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Henniker, NH Wastewater Treatment Plant Recognized for Excellence by EPA

Release Date: 01/31/2005
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Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2005; Release # sr050113

BOSTON – The Henniker, NH Wastewater Treatment Plant was one of two New England recipients of the 19th annual U.S. EPA Clean Water Act National Recognition Awards that honor outstanding achievements in the water quality field. Henniker received a second place award in the Small Secondary Plant Category.

The Henniker staff and facility were recognized by regional peers last week at the annual New England Water Environment Association Conference in Boston.

Henniker has an outstanding plant with dedicated, experienced staff, EPA officials said. The staff in recent years has saved the town more than $250,000 in equipment maintenance and septage management, a significant savings for a facility serving about 2,000 people.

The staff – in particular Superintendent Ken Levesque, Chief Operator Mary Dowse and Operator Mike Colby – saved nearly $225,000 on septage management through a meticulous in-house review of a proposed design that eliminated the need for grit removal and for constructing an unnecessary enclosure. In addition, Henniker’s collection system maintenance includes a fats, oil, and grease program that has reduced grease build-up in the collection system by 40 percent. This is the second time Henniker has been recognized as a National EPA Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award Winner.

“The professionals operating this wastewater treatment plants play a crucial role ensuring that our lakes and rivers are protected from unnecessary pollution,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. “The individuals who run these plants, and the municipalities that support them, are key to keeping our environment healthy. I am proud to give them the credit they deserve.”

The EPA Clean Water Act National Recognition Awards have been established to recognize the staffs of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality not only with outstanding operation and maintenance, but also through a combination of continued permit compliance, effective financial management, and on-going operator training. More often than not and particularly with small facilities, conscientious operators and staff continue to perform exceptionally with limited resources.

Nominated by regulators and evaluated by specially appointed selection panels, these wastewater treatment facilities and programs have met EPA’s rigorous criteria and were honored at an awards ceremony held in October in New Orleans.

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