Three years of perfect sewering

Published on Thu, May 23, 2002
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Three years of perfect sewering

For the third year in a row the Birch Bay Water and Sewer District (BBWSD) has come out of a year of treating wastewater smelling like a rose.

BBWSD was one of three sewer treatment plants in the county to be recognized by the state department of ecology for 100 percent compliance with the conditions of their wastewater discharge permits last year. Newhalem and Diablo, operated by Seattle City Light, were the other two. Only 26 of the 300 wastewater plants in the state made the grade this year.

The district received further recognition for joining in an elite club of plants that regularly make the grade. This was the third year BBWSD had maintained 100 percent compliance, a distinction they share with only three other facilities in the state. Only two treatment plants have a better record – Manchester with seven years and Newport with five.

“It’s clear the operators of these facilities are staying on their toes,” said department of ecology water quality manager Megan White. “We offer sincere thanks to all the plant operators and communities that have achieved compliance day in and day out because they are working hard to protect the quality of our state’s waters.” Ecology develops the permits with conditions on how many contaminants can be discharged into state waters. BBWSD discharges into the water off of Birch Point. To comply with their permit the district must submit thousands of test results to the state.

BBWSD wastewater manager Steve Hovde said the award recognized the daily work of treatment plant operators Jeff Brant, Fred Reid and Mike Roof. “In the trenches it’s about the operators, doing maintenance, testing, everything. This is hats off to them.” However, Hovde said it didn’t matter how hard the operators worked if they didn’t get managerial and governmental support to take the steps they felt needed to be taken to keep they system running smoothly. “The commissioners provide you with the equipment and the tools to do the job and that’s very critical,” he said. .
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