Lake Stevens Sewer District honored by Department of EcologyTeamwork makes the plant a success BY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR Sewer Commissioner President, Jim Mitchell and Deputy Managerr for Operations Rick Lewellen receive this prestigious award from Amy Jankowiak and the Department of Ecology. Of the 19 staff members and three Commissioners working for the Lake Stevens Sewer District, not one of them stands alone. Each looks to everyone else as the reason their team has been awarded with the honor of “Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Plant” from the Department of Ecology for the third year in a row.
“This is very prestigious for my staff,” General Manager Darwin Smith said. “I am very proud of these guys.”
In a letter sent to Jim Mitchell, President of the Board of Commissioners, the Department of Ecology congratulated The Lake Stevens Sewer District for their performance.
“Of approximately 300 wastewater treatment plants statewide, yours is one of the 78 that achieved full compliance with its discharge permit in 2007,” Kelly Susewind, Interim Water Quality Program Manager for the Department of Ecology said. “My staff evaluated each treatment plant for compliance with its effluent limits, monitoring and reporting requirements, spill prevention planning, pretreatment, and other regulatory activities.”
Smith thanked his staff and the staff and council of the City of Lake Stevens for their efforts in working together which is a rarity in the State of Washington.
“One thing I’m happy about is the issue of having a sewer treatment plant become a vehicle to pull the community together,” Smith said. “Looking back almost 30 years, it is remarkable having a city council and city staff who have come together. It’s rare statewide, they all play a part in our success.”
Deputy Manager for Operations, Rick Lewellen, has been with the Sewer District for 22 years and knows the time and effort it takes to have an award winning team.
“It is a great honor to be a part of this group of individuals,” Lewellen said. “I can’t say enough about the dedication of these people.”
Amy Jankowiak, a Compliance Specialist within the Department of Ecology presented the award to Jim Mitchell, who in turn presented to the operations staff.
“It’s really, truly my honor to give this award to all of you,” Jankowiak said.
The Sewer District’s Board of Commissioners include President Jim Mitchell, George Wood and Secretary Jack Hatlen, all of whom have served as a Commissioner for more than five years.