In Memory of Bridget O’Grady
(7/11/1949 – 7/9/2019)

Bridget O’Grady, a pillar of strength in the drinking water community, passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 9th. For those that knew Bridget, she was a force to be reckoned with as she advocated passionately for the states’ and small systems’ perspectives. She worked longer (1993-2019) at the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) than any other employee and was a steady source of knowledge for ASDWA’s members and staff.

Bridget worked tirelessly for ASDWA on a wide range of drinking water issues. She worked closely with Hill staff on the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments and continued to monitor water legislation and appropriations. She worked on small systems issues, partnerships, capacity development, operator certification and security and preparedness.

Bridget grew up in Richmond, VA, and graduated from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA in 1971. Bridget began her career as a Benefit Analyst at the General Life Insurance Company in Richmond, VA followed by becoming a Promotion Manager for the Bank of Virginia. She unknowingly began her “water career” when she took a position with Booz, Allen & Hamilton in 1981 where she worked on the Superfund Project where she assisted on helping design background training for On-Scene Coordinators at various Superfund sites. She eventually moved on to working as a Legislative Assistant at the National Water Resources Association and as a Technical Support Coordinator at the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies in Washington, D.C. until 1993 where she began her employment with ASDWA.

Bridget loved learning something new or interesting every day, often discovering a new piece of trivia off a bottle cap from her ice-tea bottle made her the happiest. She loved humor and being of service to others, and every day she strove to do whatever she could to make the implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) a little easier to accomplish.

Bridget is survived by her two younger brothers, Shawn and Clancy, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. Funeral arrangements are being made at Bliley’s Funeral Home (Central Chapel) in Richmond.

Link to obituary:

Cards can be sent to “The O’Grady Family” at:
Bliley’s Funeral Home, Central Chapel, 3801 Augusta Avenue, Richmond VA 23230

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The Drinking Water Community Remembers Bridget O’Grady

The following articles were written by members of the drinking water community. If you have an article you would like to feature here, please contact Anthony DeRosa of ASDWA.

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8 entries.
Peter Shanaghan Peter Shanaghan wrote on August 13, 2019:
I had the great pleasure of knowing Bridget as a colleague and friend for many years. She brought contagious passion and good humor to every event. I will miss her quick wit, deep institutional memory and insight. Rest in Peace and may light perpetual shine upon you.
EPA Office of Compliance Water Branch EPA Office of Compliance Water Branch wrote on July 29, 2019:
We could always depend on Bridget to provide non-nonsense, detailed direction that resulted in a better product. The world is poorer without her in it.
Jim Taft Jim Taft wrote on July 23, 2019:
Bridget was a steadfast advocate for state views and perspectives -- and always went the extra mile for them. She knew all of the administrators and their staffs and cultivated those relationships. (When I'd pass by her office when she was on the phone with one of them, it sounded like she's was talking to a treasured family member!) To our ASDWA office, she brought a wonderful institutional memory that I always found invaluable -- it helped us avoid reinventing the wheel and losing precious time. Bridget always asked the hard questions that needed to be asked about our various plans and events -- to be sure we weren't missing something and were on the right path. Those questions (and the intent behind them) always made our plans and products better than they would have been without her input. She also had a firm, unwavering, and lifelong commitment to safe drinking water and to public health protection for all Americans. We'll miss our friend and advocate in all of these and many other ways.
Jenny and Andy Bielanski Jenny and Andy Bielanski wrote on July 22, 2019:
Bridget was a rare person with lots of class and integrity who enjoyed to laugh. Jenny and I will miss her so much. She made our jobs a lot easier while we were at EPA HQ, and our friendship extended beyond work. Even when we moved away we still kept in touch with her -- Bridget was that special.
Kendra Morrison Kendra Morrison wrote on July 19, 2019:
Bridget was brilliant, a talented facilitator, and made a significant impact with everything drinking water that she was involved in. I really enjoyed working with her on the committee to plan the Region 1 through 6 Multi-Regional Capacity Development and Operator Certification Workshop, held in Denver September 26 to 28, 2016. She was such a wonderful person and will be greatly missed.
Jesse Dahl Jesse Dahl wrote on July 19, 2019:
I will miss Bridget's presence at ASDWA's conferences in the fall. Every year, we contribute a gift to the raffle and we would always ask ourselves whether our gift would pass Bridget's quality checks. Rest in peace, Bridget.
Jennifer Bunton Jennifer Bunton wrote on July 19, 2019:
I will always remember Bridget's no-nonsense (yet humorous!) personality. She was the best facilitator--always there to keep the conversation going by asking the perfect question and encouraging those with insight to speak up. Many state capacity development programs would not be what they are today without Bridget's guidance; her legacy lives on...
Anthony DeRosa Anthony DeRosa wrote on July 17, 2019:
The drinking water community has lost an incredible person. Bridget's passion for her work was reflected in everything she did. She was an inspiration to those working with her, and, to me, both a mentor and a close friend. She will be greatly missed.