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

Release Date: 12/15/2008
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293,

(ATLANTA – December 15, 2008) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented the Wahoo Creek Water Pollution Control Plant (WCPC) in Newnan, 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 received first-place regionally and nationally for its operations and maintenance in the medium advanced plant subcategory. The facility was recognized for its excellent record of proactive maintenance, inspection and management practices. WCPC has reduced sanitary sewer overflows by 60 percent in the last four years by installing a degreaser and performing monthly maintenance. A grease trap program implemented by WCPC recovers grease from food service facilities in order to prevent it from clogging up the system and causing flooding. A contractor uses the grease to produce biodiesel. A computer-based system installed at WCPC identifies faulty equipment, sends electronic maintenance reminders and tracks trends in work performed.

WCPC developed a state-of-the-art composting facility in 2006 as an alternative to landfilling its waste. The facility produces compost that can be used as a soil amendment or additive for landscaping or topsoil remediation. With trucking costs on the rise, WCPC estimates that using the composting facility will save more than $2.5 million in the next 10 years.

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: