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Wastewater Treatment Facility Award

School children tour the award winning facility.

School children tour the award winning facility.

HURLBURT, FIELD, FLA -- 16th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility won the 2006 Florida Department of Environmental Protection Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award during a ceremony held in Tallahassee on Mar. 31. 

The award, commonly referred to as "Plant of the Year", recognizes organizations that demonstrate excellence in operation, maintenance, innovative treatment, conservation, reuse, waste reduction and pollution prevention. 

Criteria used in selecting winners include a review of the company’s compliance history, record keeping and reporting, customer relations, operation and maintenance and employee training. 

“Facility personnel are dedicated to protecting the environment by ensuring the treatment process is constantly monitored and adjustments are performed to provide the highest level of treatment possible,” said Mr. John Stefanik, wastewater treatment plant supervisor. 

Hurlburt Field’s wastewater treatment facility currently treats approximately 600,000 gallons of water per day but is permitted to treat up to one million gallons. The facility is also classified as an advanced biological nutrient removal facility because the treated water is released into a wetland. Therefore, in addition to removing solids and organics, nutrients which can have a detrimental effect to the wetland such as ammonia, phosphorus and nitrogen must also be removed to extremely low levels. 

The Hurlburt facility met stiff competition in winning this state-level award. There are approximately 2,700 wastewater treatment facilities in Florida. Hurlburt falls in the Type I category of facilities, the largest type which treats more than 500,000 gallons per day. Type I facilities treat ninety percent of Florida’s wastewater. Local Type I facilities include the city of Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola, Mary Esther, Navarre, Crestview and Destin. 

“Awards such as these are representative of the environmental awareness of the entire base community and Hurburt's outstanding pollution prevention program,” said Mr. Stefanik. “Without the support of all levels of upper management and numerous base organizations, competing in award programs such as this wouldn't be possible.”