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Lisbon, N.H. Wastewater Treatment Facility Recognized for Excellence
Release Date: 09/18/2003
Contact Information: David Deegan, EPA-New England Public Affairs office, 617-918-1017 Terry Welch, Lisbon, N.H. Contract Operator, 603-837-2332 George Neill, N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services, 603-271-3325
BOSTON – The municipal wastewater treatment facility in Lisbon, N.H. was recently selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for national Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award. The staff of the Lisbon Wastewater Treatment Plant was recognized by EPA for their outstanding work in operating and maintaining the facility and their overall commitment to improving water quality. The Lisbon plant is among five facilities in New England, and 17 nationwide, recognized for exemplary performance.
The N.H. Department of Environmental Services Wastewater Engineering Bureau's Operations Section was also recognized by EPA for providing outstanding on-site technical assistance – not only to the Lisbon Wastewater Treatment Plant, but to other wastewater treatment plants in the state.
"The professionals operating these wastewater treatment plants play a crucial role ensuring that our lakes and rivers are protected from unnecessary pollution," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for 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. I am also honored to acknowledge the continued outstanding work of the N.H. Department of Environmental Services in providing timely and important on-site technical assistance to help wastewater operators throughout the State of New Hampshire."
The Lisbon wastewater treatment plant won first place in the "most improved" plant category. The plant operator, Welch's Water and Wastewater Services, working in cooperation with the state Department of Environmental Services, has turned this once destitute and mismanaged facility into what is now an well-operated and maintained plant. The staff has completely overhauled the laboratory, which had been totally neglected. Innovative process control techniques have improved effluent quality and an outstanding equipment maintenance program has been put in place. In addition, the operator has overcome numerous challenging events in emergency response situations. For example, the operator had to dive into a lagoon to install a check valve to prevent the failure of a dike, thereby preventing raw sewage from reaching the Ammonoosuc River. The facility and collection system have improved to the point where the likelihood of any preventible emergency situation in the future is minimized.
The annual EPA New England Operations & Maintenance Excellence Awards as well as the national awards were established to recognize the staff of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality through not only outstanding and innovative operation and maintenance, but also continued compliance with permit requirements, effective financial management, and on-going operator training. National award winners will be formally acknowledged at this year's Water Environment Federation meeting in Los Angeles in October.