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Florida Utility Recognized for Outstanding Water Quality Achievement

Release Date: 12/02/2008
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293, marraccini.davina@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – December 2, 2008) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented the St. Johns County Utility in St. Augustine, Fl., with a 2008 National Clean Water Act Recognition Award during a meeting of the St. Johns County Board of Commissioners. St. Johns Utility is one of six facilities recognized in the Southeast and one of 24 winners nationally.

“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.

St. Johns won first-place for its pretreatment program in the 0-5 significant industrial users subcategory. Specifically, the utility is being lauded for its proactive pollution prevention program and community outreach efforts, including activities geared towards children. The program has two significant industrial users and also permits more than 200 other non-domestic dischargers, including restaurants, hotels, auto facilities, portable toilet waste haulers, and reverse osmosis concentrate dischargers. The pretreatment program works closely with the county’s Bio-diesel Recycling Plant and Solid Waste Department to collect used household grease and convert it into bio-diesel fuel.

The EPA’s pretreatment awards recognize municipalities that effectively control industrial discharges to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). The pretreatment program is intended to prevent incompatible wastes, which could pass through or interfere with operations, from being discharged to POTWs, and to improve opportunities for reuse and recycling of effluent and solids. The awards program is intended to educate the public about the contributions pre-treatment facilities make to clean water and to recognize communities that go beyond the extra mile to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act.

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