Ecology awards town’s ‘outstanding’ wastewater treatment plant

For the seventh year in a row, Coupeville has been recognized for having an “outstanding” wastewater treatment plant in 2016.

“I am pleased that Coupeville has received this award many times,” said Mayor Molly Hughes. “The community can rest assured that the utility department is doing an excellent job of running our wastewater and water plants.”

The Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Plant Award places the town’s plant among the top municipal plants in the state.

“Successfully operating and maintaining a wastewater treatment plant in top-running order 24-hours a day, 365-days a year … takes strong support from the community it serves,” the state’s Department of Ecology wrote in the award letter.

This award came during a transition year for the department. Longtime utility superintendent Willy LaRue left in the fall of 2016 and Joe Grogan filled that position in December of that year.

“Joe came in at the end of the year and had to do all of the paperwork and get it in on time,” Hughes said. “He has been taking significant steps in new maintenance at the plant.”

Manholes are being inspected, water lines are getting flushed and roots are being cut out.

The utility department has been working to get the town’s reclaimed water system up and running, Hughes added. It’s been out of service for many years.

“The things we said we were going to do with this increased rate are happening.”

Hughes told the town council last week that the part of the letter that sticks out to her is the “24-hours a day, 365-days a year.”

“If you’re not on top of your plant, things can go sideways,” she said. “We have some new team members in the utility department who continue to maintain and upgrade the wastewater plant and keep it in tip-top shape.

“I expect the same excellent reports on the plant’s operation in the future.”

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