BirchBay water district wins award

Published on Thu, May 13, 2004
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Birch Bay water district wins award

Each year, the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) recognizes the best water and sewer districts in the state. To qualify, a water and sewer district must have gone through the year with no spills, have passed all of their inspections, and been up to date with their paperwork. Simply put, the districts must meet all of the requirements put forth by the DOE. Out of 305 water and sewer districts in Washington, according to the DOE, only ten percent are nominated for the award.

For the fifth year in a row, the Birch Bay Water and Sewer District (BBWSD) have received this distinction and is, in fact, one of only two in the state to have done so. The other district is in Newport.
Attesting to the significance of the award, DOE spokesperson Leslie Thorpe said, “It’s a very complex job. It’s around the clock, especially in Western Washington with all the rain and possibilities of flooding.” She continues, “It shows an extraordinary amount of care and concern that they’re doing a good job.”

According to general manager Roger Brown, several factors contribute to the district’s success.

“It’s a group effort, that’s number one. We have an experienced staff; we’ve had low turnover,” stated Brown.

The team at the BBWSD includes Steve Hovde, wastewater operations manager, and wastewater operators Mike Roof, Fred Reid, and Jeff Brant.

“It’s the result of consistent group effort. It all starts with the board of commissioners. They set the priorities and give us the necessary tools to do our job,” said Brown.

He continues, “We certainly appreciate this type of recognition. It’s great the Department of Ecology runs this type of program where we can get this type of recognition.”

As Brown says, pride in their work is also one of the main reasons for the districts’ success. “The whole district takes a lot of pride in doing a good job for the public and keeping both water and waste treatment working properly. There’s a lot of pride here in taking care of the environment and making sure that drinking water is clean as well.”
“It’s not a glamorous job and not a glamorous subject, but they’re doing a great job up in Birch Bay,” stated Thorpe.

The recognition from the Department of Ecology isn’t the only accolade the district has received recently. Hovde was also recognized as the Evergreen Rural Water of Washington as the operator of the year, an award given to the best water and sewer district operators in rural areas across Washington.