Washington State Department of Ecology - August 12, 2013

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Wastewater plant operators win awards from state

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is recognizing 107 perfect-performing wastewater treatment plants across the state with its Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Plant Award.

Wastewater treatment – also known as sewer – plant operations are the first line of defense to protect public health and the health of lakes, rivers and Puget Sound.

The award-winning plants passed all environmental tests, analyzed all samples, turned in all state-required reports and avoided permit violations during 2012.

“Our continued trend of success by one third of our state’s wastewater treatment plants is remarkable, given the number of problems that wastewater professionals deal with on a daily basis, including unplanned events such as storms and equipment failures,” said Kelly Susewind, manager of Ecology’s Water Quality Program.

State funding helps communities keep their plants operating successfully. The recent state budget provided $111 million in financial assistance for 20 wastewater system construction and pre-construction projects for fiscal year 2014. In addition, the state provides technical assistance to many of the small plants, helping them to operate successfully.

The 107 wastewater treatment plants with perfect performance last year measures up to the 108 award recipients in 2011, 104 in 2010, and 92 in both 2008 and 2009. In 1995, only 14 treatment plants had perfect compliance.

Seven plants achieved the honor for the first time in 2012:

Cashmere Wastewater Treatment Plant in Chelan County. Messenger House Care Center Wastewater Treatment Plant in Kitsap County Cowlitz Indian Tribal Housing in Lewis County. Shelton Water Reclamation Facility in Mason County. Conconully Wastewater Treatment Plant in Okanogan. Washington State Parks/ Larrabee Wastewater Treatment Plant. Whatcom County Water District #13 Wastewater Treatment Plant in Whatcom County.

A complete list by county of the state’s outstanding wastewater treatment plant award winners for 2012, is on Ecology’s website.

To learn about becoming a wastewater treatment professional, visit the state’s operator certification program.

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Media Contact:

Sandy Howard, 360-407-6408 (desk); 360-791-3177 (cell);  sandy.howard@ecy.wa.gov