The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently recognized Jim Finken from the city of Granite Falls for maintaining a perfect record of compliance with their wastewater treatment permit during 2012. This year, the city of Granite Falls wastewater treatment facility was among 168 wastewater facilities statewide to receive this recognition.
MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine had high praise for the award recipients: "Last summer, MPCA had a rare opportunity to evaluate the Minnesota River under extreme drought conditions.
These tests were a chance for us to find out whether tougher standards for nearby wastewater treatment plants were improving the quality of the river. The tests confirmed what we had already observed: that the work of nearby wastewater operators has made a clear and measurable difference in the health of the Minnesota River. So, this year, we can tell Minnesotans with even more certainty: your community's wastewater operators are doing good work to protect Minnesota's environment and keep our water fishable and swimmable."
To be eligible for the award, facility operators were required to submit all monitoring reports to the MPCA correctly and on time, demonstrate consistent compliance through monitoring or surveys and employ MPCA-certified operators.
The awards were presented at the 76 Park. Wastewater treatment facilities were eligible for the award if they submitted all monitoring the annual Wastewater Operations Conference in Brooklyn reports correctly and on time, demonstrated consistent compliance with their permit, and employed staff certified by the MPCA in wastewater operations.
The annual Wastewater Operations Conference brings together wastewater operators from Minnesota for training and professional education. There are about 1360 municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities in Minnesota. The size of the community, institution or treatment plant was not a factor in awarding the certificates of excellence.