Perfection is reality for 126 sewage treatment plants

26 June 2014

Don’t you wish that this was the heading for an article about wastewater treatment in South Africa?  Wish again. It comes from the State of Washington in the US:

There were 126 wastewater treatment plants across the state with perfect performance in 2013, a jump from 107 the year before. There are approximately 330 wastewater treatment plants in Washington. When the award program began in 1995, only 14 treatment plants had perfect compliance.

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

Improved performance since program inception

Improved performance since program inception

“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 honour 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:

  • Port Angeles Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • City of Rock Island Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Carnation Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • City of Kittitas Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Snoqualmie Pass Utility District
  • City of Shelton Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • North Bay Case Inlet Water Reclamation Facility
  • Colville Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Lighthouse Point Water Reclamation Facility
  • Town of Mabton Wastewater Treatment Plant

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.  Individual plant results and inter-year performance can be viewed here.

 

 

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