The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently named the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District as one of the best treatment plants in the nation in this year's competition for EPA's National Operations and Maintenance Excellence awards.
The EPA gave a first-place award to the District for the creative and cost-effective operation of their wastewater treatment plant in Martinez, Calif.
John Kemmerer, an associate director with EPA's water division, presented the award to the District at its Board meeting in Martinez.
"This is an award that your District can be proud of, " Kemmerer said. "You're taking important steps to protect clean water."
"Our employees are the reason for this award," said Chuck Batts, general manager of the District. "These types of achievements are only possible because of the commitment demonstrated each and every day by everyone in the organization."
The District has been a leader in adopting innovative strategies to protect the environment. In 1997, the District was the first plant in California to replace their chlorine gas disinfection system with a non-chemical, ultraviolet light process. Since that time, other plants nationwide have followed their lead.
The District also converts gaseous waste products from the landfill into electricity to run the treatment plant, a step that has saved the District over one million dollars per year.
In addition, the District has been a leader by volunteering to conduct household hazardous-waste collection for the community. Last year, the District collected approximately 1.3 million pounds of household hazardous waste from local residents.
Central Contra Costa Sanitary District treats wastewater for Central Contra Costa County including the cities of including Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Danville and San Ramon.