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North Conway, N.H. Wastewater Treatment Facility Recognized Nationally for Excellence

Release Date: 10/04/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner (, EPA Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865
Peter Labonte, North Conway Water Precinct, (603) 356-5382
George Neill, N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services, (603) 271-3325
David Chin, EPA, Municipal Assistance Unit, (617) 918-1764

For immediate release: October 4, 2005; Press Release #sr051002

BOSTON – The municipal wastewater treatment facility in North Conway, N.H. was recently selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a national wastewater Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award. The staff of the North Conway Wastewater Treatment Plant won first place among large non-discharging plants for their outstanding work in operating and maintaining the facility and their overall commitment to improving water quality.

“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 would also like to acknowledge the outstanding work of the state Department of Environmental Services in providing technical help to wastewater operators throughout New Hampshire.”

According to the state DES, the North Conway Wastewater Treatment Plant has continued to produce a high quality discharge. This has been critical and essential to protect sensitive groundwater sources in the Saco River Valley aquifer area. Superintendent David Bernier, Chief Operator Peter Labonte, Lab Technician Robert Bagley, and Maintenance Foreman Glen McDonald have overcome numerous operational problems stemming from incoming wastewater flows much lower than design over the years, the state said. The outstanding staff also trains other wastewater operators in New Hampshire. The plant has also established a program that has helped eliminate numerous failing individual septic systems, further protecting critical groundwater resources. In addition, the facility staff runs an excellent on-going maintenance and process control program, the state said.

The EPA National Wastewater Operations and 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. All National award winners will be formally acknowledged at this year’s annual Water Environment Federation meeting in Washington, D.C. on October 31st.

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