College Place wastewater plant workers honored

The city plant was one out of six in Eastern Washington to have a year of perfect compliance.

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COLLEGE PLACE -- It's a dirty job and they do it well.

Three city employees Monday were singled out by the state Department of Ecology for their work at the city's wastewater treatment plant, which processes up to 1.6 million gallons of wastewater each day.

Public Works Director Paul Hartwig and operators Bill Putnam and Bob Jamison will share Ecology's "Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Plant" award. Richard Koch of Ecology presented the award at the City Council meeting.

"The department recognizes that water treatment plants don't operate themselves," Koch told council member. "What this represents is one year of perfect compliance."

In a release, Grant Pfeifer, Ecology's eastern regional director said the city's plant "passed every environmental test, analyzed all samples according to Ecology's stringent requirements and did not violate currently permitted discharge limits in 2009." This is the first time College Place has won the award, he said.

"The hard work done by the operators of this treatment plant does more for water quality in College Place than any other thing we do," Pfeifer said. "It's not easy to have a perfect record. The community should be very proud of its treatment plant and the people who operate it."

Among the approximately 120 permitted wastewater plants operating in Eastern Washington, College Place is one of six that met the criteria for the award, Koch said.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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