By Ashley Rader
For the past six years, Elizabethton’s Wastewater Treatment Plant has been honored by the Kentucky-Tennessee Water Environment Association.
You might not have known that.
And that’s the point.
“The average citizen would not notice unless we were doing something wrong,” said Water Resources Facilities Manager Ed Mullins.
The association’s Operational Excellence Award is earned by wastewater treatment facilities that have one or zero operational violations for an entire reporting year.
“We run numerous tests on everything we discharge from the plant,” Mullins said. “The numbers have to stay below the requirements that are listed in the permit. If those numbers exceed the requirements, then it is a violation. This award is given only to those who don’t exceed the requirements, or have one violation.”
Mullins said the award is not easy to earn, but it is one that takes efforts most citizens are unlikely to notice – unless, as he said, something goes amiss.