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News Brief: Great Barrington receives regional EPA wastewater award

Great Barrington’s wastewater treatment facility, which maintains 35 miles of sewer line and six pumping stations throughout Great Barrington and Housatonic, was recognized for its exceptional organization and exemplary maintenance program.

Great Barrington receives regional EPA wastewater award

Great Barrington — Selectboard Chairman Sean Stanton and Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin have announced that the town of Great Barrington’s wastewater treatment facility has been selected as a 2016 Regional Wastewater Treatment Operation and Maintenance Excellence Award recipient by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA Regional Wastewater Treatment Operation and Maintenance Excellence Award is given out annually and was established to recognize and honor publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitments to improving water quality with outstanding plant operations and maintenance.

This is the first time Great Barrington has been recognized. The award will be given out at the annual New England Water Environment Association awards luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. Timothy Drumm, superintendent of the wastewater treatment facility, will attend.

Great Barrington’s facility, which maintains 35 miles of sewer line and six pumping stations throughout Great Barrington and Housatonic, was recognized for its exceptional organization and exemplary maintenance program.

In particular, the wastewater treatment facility removes between 95 and 96 percent of all solids and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) from the water before it is returned to the Housatonic River. State regulation requires only 85 percent removal of solids and BOD.

Additionally, the facility operates strictly off a sewer enterprise fund, meaning the system is funded by the residents who utilize it. There is no tax burden on community members and Great Barrington’s sewer rates are below state average.

Residents who would like to learn more about the facility are encouraged to set up a tour to see the inner workings of how water is filtered and cleaned.

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