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North Conway, NH Wastewater Treatment Facility Recognized for Excellence

Release Date: 02/09/04
Contact Information: Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1008 Contact: Peter Labonte, North Conway, NH WWTP, 603-356-5338

For Immediate Release: February 9, 2004; Release #04-02-03

BOSTON – The North Conway, NH regional wastewater treatment facility was recently selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a New England Regional Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award in the non-discharging category plant category. The staff of the facility was also recognized by EPA's New England office for their outstanding work. This plant was among five facilities in New England recognized for exemplary performance.

The North Conway staff were recognized for their diligence, dedication and professionalism. They were recognized for consistently producing an excellent quality of effluent before it is discharged into the groundwater through rapid infiltration basins. Producing high quality effluent has been a challenge as the initial flow to the facility was extremely lower than design, which had posed operational difficulties. But sound process control efforts have minimized any major problems with this sophisticated 1.5 million gallon per day advanced treatment facility.

This facility also serves the entire region as a much needed septage receiving facility, and thus has had a positive effect of the on-going statewide problem of proper septage disposal. The facility also handles another strong waste, namely leachate from a regional landfill. This facility has addressed a wide range of regional environmental issues. The North Conway facility has also been the prime reason for the resolution of an area-wide groundwater contamination issue, with many inadequate septic systems now off-line.

The staff of only three people not only operates the plant well, but has also implemented a meticulous maintenance program. The staff shares its knowledge with other communities. It also hosts and participates in technical operator training seminars for the state of New Hampshire.

"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."

The EPA Regional Operations & Maintenance Excellence Award recognizes 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 facility and staff were recognized during the annual New England Water Environment Association Conference in Boston in January. It will be considered for nomination in the EPA 2004 National Operation and Maintenance Excellence Award process this spring.

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