May 18 2018

Morgantown Utility Board receives dual awards for excellence in wastewater treatment

Both MUB wastewater treatment plants recognized despite ongoing construction

Morgantown Utility Board’s Star City and Cheat Lake wastewater treatment plants have again received Platinum Peak Performance Awards by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. Platinum Awards pay special recognition to facilities that have achieved perfect compliance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements for five or more consecutive years.

This marks the 17th consecutive Platinum Award for the Star City facility and the 19th consecutive year for the Cheat Lake facility.

“The Morgantown area is extremely fortunate to have such a high level of professionalism managing its wastewater treatment,” said MUB General Manager Tim Ball. “This award is a testament to that fact and demonstrates the culture of excellence that continues to be cultivated across MUB.”

Ball adds that while wastewater treatment facility operations are something most people rarely consider, they are an integral part of ensuring Morgantown remains a viable community.

“Every day our staff apply complex science and engineering to the treatment of roughly 11 million gallons of wastewater. And they are so successful at their jobs that, despite wastewater treatment being one of the most important public health services in our community, the public rarely gives the process consideration,” Ball said. “That in itself tells you how good our staff are at what they do.”

However, what makes this year’s Platinum Award so special is that the Star City wastewater treatment plant in undergoing a $101,000,000 upgrade.

“Not only is our staff managing wastewater treatment, they are managing this process while systems are being demolished, electrical and conveyance systems are being replaced, new construction is ongoing, and entire structures are being relocated,” Ball said. “Accomplishing that alone takes tremendous professionalism but they are successfully completing all of this without a single permit violation.”

According to Ball, achieving this has been beyond difficult.

“This is similar to working on your car, without dropping a single screw or making the slightest error, while it zooms down a freeway. It’s an extraordinary feat,” Ball said. “The daily focus and dedication required is difficult to imagine. It’s professionalism to the highest degree.”

Upgrades to the Star City wastewater treatment plant, the largest public investment in West Virginia history, are scheduled to continue through 2020.