By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester’s wastewater system is not only vital to the health of the community, but it is also an award-winning operation.
Earlier this year, the Ohio Water Environment Federation rewarded the city’s Water Reclamation Facility’s efforts with a Facility Image Award and a Wastewater Treatment Safety Award.
Canal Winchester Public Service Director Matt Peoples said the Image Award is a competitive honor that recognizes OWEA members who enhance the physical image of their workplace by cleaning up their own work facilities or promote the profession through outreach to the public.
The result of the upgrade or outreach effort presents a better image for the profession as viewed by the general public.
According to Peoples, Canal Winchester was nominated for the award by an anonymous person and honored in mid-May of this year.
“Steve Smith and his staff are good stewards of the Water Reclamation Facility and take pride in appearance and condition of the equipment and buildings to ensure they are in good working order and all maintenance is addressed,” said Peoples. “This attention provides long term cost savings by not having to prematurely replace infrastructure, which in turn keeps our user rates low.”
The Wastewater Treatment Safety Award is another annual award by the OWEA, which establishes a list of criteria that must be met in order to qualify and be recognized for the award.
“Steve annually submits information about our safety program to OWEA and, if it checks all of the boxes, we receive the award,” said Peoples. “We have received this award annually for probably the last 20 years. It signifies a commitment to safety for our staff. While this award is from the OWEA, it is for our safety program that is more public service focused, but represents all of the city’s employees.”
In the past, Smith received the F.D. Dean Stewart award from OWEA, which is presented to an individual for their efforts in plant operations, maintenance, and especially for their record keeping and operations reports.