1/31/24 Email Update

Left to right: Ken LaCasse (Hardwick wastewater treatment facility), Matt Dow (Burlington wastewater treatment facility), Dan Copp (Johnson wastewater treatment facility), Bob Fischer (South Burlington wastewater treatment facility), Bob Wells (Middlebury wastewater treatment facility), Bernie Fleury (Essex Junction wastewater treatment facility). Photo taken by by Jennifer Auster.

4 Vermont Operators Receive Award

The EPA Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year Award was recently given to four Vermont wastewater operators:

Dan Copp of the Johnson Wastewater Treatment Facility for his outstanding work responding to the devastating summer floods of 2023.

Ken LaCasse of the Hardwick Wastewater Treatment Facility for his outstanding work responding to the devastating summer floods of 2023.

Joe Gaudiana of the Ludlow Wastewater Treatment Facility for his outstanding work responding to the devastating summer floods of 2023.

Bob Wells of the Middlebury Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facility for his outstanding work over the years operating and maintaining the facility.

Only seven individuals in New England received this award, so it is notable that four of them are from Vermont. Congrats to Dan, Ken, Joe, and Bob!

See the announcement here.

Six people stand in a row holding cups of water.

Judges at the 2023 Vermont Drinking Water Taste Test

Canaan Fire District #2 Headed to Great American Water Taste Test

Canaan Fire District #2 won the title of best tasting water in Vermont during a statewide competition in 2023. Now it will compete in a national water taste test in Washington, D.C. on February 7.

There must be something special about the drinking water in Canaan. Last year, Canaan Fire District #1 represented Vermont in the national taste test after winning the statewide competition in 2022.

“It is an honor to have two systems that produce such good tasting water,” said April Busfield, the chief operator at both Canaan Fire District #1 and #2.

Read the full story here.

Tony Torchia Award Nominations

Nominations are now open for the 2023 Tony Torchia Special Recognition Award. This award is given to one individual each year in recognition of special contribution to the water/wastewater field in Vermont. The recipient will be chosen by our board of directors and announced at our conference.

Submit your nomination by Tuesday, February 28 using this form.

See previous Tony Torchia Award recipients here.

A woman with gray hair stands in front of a lake on a sunny day. There is a dock with a boat next to it in the distance.

Water Hero: Carol O’Donoughue

Carol O’Donoughue is a water operator for Alburgh Fire District #1.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Carol said that spending time at the water treatment plant is a favorite part of the job. The sounds of the treatment plant making water are gratifying, and knowing that she is providing safe water to her community brings her a great amount of satisfaction and a sense of community.

What are you proud of?
Carol is very proud to be a woman in a male-dominated industry. When Carol first became a water operator and started attending classes, she was always the only female. Now she sees other women in classes.

She is also proud that she has been able to deal with a tricky surface water intake. The water source is Missisquoi Bay in Lake Champlain, which is very shallow with a maximum depth of about 15 feet. Surface water systems are encouraged to have their water intake at 80 feet deep. The bay being shallow poses turbidity problems, which cause many operational challenges. Carol has been able to meet these challenges and produce high-quality, good-tasting water for her consumers.

Read the full interview here.