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OLYMPIA - Wastewater treatment plants in four Okanogan County cities received perfect marks from the state Department of Ecology during 2006, according to a DOE announcement.
About a fifth of the state's sewage treatment plants - 55 of 321 - will be recognized for perfect scores on DOE monitoring criteria.
Among those receiving perfect scores were treatment plants in Brewster, Okanogan, Omak and Oroville.
The number of plants receiving perfect marks is increasing, according to DOE records. When the regulatory agency began keeping track of perfect records in 1995, 14 plants were in full compliance with requirements of their wastewater permits.
Representatives from DOE will present "outstanding wastewater treatment plant" awards to the plant operators at public events over the next couple months.
Awards honor operators of treatment plants that had no spills into Washington's waters during 2006. Award winners also passed every environmental test and analyzed all samples according to requirements laid out by DOE, according to the state agency.
"Operators of wastewater treatment plants are unsung heroes who provide vital services behind the scenes that keep people and the environment healthy," said Dave Peeler, who manages DOE's water-quality program. "Their work never stops, it never becomes unimportant, and it is a necessity for clean water in Washington."
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Chronicles of the Okanogan
A history of the Okanogan Valley as published in the pages of The Chronicle.
A century ago, The Chronicle was founded, in part, as a voice for the residents and community of unincorporated Omak.
This 100-page, large-format book presents a unique look at the history of the area as told by the newspaper's publishers, editors and reporters.