On Monday, May 13th the Groton Utilities Water Department was presented with the 2019 Operator Public Health Drinking Water Merit Award. This award is given out annually during National Drinking Water Week by the Connecticut Department of Public Health to system operators who exemplify exceptional work practices on the job and contributions to the public health and safety of drinking water.
The ceremony was held at the City of Groton Municipal Building on Monday morning and was attended by, amongst others, most Groton Utilities water department employees, Mayor Keith Hedrick, Utilities Director Ron Gaudet, Water Division Manager Rick Stevens, and six members of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, including Public Health Section Chief Lori Mathieu – who presented the award.
“We truly appreciate the work that you do every day and the professionalism that you provide to this profession. And we want to recognize you and your day-to-day work. And also the investment of time that you’ve put in for decades,” said Public Health Section Chief Lori Mathieu during the proceedings.
“You are the champions of drinking water quality.”
Mathieu also marveled at Groton Utilities’ ability to continue to provide top-notch water quality while simultaneously building a new water treatment plant.
“It’s so incredible to watch,” said Mathieu, “this evolution of this treatment plant being built – while you are running it at the same time. To me it’s amazing. You’re able to run this plant at the same time while you are reconstructing it. I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like it in the state.”
In addition to Matheiu, Mayor Hedrick, Ron Gaudet and two other Public Health employees spoke at the ceremony.
“I’m extremely proud of you guys, “ said Hedrick when addressing the Water Department.
The following is a portion of the news release from the Department of Public Health announcing the award:
Your certified water treatment plant operations staff is receiving this award in recognition of their work as certified water system operators of the Groton Utilities Poquonnock Treatment Plant. The CT DPH recognizes their contributions and proficiency in water system operations and controls. Special recognition is given to the leadership of Rick Stevens, who has created a culture of teamwork, excellence and redundancy within the operations staff. In addition to the daily operations and maintenances of the water system, your team of treatment plant operators have exemplified exceptional work practices with the preparation for the large scale water treatment plant upgrade project. Mr. Stevens has involved his certified operators at every step so that the project is truly a team effort.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health Drinking Water Section (DWS) helps protect public health by assuring the quality and adequacy of the state’s more than 2,500 public water systems through administration of state and federal drinking water regulations.
Read the Connecticut Department of Public Health Press Release for more information.