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Burrillville, RI Wastewater Treatment Facility 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 # sr050109

BOSTON – The Burrillville, RI Wastewater Treatment Facility was recently selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a New England Regional Operations and Maintenance Wastewater Excellence Award. The staff of the facility was recognized by EPA's New England Office for their outstanding work in operating and maintaining the facility and their overall commitment to improving water quality.

The plant, which was awarded in the medium advanced plant category, was among six facilities in New England recognized for exemplary performance in 2004. The staff and facility were recognized last week during the annual New England Water Environment Association Conference in Boston.

According to the RI Department of Environmental Management, the Burrillville Wastewater Treatment Facility is consistently one of the state’s best performing plants. The staff at the facility are both dedicated and motivated to provide the best treatment possible, often above and beyond what is asked of them by the state, EPA officials said. The plant has one of the most advanced quality control and data management systems in the state. It was one of the first treatment systems to install and perfect the use of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems in the Rhode Island.

The facility has also experimented with a cycling method of nutrient removal that could be a model for other treatment systems in the state. Superintendent Jack Martin and Senior Operator Rick Dionne routinely offer their help to other communities for the sole purpose of improving the state’s water pollution control efforts.

“The professionals operating this wastewater treatment plant 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 Regional Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award was established to recognize 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. Often, conscientious operators and staff continue to perform exceptionally with limited resources.

The Burrillville facility will have the opportunity to be nominated for an EPA 2005 National Operation and Maintenance Excellence Award this spring.
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