By Steve Guntli
Blaine and Birch Bay water treatment plants were given high marks by a state agency.
The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) acknowledged 127 wastewater treatment plants across the state with an Outstanding Performance award for perfect performances in 2014.
Blaine’s Lighthouse Point Water Reclamation Facility and Birch Bay Water and Sewer District’s wastewater treatment plant were among the plants honored. Plants in Lynden, Ferndale and Bellingham also made the cut.
To qualify for the award, each plant must have passed all environmental tests, analyzed all samples submitted, turned in all state-required reports and avoided any permit violations for a full calendar year.
The 127 plants given the award represent a little more than one-third of the wastewater plants in the state. The compliance numbers have risen significantly in the 20 years since DOE began giving out the award. In 1995, only 14 plants throughout the state qualified.
Many plants have earned the award multiple years in a row. One, the Kitsap County/Manchester wastewater plant, has earned the award for 20 consecutive years.