Washington Surface Water Plants Beat or Meet Treatment Goals

The following article on the achievements of Washington’s optimization program will appear in “Water Tap” their drinking water program’s electronic newsletter.

10 years of over achievement
Surface water filtration plants beat or meet treatment goals

Eight Washington surface water filtration plants are bringing home silver and bronze certificates this year for feats in water treatment that are no less heroic than those of Olympic athletes.

Department of Energy 200W earned silver for exceeding or meeting treatment goals for 5 years.

Town of Carson, City of Everett, City of Leavenworth, River Bend Water System, Thunderbird Terrace Water System, Water District 19 on Vashon Island, and City of Woodland all earned bronze for reaching the three-year milestone.

We present bronze, silver, and gold certificates to water systems the first time they meet the turbidity goals for three, five, and ten consecutive years, respectively. Nine other water systems have held their winning positions beyond the milestones. See winners listed below.

“These treatment plant operators have met or exceeded every challenge we threw their way,” said Office of Drinking Water Director Denise Clifford. “They indeed are winners. But their customers also win because the continuous improvements result in better public health protection.”

In 2001, the Office of Drinking Water challenged surface water systems to meet optimized filtered water turbidity goals. The idea of treatment optimization is to achieve the best treatment possible, using the existing treatment facilities. Participating in the program is voluntary. The Treatment Optimization Program’s (TOP) goals are a target and there are no consequences or repercussions for not achieving them.

So, you can imagine how proud we are to report that our 2011 monitoring results show our treatment plants, as a group, continue to improve their performance, affording better public health protection. With 10 years of continuous improvement, these systems definitely have something to brag about.

The performance of rapid rate filters for turbidity (particle) removal is a key element in protecting consumers from microbial contaminants and maximizing public health. The treatment optimization goals include:

  1. Meet 0.10 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) or less in 95% of the maximum daily combined filter effluent (CFE) measurements taken during the year.
  2. Never exceed 0.30 NTU in any CFE measurement.

In addition, the water systems had to remain free of any drinking water violations during the evaluation period.

To learn more about TOP and treatment optimization visit us online at http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/DrinkingWater/SourceWaterProtection/RapidRateFiltration.aspx

This graph illustrates turbidity reduction performance improvement by all rapid rate treatment plants in Washington as a group from 2001 through 2011. Data points are the average of all included treatment plants for the given year.


 Congratulations, TOP Award Recipients!

Gold Award Recipients  10 or more years of continuously optimized performance, 2001-2011

  • Arlington Water Department
  • Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District – South Shore Water System
  • Pasco Water Department
  • Skagit County PUD #1 – Judy Reservoir System

Silver Award Recipients  Five to nine years of continuously optimized performance

  • Lake Chelan Reclamation District (2005-2011)
  • Stevens Pass Water System (2005-2011)
  • Hoquiam Water Department (2005-2011)
  • City of Kelso (2006-2011)
  • Department of Energy 200W (2007-2011)* – Congratulations 1st time winner!

Bronze Award Recipients  Three or four years of continuously optimized performance

  • Lummi Island Scenic Estates Community Club (2008-2011)
  • Ryderwood Improvement & Service Association (2008-2011)
  • Town of Carson (2009-2011) – Congratulations 1st time winner!
  • City of Everett (2009-2011) – Congratulations 1st time winner!
  • City of Leavenworth (2009-2011) – Congratulations 1st time winner!
  • River Bend Water System (2009-2011) – Congratulations 1st time winner!
  • Thunderbird Terrace Water System (2009-2011) – Congratulations 1st time winner!
  • Water District 19 (2009-2011) – Congratulations 1st time winner!
  • City of Woodland (2009-2011) – Congratulations 1st time winner!


About Anthony R. DeRosa
Proverbial box burner and unofficial tech guy for the drinking water community.

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