Dalton Utilities Receives Top State Honors

GAWP President, Bill Cannon (center) presents GAWP’s Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Year Award to Dalton Utilities’ Water/Wastewater Manager, Don Johnson (right) and Loopers’ Plant Operator, Danny Mathis (left).

At the Georgia Association of Water Professionals’ (GAWP) 2013 Spring Conference, Dalton Utilities’ Loopers Wastewater Treatment Plant was named the 2013 Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Year.  The Loopers Plant also received this award in 2006, 2009, and 2011. Additionally, all of Dalton Utilities’ water treatment plants received the GAWP Platinum Award for excellence in operations for the 15th consecutive year.  Dalton Utilities’ Land Application System (LAS) was also awarded the GAWP Gold Award for excellence in operations for the 4th consecutive year.  The LAS previously received GAWP’s Platinum Award from 1999-2008.  Mill Creek Water Treatment Plant also was awarded first place in the 2013 GAWP Drinking Water Taste Test for District One.  Dalton Utilities’ Water Treatment Plants have won Taste Test Awards in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

 Recipients of  GAWP’s Plant of the Year award must show outstanding plant operations, including employee resources, facilities and operations, safety, emergency response protocols, and staff technical training.  “Plants nominated for ‘Plant of the Year’ undergo rigorous onsite inspections which include a detailed review of permit performance, operational efficiency, and professional certification of employees. A team of two to four inspectors will take a whole day to review records and inspect plant buildings,” said Don Johnson, Dalton Utilities Water/Wastewater Treatment Manager.  “These inspectors are always water or wastewater operators from other cities who do not compete in the same category.  The team will also randomly question our plant operators on the details of plant operation and our state permits.” 

Dalton Utilities employs 45 water and wastewater operators. The State water/wastewater certifications have three levels with Class One being the highest. Of Dalton Utilities’ 45 water and wastewater operators, 30 hold Class One certifications, seven hold Class Two certifications, and seven hold Class Three certifications.  One new employee is in the process of becoming certified.

Dalton Utilities’ Loopers Wastewater Treatment Plant was completed in 1999.  The plant is a “sister” plant to the Utility’s Riverbend plant, and the Loopers plant can treat up to 20 million gallons per day (MGD) of wastewater.  The Riverbend plant houses a fine screens building which screens all incoming wastewater (or influent) for itself and the Loopers plant.

GAWP is Georgia’s largest professional water and wastewater organization with more than 5,000 members involved in every aspect of water management and protection.