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WWTP wins Plant Excellence Award

The Decatur Utilities Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant has been presented with the 2023 Plant Excellence Award for Plants Greater than 10 Million Gallons Per Day (MGD) from the Alabama Water Environment Association (AWEA) (1).

Members from various wastewater treatment utilities inspected the Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant for excellence in operation based on standardized criteria. The criteria include treatment operations and maintenance of each unit process, the complexity of treatment processes (i.e., advanced treatment), process control and monitoring, laboratory quality control, records inventory, equipment calibration, plant appearance, safety programs, operator attitudes, and organization membership. Additionally, any documentation of energy efficiency initiatives coupled with the facility’s age earns corresponding bonus points to the overall score.


DU Water Resources Manager Tom Cleveland said the Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant has a long history of winning operational awards. "Protecting the environment is something we take seriously at DU," said Cleveland, "and receiving this award on a regular basis is a testament to dedication of our operators and environmental team. Our board is supportive of the investments that need to be made to ensure the treatment process meets or exceeds the requirements of our National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit (2). Those investments give our employee team the tools needed to be successful in our mission."


 DU General Manager Ray Hardin echoed Cleveland's sentiments. "We have a great team here at DU that is dedicated to providing outstanding utility service across all areas of operation - including the important task of collecting and treatment wastewater so it is safely returned to our environment."


 The DU Wastewater Treatment Plant treats approximately nine billion gallons of wastewater each year. The plant has two Grade IV Certified Operators present 24/7/365 and a supporting team of maintenance mechanics and electricians keep the plant running at peak efficiency.


1 - About Alabama’s Water Environment Association (AWEA): Alabama’s Water Environment Association (AWEA) is a state-wide affiliate organization of the Water Environment Federation. AWEA is a not-for-profit, educational, and technical organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and managing Alabama’s waters since 1977.


2 - About the NPDES: The Clean Water Act prohibits anybody from discharging "pollutants" through a "point source" into a "water of the United States" unless they have an NPDES permit. The permit will contain limits on what you can discharge, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that the discharge does not hurt water quality or people's health. In essence, the permit translates general requirements of the Clean Water Act into specific provisions tailored to the operations of each person discharging pollutants.

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