Department of Ecology News Release - June 26, 2014

Perfection is reality for 126 sewer plants
They are first line of defense to keep waters clean and healthy

OLYMPIA –There were 126 wastewater treatment plants across the state with perfect performance in 2013, a jump from 107 the year before.

Because wastewater treatment (sewer) plant operations are the first line of defense to protect public health and lakes, rivers and Puget Sound, the state Department of Ecology recognizes this achievement annually with its Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Plant Awards.

“Treatment plant operators are professionals who understandably take a lot of pride in their work and its importance in protecting the environment. It is an honor to recognize their contributions with these awards,” said Heather Bartlett, manager of Ecology’s Water Quality Program.

The award-winning plants passed all environmental tests, analyzed all samples, turned in all state-required reports, and avoided permit violations during 2013.

This year there were 10 first-time award winners:

The Manchester Wastewater Treatment Plant in Kitsap County received its 19th consecutive award in a row. The Cowlitz County/Toutle Sewage Treatment Plant received special recognition for winning the award 10 years in a row. Nine plants received special recognition for winning the award five years in a row.

State funding helps communities keep their plants operating successfully. In the current funding cycle, Ecology is offering $191 million in grants and loans to 39 wastewater treatment facility construction and preconstruction projects. In addition, the state provides technical assistance to many of the small plants helping them to operate successfully.

There are approximately 330 wastewater treatment plants in Washington. When the award program began in 1995, only 14 treatment plants had perfect compliance.

A complete list (by county) of the award winners for 2013 is on Ecology’s website.  

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Contact:

Sandy Howard, communications, 360-407-6408, @ecologyWA