Kennewick Wastewater Plant receives 15th consecutive performance award

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Ecology presented the City of Kennewick with the 2021 Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance award at a city council meeting. Kennewick has now received this award 15 years in a row.

Plants who meet the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit with 100% compliance are presented with this award. The city is evaluated on effluent limits, monitoring and reporting requirements, spill prevention planning, pretreatment and overall operational demands of the NPDES permit.

“It really takes a dedicated team of plant operators to achieve that goal,” said Department of Ecology Engineer Coleman Miller. “I don’t know of any other treatment plants that have done this 15 years in a row.”

“Even the representative from the Department of Ecology said he was not aware of a city who has received it 15 years in a row,” said Evelyn Lusignan, Public Relations Director for the City of Kennewick. “So, our plant is very excited about that achievement. We as a city are very excited about that achievement.”

Hard work with a high reward

According to the city, Kennewick’s Wastewater Treatment Plant treats over 2.2 billion gallons of wastewater annually. The plant operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Lusignan said, “It’s over 2 billion gallons a year that our plant operators are treating down at the plant. So, they take their jobs very seriously and was something that the Department of Ecology also acknowledged. That type of compliance can’t be done unless we have a highly dedicated, dedicated team who is excited about their job and passionate about the work they do.”

Kennewick Wastewater treatment plan staff accept outstanding performance award 8.16.22

Left to right: Georg Messenger, Dustin Gerlach, Coleman Miller (DOE), Dean Bugher. Crew not pictured: William Marazzo and Kevin Webb. Courtesy: City of Kennewick.

“That was cool that they showed up to receive the award and let us celebrate them. Because they kind of are behind the scenes a lot of the time and don’t always get the accolades that they really deserve for working that hard,” said Lusignan.

She said they’re working hard every day to take care of the wastewater. They’re also preparing for the future as the community grows. Lusignan said, “We have some major investments that are going to be made in our treatment plant in the next year.”

She said the design is underway.

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