Litchfield News

Sewer treatment plant staff honored for excellence (11-13-17)

Litchfield sewer plant Superintendent Ted Donoghue holds the award the sewer plant staff received from representatives of the Atlantic States Rural Water and Wastewater Association. Contributed photo

The staff at the sewer plant in Litchfield was recognized for excellence by the Atlantic States Rural Water and Wastewater Association during its recent fall conference and trade show in Wallingford.
The organization presented an award recognizing commitment to protecting the environment, dedication to ensuring that the treatment plant is performing at a superior level, and customer service. Sewer plant Superintendent Ted Donoghue accepted the award on behalf of the staff.
“It’s a great recognition for the team,” Donoghue said. “We’re a small team and we all share in the work, whether it is preventive maintenance, collecting water samples or the lab work.”
In addition to Donoghue, the staff includes Robert Capell, Robert Kent and Jim Hill. Donoghue has been superintendent since 2014. He is responsible for overseeing daily operations and preparing monthly reports for the town’s Water Pollution Control Authority and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Capell and Kent have each worked at the plant for more than 25 years. Capell oversees laboratory analysis and preventive maintenance and repairs, while Kent handles the plant’s sludge thickening process. Hill joined the staff in 2015 and is learning plant operations and the wastewater treatment process.
According to Water Pollution Control Authority Chairman David R. Wilson, plant operations have improved markedly under Donoghue’s direction.
“Not only are operations improving and running more efficiently, both in quality of treatment and cost reductions along with energy savings, but also in dealing with overdue maintenance,” Wilson said. “The board is very pleased with the operation.”
Wilson said the plant staff and the WPCA are in the process of taking action to reduce the amount of clean water entering the sewer system, which increases plant capacity. The process is ongoing but is one that has significant benefits, Wilson said.
Plant staff also continues to battle FOG (fats, oils and grease) and disposable wipes that can clog the system and processes, Wilson said.