Chapin Utility Department wins Facility Award of Excellence for their waste water plant for the thir
Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – In March, the Town of Chapin’s Utility Department was presented with DHEC’s Facility of Excellence Award for the operation of their waste water treatment plant for the third year in a row. This award was presented at the SC Water and Sewer Environmental Conference which was held in Myrtle Beach, SC. According to DHEC, the state agency tasked with protecting our environment, this award is presented each year to facilities and their staffs that are striving to protect the environment and meeting or exceeding the compliance standards for a waste water facility.
About three years ago, the town of Chapin brought the operations of their utility department in-house. For years, they had contracted that operation out. Skip Wilson, who was the mayor of the town at the time, hired Andy Metts, a Chapin native, to head up that operation. The town is now in the process of building a new $13.5 million-dollar waste water facility that will provide even greater environmental protections by making overflows more unlikely, and its discharge cleaner before it enters the Broad River.
What makes this presentation outstanding is the fact that the town has won the award every year since the operation was brought in house and Metts was hired. He had been the utilities director for Richland County for many years and it has been obvious by the awards that have been presented to the department and its employees that he is performing exceedingly well in his capacity as director. Town Councilman Al Koon said, “The fact that our Utilities Department has won this award every year since we brought that operation in-house is a testament to the caliber of employees that we have. Without Andy and his team, we may have had major spills that could have had a serious impact on the clean, wholesome environment that we currently enjoy. They also keep a close eye on the discharge of the plant so that we know that we aren’t harming the quality of the water in the river.” Chapin’s waste water system is currently nearing and sometimes exceeding its capacity, and this requires that the current staff be hypervigilant to prevent spills, especially when significant rain events occur.
In the past, employees of the Chapin Utilities Department have also won awards for their work and efficiency. Just a few months ago, Susan Wright, the utilities coordinator for the town, won the Customer Service Representative of the Year award.Also, Russell Wright, who’s no relation to Susan, was recognized as the Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator of the Year.