Each year, the Washington Department of Ecology honors some of these wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with the agency’s Outstanding Performance Award for achieving excellent compliance with their water quality permits.
“I invite everyone in our state to join me in saying ‘thank you’ to our local wastewater treatment plant operators and staff,” said Vince McGowan, Ecology’s Water Quality program manager. “We rely on them to keep wastewater treatment plants running 24/7. Their expertise, planning, and hard work benefits all of us and protects water quality every day.”
There were 109 facilities who earned recognition for their operations in 2022.
“Washington has more than 300 wastewater treatment plants tasked with treating wastewater and protecting water quality. These complex facilities deal with everything homes and businesses flush down the drain. While every facility is unique, they all rely on certified wastewater operators for proper operation and maintenance. “
Within Grays Harbor, the Elma, Montesano, and Satsop Business Park wastewater treatment plants were recognized, while in Pacific County the Willapa Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant was among the honors.
Here are a few of the award highlights:
- Two facilities are receiving the award for the first time: Williams Lake Sewer District No. 2 and Cascadia wastewater treatment plant.
- 2022 marks the 25th consecutive year that the Port Townsend wastewater treatment plant has earned the award.
- Ecology is recognizing 28 facilities this year that have earned the award at least 15 times in the past: Anacortes, Asotin, Benton City, Big Gulch, Birch Bay, North Bonneville, Bremerton, Douglas County Sewer District, Elma, Eatonville, Forks, Gig Harbor, Grand Coulee, Holmes Harbor Sewer District, Kennewick, Lyle, Klickitat, Okanogan, Olympic Corrections Center, Omak, Penn Cove Park Sewer District, Post Point, Salmon Creek – Clark County, Seattle City Light – Newhalem, Sequim, Stanwood, Vancouver Westside, Wishram.
For the full list of recipients, see the list of current awardees on the Department of Ecology webpage.
To determine the awardees, Ecology evaluated wastewater treatment plants on permit conditions such as regularly meeting numeric effluent limits, conducting monitoring, and reporting data as required.