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The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, which provides sewage treatment service for 1.5 million people in metropolitan Denver, had a "grand slam" year in 2005, winning four major environmental honors and a safety award.
In May, Metro Wastewater won its second consecutive Platinum Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA; formerly the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies) for its second five-year period without a single numerical violation of its discharge permit. At year end 2005, Metro Wastewater has gone more than 11 years without a numerical violation of its discharge permit.
In July, Metro Wastewater was notified that, as a result of it having
passed a voluntary third-party, independent audit of its Environmental
Management System (EMS) for Biosolids by the National Biosolids Partnership, its EMS had been certified. That made Metro Wastewater the eighth wastewater treatment agency in the U.S. to have its EMS certified by the National Biosolids Partnership. The EMS for Biosolids is completely voluntary.
In September, Metro Wastewater was awarded the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association's Biosolids Management Merit Award at that association's annual meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. The award recognized Metro Wastewater for the overall excellence of its biosolids management program.
And in October, EPA presented Metro Wastewater with a first-place award in Washington, D.C., as a nationwide winner in the Operations and Maintenance Large Advanced Plant category.
Benjamin H. Grumbles, the EPA official who presented Metro its first place award, said EPA based its decision "on the plant's demonstrated creative and outstanding Operations and Maintenance practices." The EPA Operations and Maintenance Award was the fourth home run in the grand slam of environmental awards Metro has won this year.
In addition to its four major environmental awards, Metro Wastewater was recognized recently by the Colorado Safety Association for having worked one million hours without a lost-time accident.
"This is a tremendous record," said district manager Bob Hite. "I can't
think of another major agency in the U.S. that's done this, and I'm very proud of our employees."
The Metro District treats about 140 mgd of wastewater and produces about 75 dry tons of biosolids each day. Biosolids typically
contain nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, a host of micronutrients and organic matter for the soil.