The Block Island Times

Sewer plant receives recognition

By Stephanie Turaj | May 21, 2013
Courtesy of: Atlantic States Rural Water and Wastewater Association. Sewer Superintendent Chris Blane, second from left, holds the “Outstanding Wastewater Operations” award.

The New Shoreham Wastewater Treatment Plant has received an award that recognizes the staff for its “commitment to ongoing training and advancement in wastewater technology.”

The “Outstanding Wastewater Operations” award, issued by Atlantic States Rural Water and Wastewater Association (ASRWWA), was presented to the plant on May 8 in Burrillville, R.I.

“There have been many improvements completed,” at the plant in the past 16 years, said Diane Johnson of ASRWWA, in a letter announcing the award. “Some of these include the removal of underground storage tanks, asbestos removal, and installation of new pumps and generators.”

Chris Blane, sewer superintendent, commended the hard work of his staff.

“We’ve got a fairly new crew. They’ve gone to a lot of training and licensing tests, and it was trial by fire with Hurricane Sandy and the force main break,” said Blane. “I’m really proud that they work hard to learn and to pass these license tests and the challenges of the plant.”

Johnson said in the letter, that “we watched and were impressed with the response of the WPCF [sewer plant] and island town staff to the recent storm events and, in particular, hurricane Sandy.”

Blane also said that sewer plant engineer Jim Geremia has been “invaluable” to the plant.

“He’s been involved in the plant since the very early days of its construction,” said Blane. He explained that if the plant’s permit requirements change, Geremia often helps the plant adapt to these changes. Geremia has also helped the sewer personnel in emergency situations, said Blane.

The sewer plant also received mention in the May 2013 issue of Treatment Plant Operator magazine as a “Top Performer,” which talks about how the plant handles the busy summer season and buildup of fats, oils and grease due to the many island restaurants.

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