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Press Release

Superintendent David Parent Receives the 2022 Jeff McNelly Award from the Maine Water Utilities Association

Press Release

To: For Immediate Release

From: David Parent, Superintendent

Date: October 2022

RE:  Jeffrey L. McNelly Award

The Maine Water Utilities Association (MWUA) has awarded Sanford Water District Superintendent David Parent the Jeffrey L. McNelly Award at its recent Annual Drinking Water Protection Symposium.

The award is given annually to a regulator, water-wastewater employee, or governance board member who exemplifies a dedication to the profession.  

In nominating Parent for the award, Sanford Water District Engineer Keith Levasseur wrote, “David has been and continues to be the ‘go-to’ for all things legislative for MWUA and other associations alike.” 

Parent started his career at the Sanford Water District in 1984 on the outside operations crew, working on the distribution system. He was quickly promoted to foreman and then assistant superintendent before being promoted to superintendent in 2011.


Over the past 38 years, Parent has served several state and regional water utility organizations, regularly reviewing and commenting on proposed legislation and testifying in state legislative hearings. He has served as the MWUA president of the board of directors and on its legislative and technology committees. For the New England Water Works Association, Parent has served on its legislative and regulatory affairs committee and has also served as president and member of the costing committee for the Southern Maine Regional Water Council. For the City of Sanford, Parent serves on the Site Plan Review Committee. He has also made countless presentations to school children, teaching them about the hydrologic cycle and how water makes it from the underwater aquifers to their faucets.


“This award meant a lot to me,” Parent said. “Jeff McNelly and I spent a lot of time over the years up in Augusta working on various water policy issues.” 

The award’s namesake, Jeffrey L. McNelly, retired from Maine Water Utilities Association as its Executive Director in 2016. During his professional career, he worked as a regulator for the Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Public Utilities Commission. He was also a water quality employee for a public water supplier and now serves on his local utility’s board of trustees. 

“I also hope this award will make our community proud of its water service provider and the people behind it,” Parent said. 

For more information, please call the Sanford Water District office at (207) 324-2312.

Photo caption: Sanford Water District Superintendent David Parent (left) was nominated by District Engineer Keith Levasseur for the Jeffrey L. McNelly Award.

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