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Waianae Wastewater Treatment Plant Receives NACWA Award


The Waianae Wastewater Treatment Plant, run by the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Environmental Services (ENV), received the Platinum Peak Performance Award today from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies at its Summer Conference and 38th Annual Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

The treatment plant earned the Platinum 6 Award for six consecutive years of perfect compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into U.S. waters.  Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches.  NPDES permits are not needed for individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system or do not have a surface discharge; however, industrial, municipal and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.  In most cases, the NPDES permit program is administered by authorized states.  Since its introduction in 1972, the NPDES permit program is responsible for significant improvements to our nation’s water quality.

The Waianae WWTP, which has been in service since 1968, treated 1.223 billion gallons of wastewater during 2007, averaging 3.351 million gallons a day (mgd). 

It was one of three City treatment plants to receive awards.  The Honouliuli and Wahiawa WWTPs garnered Gold Awards for 2007.  Honouliuli processed 9.716 billion gallons during 2007 (26.62 mgd), while Wahiawa handled 617.98 millions of gallons on the year (1.69 mgd).

“This is a tremendous honor for all of our plants, and particularly an outstanding team effort of City employees,” said Dr. Eric Takamura, director of ENV.  “I’m confident that with the many improvements and upgrades we’re making to our collection system and treatment facilities, we’ll have more of our wastewater plants receive commendations in the future.”

The NACWA recognition program consists of three categories – Platinum, Gold and Silver.  Platinum Awards recognize 100-percent compliance with NPDES permits for five or more consecutive years.  Gold Awards honor treatment works that achieved 100-percent compliance with its NPDES permits for an entire calendar year.  Silver Awards identify facilities that received no more than five NPDES permit violations per calendar year.

This year, NACWA modified the criteria for the platinum award to recognize agencies that maintained their outstanding compliance record for more than five years.  Thus, a facility that has met all its NPDES obligations for 10 years in a row, now receives a Platinum 10 Award.  Of the 91 platinum awards handed out this year, 29 went to facilities that had perfect compliance for 10 years or more.  Particularly noteworthy is the Hampton Roads Sanitation District’s (Va.) Army Base Plant that extended its run for 21 straight years.

NACWA featured all 2007 Peak Performance Award winners in a slide presentation at the conference, highlighted each on their website and recognized them in the July issue of the Clean Water Advocate.



Markus Owens, 768-3454

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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