Oneonta wastewater treatment plant, superintendent Rick Lyle receive awards



Three Oneonta Utilities employees pose with Alabama Water Environment Association executives as they celebrate awards for outstanding performance at the association’s annual conference on April 16. From left, Scott Cummings, Water Environment Foundation member; Rick Lyle, Oneonta wastewater superintendent, holding his Operator of the Year individual award; Rodney McCain, Oneonta Utilities general manager; Harlan Taylor, Oneonta wastewater operator; and Matt Dunn, Alabama Water Environment Association president.

Three Oneonta Utilities employees pose with Alabama Water Environment Association executives as they celebrate awards for outstanding performance at the association’s annual conference on April 16. From left, Scott Cummings, Water Environment Foundation member; Rick Lyle, Oneonta wastewater superintendent, holding his Operator of the Year individual award; Rodney McCain, Oneonta Utilities general manager; Harlan Taylor, Oneonta wastewater operator; and Matt Dunn, Alabama Water Environment Association president.

The wastewater treatment plant operated by the Oneonta Utilities Board was presented with the 2011 operational excellence award for plants in the 1-10 million gallons a day category at the Alabama Water Environment Association’s annual technical conference on April 16. The plant was recognized for its record in consistently being well below permit limits, year after year.

The Oneonta plant services a popultion of more than 7000 and treats a small amount of industrial wastewater. It is designed for an average daily flow of 2.2 million gallons and peak flow of 3 million gallons per day.

Rick Lyle, wastewater superintendent with the utilities board, was presented with the Operator of the Year award in the wastewater category by the Alabama Rural Water Association. He was selected for his plant’s outstanding performance, based on nominations submitted statewide.

“In 2006, we installed some new filters at the plant and they’ve been outstanding in improving our water quality ever since,” Lyle said. “I’m really proud of our wastewater plant.”

General manager Rodney McCain put both awards in perspective.

“The things that have been accomplished at the Oneonta Utilities Board have been done as a team working toward an overall goal of being the best,” he said. “It starts with the Board and runs through management down to our field and plant personnel. We are all dedicated to making this place the best that we can make it because this area and our customers deserve the best.”

The Alabama Water Environment Association is a nonprofit education and technical organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and managing Alabama’s waters since 1977.

The Alabama Rural Water Association is a nonprofit organization representing water and wastewater systems serving communities and towns and commercial firms that support these systems. It provides assistance for complying with state and federal regulations and management and operational problems, as well as providing training support to promote personnel development and efficiency.