Weather Forecast


Local wastewater treatment operators win state awards

On behalf of the staff at the Alexandria Lakes Area Sanitary District, Denman Braun (right) received a certificate of commendation from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner John Linc Stine. (Contributed photo)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently recognized Denman Braun from the Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District for maintaining a perfect record of compliance with the plant's wastewater treatment permit during 2012.

Three other wastewater treatment facilities in Douglas County were honored as well. This included operations in Carlos, Garfield and Miltona.

They were 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," he said. "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 Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District first received this award in 1980 and has earned an award 21 times since then.

The awards were presented at the 76th annual Wastewater Operations Conference in Brooklyn Park.

Wastewater treatment facilities were eligible for the award if they submitted all monitoring 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 1,360 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.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
(320) 763-1236