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Augusta-Richmond County has earned a national award for its innovative public-private partnership for wastewater operations and maintenance with Operations Management International Inc. (OMI), and has now been recognized as the best plant in the state.
The Georgia Water and Pollution Control Association (GW&PCA) announced this week that Augusta's James B. Messerly Wastewater Treatment Plant has won the association's "Plant of the Year" award for its category.
Additionally, Augusta has received a "Gold Award" for perfect compliance with its discharge permit in 2004. The awards will be presented at GW&PCA's spring conference in April.
"Being recognized as the plant of the year is a testament to our dedication," said OMI Project Manager Mark Andrews. "We pride ourselves in providing the community we live and work in with the highest quality service and are thrilled that Augusta can take pride in its wastewater system."
Wastewater treatment facilities competing for this award were evaluated in various categories including employee resources, facilities and operations, safety, emergency response protocols and staff and technical training. The award is the highest facility recognition offered by the GW&PCA. The James B. Messerly plant is now eligible to compete in a federal competition sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"We are proud to recognize outstanding efforts to protect Georgia's water resources," said Jack Dozier, executive director of GW&PCA. "This evaluation process is very comprehensive and is the highest facility recognition offered by our association."
OMI has operated and managed Augusta's J.B. Messerly wastewater plant and the Spirit Creek wastewater plant since 1999. The system serves more than 250,000 people.