On Wednesday, Jan. 30 the Canton Water Pollution Control Authority received the New England Water Environment Association Asset Management Award at the organization’s Annual Conference in Boston.
Accepting the award was WPCA chairman Robert Suttmiller, who has served on the authority since 1988. Also present were Roger J. Ignazio Jr, superintendent at the town of Canton Water Pollution Control Facility and Paul A. Dombrowski of Woodard & Curran, consulting engineer to the Water Pollution Control Authority.
Over the past several years, the WPCA has upgraded the facility and made sound investments and decisions said Dombrowski, who has worked with numerous facilities for 25 years.
“ . . . Over the past 10 years, the Canton Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) and plant staff have implemented a program that actively managed the capacity, performance and wastewater treatment/conveyance assets to provide consistently high treatment and replace aging equipment systems at a reasonable annual user rate," Dombrowski wrote in supporting documents for the award.
Canton has provided wastewater treatment for municipal customers since the existing facility was constructed in 1965.
Several improvements were made over the years, including in 1992 when the 0.375 Million Gallons a Day capacity was upgraded in 1992 to 0.8 MGD.
Around that time the town made a significant investment to fund the upgrades. It was a politically charged time but Suttmiller and others had the foresight to understand they were necessary, Dombrowski said.
"He worked with others in the community and the authority to get it done,” Dombrowski said.
With minor modification in 2009, the WPCF was re-rated to a capacity of 0.95 MGD.
In the early 2000s, there was a significant increase in demand but the WPCA instituted a series of changes to keep up and plan for the future both in terms of operation and finances, Dombrowski said.
Dombrowski reiterated his praise of the leadership of Suttmiller, who has served on the authority since 1988, many of those years as chairman.
“He’s gotten them to a point where they are financially and operationally self sufficient,” Dombrowski said.
While some changes were controversial, they have kept the facility up to date and have set a balance between rates and upgrades, preventing the facility from getting into the dire situation seen in some area towns, Dombrowski said.
“This is the best-run small-town sewer authority I’ve ever worked with,” Dombrowski said.
For more details on the changes over the years, see the attached pdf.