Lake Stevens Sewer District has grown over the past three decades and has become one of the most efficient treatment plants in the state thanks, in large part, to the efforts of Darwin Smith, the District’s Manager for the past 32 years.
Smith retired last month and was honored at a reception held on Tuesday, June 25 at the newly designed Waste Water Treatment Plant on Sunnyside Blvd. by dozens of friends, family and employees.
Current and former Sewer District Commissioners thanked Smith for his vision over the years and the knowledge that he brought to the community.
“Darwin came here in 1981 and Darwin’s foresight helped build this (the WWTP),” Lake Stevens Sewer Commissioner Brent Kirk said. “(He is) a man who is a visionary and has the commitment to follow through with it. We’re here to thank Darwin for what he has done for our children and our children’s children.”
When Smith started in 1981 the staff included Smith, one full time field person and one part time office staff. With the tremendous growth within the city and the district’s boundaries there are now over 22 employees.
“Today we have a pump station that works 24/7, 365,” Lake Stevens Sewer Commissioner George Wood said.
Because of the efforts of Smith to get the new treatment built in a cost efficient and timely manner and because of his dedication to the sewer district throughout the years, the new plant was dedicated to him and is now known as the Darwin C. Smith Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Gray and Osborne Engineering, the district’s long-time engineering firm, donated the plaque that will be placed on the outside wall of the plant.
Former Sewer District Commissioner Jack Hatlan thanked Smith for all of his hard work over the years.
“He had the technical end of things as much as he had the financial,” Hatlan said. “He is leaving the plant in good shape with people who can carry on what he started.”
Smith broke a bottle of champagne as part of the dedication and thanked all who came.
“The dedication of the Waste Water Treatment Plant in my name was very meaningful to me,” Smith said. “I appreciate the recognition. It was a big team effort.”
Through donations by sewer district staff and friends, Smith’s retirement party was loaded with cake, cookies and other goodies.