary personal service to a Water Environment
Federation (WEF) Member Association. Te award is named
for Arthur Sidney Bedell, WEF's second president for his long
devotion and service to the New York Sewage and Industrial
Wastes Association, now the New York Water Environment
Association. He was Chief of the Bureau of Sewage and Waste
Disposal of the New York State Department of Health.
The award was given to Keith Kontor this year. Keith graduated
from Wilber-Clatonia High in 1981 and married his wife Judy
in September of 1982. They have enjoyed 36 years of marriage
and raised two sons, Brandon and Colby. Keith and Judy have
2 granddaughters Kennedy and Audrey.
Keith’s work career began as a laborer with the Nebraska Department
of Roads. Fortunately, he got tired of road work and decided to begin
his wastewater career 30 years ago with a job at the City of Wilber as
a wastewater operator and then Farmland Foods in Crete, Nebraska.
There he worked as an operator of their high strength wastewater
In 2001, the City of Fremont hired Keith as an Assistant Wastewater
Superintendent, intending that he “learn the ropes” from Superintendent,
Don Hillrichs, prior to his planned retirement. Unfortunately, that plan was
upended with Don’s untimely death. Out of necessity, Keith stepped up to
take over plant management and operations demonstrating his ability to
adapt and just “get it done”. Keith has served as “Superintendent of the
Fremont Wastewater Treatment Facility” for over 17 years. Recently, he
doubled-up his responsibilities by also taking on the City’s water system
as “Water and Sewer System Superintendent”. He is a Nebraska Class 4
Wastewater Operator and a Class 1 Water Operator.
Keith is a long-standing member of WEF and NWEA. He has been a
major contributor to NWEA, a major reason for his receiving this award
this evening. Among his accomplishments:
• He served on the NWEA Executive Board for multiple years,
starting out as a Director-at-Large and then serving as Vice President
• He helped spearhead WEF’s Operator Initiative program
• He received the Hatfield Award in 2014
• He has Chaired the NWOD Advisory and Training committee
• He is, and has been, active on other committees including the
Program Committee and Resource Recovery Committee.