September 16, 2003
AUB TREATMENT PLANT EARNS
SEVENTH STRAIGHT OPERATIONAL AWARD
ATHENS, Tenn. - The Kentucky-Tennessee Water Environment Association has awarded Athens Utilities Board (AUB) its seventh consecutive Continued Operational Excellence Award for the operation of the North Mouse Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The award is for wastewater treatment plants that have one or less discharge violations in the year. AUBs North Mouse Creek plant had zero effluent violations, said Jill Davis, AUBs superintendent for water and wastewater.
The operators at the North Mouse Creek plant continue to set the standard for how to successfully run a treatment facility. In Tennessee, only Eastman Chemical in Kingsport surpasses the consecutive number of times that AUB has earned this award, Davis said. Thats pretty prestigious company to keep.
The plant came on line in 1995. In the history of the plant, no violations of treated water quality standards have been cited.
Greg Hayes, who oversees operations at AUBs two wastewater treatment plants, said the reason for the plant's stellar performance history is multifaceted.
This plant was designed and built to capitalize on state-of-the-art process control and it continues to be a model facility. But like a high-tech race car, it is only as effective as the people who maintain and operate it. The diligence of the AUB operators who oversee the biological process and maintain the equipment drive the success that has continued now for seven years, Hayes said. They take personal pride in the facility, and our community has reason to be proud of their work.
Hayes stressed further that the reasons for the plants success go beyond the facility boundaries. Operators and laboratory support from the Oostanaula plant, our collection system operators, local industrys cooperation in the industrial pretreatment program, and AUB board support all have to be in place to succeed, he said.
AUB General Manager Eric Newberry further emphasized the accomplishment of those who run the plant to ensure environmental protection and performance.
Seven consecutive years operating with efficiency any plant could envy is a major accomplishment for AUB and for Athens. Newberry stated. Jills group continues to do an extraordinary job at both of our wastewater treatment facilities.
AUBs Oostanaula plant on Alford Street is scheduled for major upgrades beginning later this year. The plant will be a new state-of-the-art facility for all practical purposes and will position AUB to serve Athens residents and industry for a growing future where environmental concerns will be paramount, Hayes said.
The purpose of building and operating a wastewater treatment plant is to protect public health and the environment, Davis said. A plant that is designed, operated and maintained properly protects our most important natural resource: water.