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Employees for the Hanford Site’s 283 West Water Treatment Plant — from left, Vinni Dragoo, Richard Herrera, Ed Lerma, Burke Neuman, and Bob Ward — display the Silver Certificate of Achievement presented by the Washington State Department of Health.
Employees for the Hanford Site’s 283 West Water Treatment Plant — from left, Vinni Dragoo, Richard Herrera, Ed Lerma, Burke Neuman, and Bob Ward — display the Silver Certificate of Achievement presented by the Washington State Department of Health.

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Health presented its distinguished Silver Certificate of Achievement to water treatment plant staff at the Hanford Site for five consecutive years of high performance on removing particles from water to help protect workers at the site.

“Workforce safety is critical to the success of any cleanup site,” said Jeff Frey, EM Richland Operations Office (RL) assistant manager for mission support. “At Hanford, we take pride in providing the highest quality drinking water possible.”

Hanford’s water treatment plant was one of only eight in the state recognized with the Silver Certificate of Achievement.

“Receiving this award during these challenging times and being recognized as one of the few receiving this award in Washington says a lot about our team,” said Bob Wilkinson, president of RL contractor Mission Support Alliance (MSA). “This award validates their hard work, dedication, and emphasis on procedural compliance.”

MSA, which operates Hanford’s water treatment plant, received the award as part of the state Office of Drinking Water Treatment Optimization Program. The voluntary program compares public water systems and presents awards based on relative performance.

To receive the silver certificate, water plant operators submitted 60 consecutive monthly reports showing their expertise on removing particles, or turbidity, from the water and meeting or exceeding other stringent regulatory criteria.

Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of particles generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality. Contaminants like viruses or bacteria can become attached to the particles, and the higher the turbidity level, the higher the risk that people may develop gastrointestinal diseases.

“Achieving consistently high drinking water quality like this is the mark of a highly dedicated and skilled water department staff,” the Office of Drinking Water said in an email to MSA.

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