Port Townsend sewage treatment plant flush with three straight awards

PORT TOWNSEND — Residents of a city that prides itself on ecological consciousness might be happy to find out that their wastewater is in good hands.

For three consecutive years, including 2004, the state Department of Ecology has recognized Port Townsend’s Wastewater Treatment Plant as an “outstanding” facility.

“Of approximately 300 wastewater treatment plants, (Port Townsend) is one among 40 that achieved full compliance with discharge permits in 2004,” stated a letter to Mayor Catharine Robinson from David C. Peeler, state water quality program manager.

“We are impressed by the extraordinary level of effort you and your team demonstrated throughout 2004.”

Ecology staff annually evaluates each treatment plant for compliance with state effluent limits, monitoring and reporting requirements, spill prevention planning and other regulatory activities.

100 percent compliant

Port Townsend’s plant was found 100 percent compliant.

The plant is “operated by dedicated workers whose efforts complement one another to ensure outstanding compliance and the protection of our state’s water quality,” Peeler wrote.

The 12-year-old plant processes 98 percent to 99 percent of the wastewater produced by about 3,000 households, said John Merchant, Port Townsend street and sewer operation manager.

“This is a good facility,” Merchant said. “It was designed well and I have a lot of good operators.”

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