Sewage plant recognized as project of the year

Oak Harbor’s new clean water facility was recently honored as one of the “projects of the year” by the American Public Works Association.

The organization found that the sewage treatment plant is the best in the nation under the environmental category for projects over $74 million. The city was recognized during the American Public Works Association’s Public Works Expo in Seattle last week.

A press release from the organization stresses that a large number of people, groups and agencies were involved in building the $149-million facility. The work to replace the city’s aging sewage treatment facilities began in 2010.

“The Clean Water Facility is the culmination of forged partnerships,” Mayor Bob Severns said in a statement. “Putting it mildly, it was a team effort between federal regulators, Olympia lawmakers, local decision-makers, city staff, local and regional technical and contractor expertise, and Oak Harbor community.”

Community members participated in numerous meetings to select the facility’s location and decision. More than 175 regional and local contractors worked to build the plant, the press release states.

The facility’s membrane bioreactor system is state of the art and discharges crystal-clear water.

The award recognizes “infrastructure projects publicly developed, owned, and maintained, that promote excellence in construction management and administration. These awards recognize the alliance between the managing agency, the contractor, the consultant, and their cooperative achievements.”

The American Public Works Association serves professionals in all aspects of public works. With a worldwide membership more than 30,000 strong, APWA includes not only personnel from government agencies but also private sector personnel who supply products and services to those professionals.

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