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Castleton, Vt. 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 # sr050111

BOSTON – The Castleton, Vt.. Wastewater Treatment Plant 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 won in the small 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 Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the Castleton Wastewater Treatment Plant has had an almost spotless compliance record for the past two years.
The facility maintenance has been excellent, and the plant appears new, EPA officials said. In addition, biosolids generated by the facility have been handled in an excellent and longstanding land application program operated by the Village of Castleton on nearby farm fields.

Castleton’s wastewater treatment facility was upgraded in 1998. It can handle 480,000 gallons a day and averages about 280,000 gallons per day. More than a third of the plant’s flow and loading comes from Castleton State College, providing a challenge each year as the flow and load dramatically increase when school is in session.

The operators are responsible for the plant, 10 main pumping stations, and 62 residential grinder pump installations, as well as the collection system they serve. Ed Tracey, chief operator for over 10 years, and Richard Hodyl, assistant chief operator, both do outstanding work, according to EPA officials. In the most recent inspection by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the facility was rated as “Excellent”. In addition to the plant having had no violations of any major parameter, such a rating recognizes that:

    • all equipment is in service and in top condition,
    • all records and reports are in order,
    • an exceptional maintenance program is in place,
    • a tight safety program is maintained,
    • the sludge management program is exceptional,
    • the buildings and grounds are well-maintained and orderly,
    • an extraordinary laboratory QA/QC program is in place.
“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 this plant, 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 & Maintenance Excellence Award was 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.

The Castleton plant will have the opportunity to be nominated for a national EPA 2005 National Operation and Maintenance Excellence Award this coming spring.
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