Wastewater treatment plant operators are unsung heroes. Not many people question where the water goes after they flush a toilet, but your local wastewater operator makes sure the water from our sinks, baths, and toilets is treated properly so public health and the environment are protected. Because their work is so critical, Ecology honors the state’s top-performing wastewater treatment facilities with our annual Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance Award. We recognized 111 wastewater treatment plants across Washington that achieved full compliance with their water quality permits in 2017. That’s about a third of the state’s wastewater treatment plants.
Manchester Wastewater Treatment Plant in Kitsap County has 23 years of outstanding performance
In picking the winners, we evaluated all of the plants in Washington for compliance with meeting pollution limits, monitoring and reporting requirements, spill prevention planning, pretreatment, and overall operation. The Manchester wastewater treatment plant has earned an Outstanding Performance Award every year since the program began in 1995.
Clallam Bay Corrections Wastewater Treatment PlantPort Townsend Wastewater Treatment Plant has had perfect performance for 20 years. Six plants now have perfect performance for 10 years in a row:
- Forks Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Moses Lake Larson Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Cle Elum Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Community of Klickitat Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Okanogan Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Omak Wastewater Treatment Plant
A complete list of the award winners for 2017 listed by county is on our website.
Treatment plants that did not make the list may apply for state funding to help communities upgrade their aging systems and improve functionality so the plants can operate successfully.
We recently offered $96 million in grants and loans to 26 wastewater treatment facility projects. In addition, Ecology provides technical assistance to many small plants to help them operate successfully.
Want to help protect water and get paid? Maybe wastewater operator is the right job for you!
Along with funding and awards, we oversee the certification program for wastewater operators.
“Washington’s growing population creates a greater need for wastewater treatment every day,” said Heather Bartlett, Ecology’s Water Quality Program Manager. “There are jobs to be had, and we encourage people to go into this field to help serve the public and protect the environment.”
Find out more about the state’s wastewater operator certification program.