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Five Georgia Utilities—Including One in Douglasville—Recognized for Outstanding Water Quality Achievement

Release Date: 12/15/2008
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293, marraccini.davina@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – December 15, 2008) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented the Beaver Estates Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) in Douglasville, Ga., with a 2008 Regional Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award during a ceremony at the EPA’s Atlanta office. WCPC is one of six facilities recognized in the Southeast and one of 24 winners nationally in the 2008 National Clean Water Act Recognition Awards competition.

“EPA is proud to recognize the municipalities that go far beyond the minimum requirements needed to meet the Clean Water Act,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Jimmy Palmer.

WCPC won first place regionally and received second-place nationally for its operations and maintenance in the small advanced plant subcategory. The facility was recognized for its consistent performance and commitment to proactive maintenance and management, as well as its extensive public education program. WCPC is completely financially self-sustaining through user and impact fees. The rate structure is designed to recover costs of operating and maintaining infrastructure, current debt service and recurring capital improvements. Tiered user rates encourage water conservation with higher-rate levels applied to those using more water per meter size. Constant improvement in treatment options and attention to decreasing illegal water consumption help ensure financial integrity.

The plant tracks per-customer water consumption and wastewater production and discharge trends. The plant performs routine testing and ensures prompt system repair at potential inflow and infiltration areas, so much so that inflow and infiltration have been reduced to just one percent of plant flow in the basin. In addition, WCPC performs regular manhole inspections, mapping and other field verification activities to ensure system efficiency. The plant’s laboratory has won multiple awards for quality assurance, ensuring all testing is performed properly and results are accurate. WCPC’s extensive process control and monitoring plan is tracked using a software that generates all required wastewater reports. Lastly, WCPC developed and implemented a program to educate residents about the importance of pollution prevention, proper grease disposal methods and septage management.

EPA’s Regional and National Clean Water Act Recognition Awards showcase communities with outstanding operations and maintenance programs or practices at their wastewater treatment facilities. The award evaluation criteria considers permit compliance, field monitoring, process control, pollution prevention, laboratory and financial management, equipment maintenance and other key operating requirements. Award nominees are recognized in nine operations and maintenance categories based on each facility’s treatment level and flow capacity.

The EPA recognized 24 organizations across the country this year for demonstrating outstanding water quality achievements for projects and programs in five award categories: operations and maintenance, exemplary biosolids management, implementation and enforcement of local pretreatment programs, cost-effective stormwater controls, and combined sewer overflow controls.

The EPA-sponsored awards program is in its 23rd year, and recognizes wastewater treatment facilities and their contributions to protecting the public’s health and safety and the nation’s water quality.

For a complete list of the winners, visit: http://www.epa.gov/owm/mtb/intnet.htm