OLYMPIA – Wastewater treatment plant operators play a critical role in keeping Washington’s waters clean. Treatment plants deal with everything we dump down the drain or flush down the toilet.
Despite all of the potential hurdles these facilities and their operators face, 110 wastewater treatment plants in Washington garnered top-performing status this year. Four treatment plants in the San Juan Islands were awarded the annual Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance Award:
Eastsound Wastewater Treatment Plant
Orcas Village Wastewater Treatment Plant
Fisherman Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant
Roche Harbor Resort Wastewater Treatment Plant
“Wastewater treatment plant operators are local heroes. They are protecting water quality every day.” said Polly Zehm, the Department of Ecology’s Deputy Director. “They deal with everything that you flush or put down the drain. That includes some things you probably shouldn’t be putting down the drain, things like those disposable wipes.”
Ecology evaluated more than 300 plants operating in Washington to determine if they were meeting the state pollution limits and permit requirements, which include: monitoring, reporting, spill prevention planning, pretreatment, and operational demands.
Nearly a third of all systems across the state achieved full compliance with their water quality permits in 2018. Ecology is honoring these top-performers with the annual Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance Award. The list of 110 awardees is available online.
Treatment plants can apply for state funding to help upgrade and improve their systems. Ecology also provides technical assistance to help plants operate successfully.
To learn more about the awards and the importance of our state’s wastewater treatment operators, read Ecology's blog post.