Mark Graham

Coachella Valley Water District
First Place
 Colorado River Basin Section

Wastewater Reclamation Supervisor Mark thanked his Dad for his 34-year-career at CVWD. “Frankly, I never thought I’d work in wastewater,” he said. “My Dad did it in Palm Springs for 36 years. He made me think about benefits and the future.”That was while the Palm Springs High grad bulked up his resume with jobs at JCPenney, Patios Plus, building street sweepers and golf carts. Following his Dad’s advice, Mark started at the bottom of the ladder at WRP 10 and rose through the ranks to Supervisor. He was at WRP 10 for nearly 32 years and WRP 7 for just under 3 years. His management style? “I’m not a micromanager. We have a good bunch of guys here at WRP 7 who work together to get the job done. They are always willing to help the District. If something happens out of the ordinary, that’s when they work the best.


The Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5S) is used by water environment associations (i.e., those working with sewage and sewage treatment) to honour those who have made a particular contribution to the industry.

Pennsylvania started the High Hat Society in 1937 and used the words "Sludge Shovelers Society" in its initiation ceremony. Later, this became known as the Ted Moses Sludge Shovelers Society. The second Chapter of the Five S Society was formed in Arizona in October 1940, the idea being conceived by A.W. "Dusty" Miller and F. Carlyle Roberts, Jr. There are chapters in many of the United States and in Canada, as well as the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

5S chapters do not accept applications, but select potential members. Each inductee receives a badge in the form of a gold tie bar in the shape of a round-nosed shovel.

5S recognizes individuals active in protecting the water environment through participation in Local, State, and/or Federal sponsored activities. 

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