HENDRICKS – A local public service district was recognized in January for the quality of their drinking water.
The Hamrick Public Service District received an Area-Wide Optimization Program Award, presented by Craig R. Cobb from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Environmental Engineering Division.
Hamrick Public Service District Manager Mike Helmick said everyone at the PSD works together as a team and credits their team spirit and dedication for their success.
“We have received a couple of these awards in the past including one for 2011 and 2012,” Helmick said. “This one is for a five-year achievement. It is for operations and it recognizes our operators and how they are doing with the treatment of our facility. Our facility is 40 years old and the goals to meet are very difficult and we are doing it with what we have.”
Helmick said the award is a testament to his operation staff.
“That’s not me – it is my operation staff,” Helmick said. “It is very good for them. The AWOP Award recognizes the whole system including the operation, management and board members. Collectively, we are a team. That is how we feel – it’s all of us put together.”
Helmick said Hamrick PSD has an awesome team. He said the awards are a testament to what they can do with what little they have.
“Everyone is dedicated at what they do and they take pride in their work,” Helmick said. “That, to me, fills my heart. My staff takes pride in what they do.”
Plant Operator Charlotte Parsons said everyone at the plant is of the same mindset.
“We are a team and we work together,” Parsons said. “Michael backs us. If we have anything, we go to him. He is a big support as far as the operation of the plant.”
The Hamrick PSD has approximately 750 customers who receive water and has 64 miles of water lines.
“It is a big service area. We take care of Hendricks, Hambleton, Bretz, Blackman Flats, Holly Meadows, St. George and Leadmine. We go all the way to Shaffer at the end of Leadmine. We are spread out,” Helmick said.
Cobb said he was honored to be able to make the award presentation on behalf of the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health, Environmental Engineering Division to the operations staff at Hamrick PSD, as well as the administrators.
“It goes without saying that dedicated, conscientious operators and supportive administrators are critically important to the successful operation of any public utility,” Cobb said. “The award is actually a five-year award for the years of 2011 to 2015. I have reviewed the data for all five years and the data on file for the Hamrick PSD is all very familiar. During 2015 there were 124 surface water and GWUDI treatment facilities in West Virginia which were ranked as art of the Environmental Protection Agency AWOP project. The Hamrick PSD Water Treatment Plant shared this top spot in the state in 2015 with 12 other facilities.”
The focus of the AWOP program is to meet a finished water turbidity of ≤0.1 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) at least 95 percent of the time. The regulatory requirement is to meet a filtered turbidity of ≤0.3 NTU at least 95 percent of the time. During 2015, Hamrick PSD WTP reported a filtered water turbidity of ≤0.05 NTU 95 percent of the time and met the AWOP goal of ≤0.1 NTU 100 percent of the time.
The second focus on the AWOP program, which many surface water systems have a difficult time meeting is the settled water turbidity that they apply to their filters. The AWOP goal is to meet a settled water turbidity of ≤2.0 NTU at least 95 percent of the time if the raw water exceeds 10 NTU, or to meet a settled water turbidity of ≤1.0 NTU at least 95 percent of the time if the raw water is less than 10 NTU. Hamrick met a settled water turbidity of 0.7 NTU 95 percent of the time during 2015 with raw water turbidities ranging between 0.4 NTU and 114 NTU, with an average raw water turbidity of 4.2 NTU. Cobb said the numbers are a phenomenal accomplishment.
West Virginia also looks at the issues of unresolved sanitary survey deficiencies and state and federal reporting violations for the previous two years. In both of these areas, Hamrick PSD had no violations.
“This is also a significant accomplishment when we remember the myriad of monitoring requirements imposed by the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act and the West Virginia PWS Regulations, including daily operational monitoring, monthly operational reports, plus monitoring for bacteria, lead and copper, nitrates, inorganics, VOCs, SOCs, radionuclides, disinfection by-products and LT2 raw water monitoring requirements,” Cobb said.
“So, to the operations staff at the Hamrick Public Service District and also to the administrators, I say congratulations on a job well done,” Cobb said. “Keep up the good work.”