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Durham water treatment plant chief honored by EPA

DURHAM - The town's wastewater treatment plant superintendent has been named 2012 Regional EPA Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year.

Daniel Peterson was nominated for the Environmental Protection Agency's top honor by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in acknowledgement of his outstanding work operating and maintaining the Durham wastewater treatment plant.

Durham Administrator Todd Selig said Peterson is a dedicated employee who is well-deserving of the award.

"Dan takes tremendous pride in his work, and along with the entire DPW team at the wastewater treatment plant, keeps the facility running at optimal levels of performance," Selig said.

The treatment plant serves both the town of Durham and the University of New Hampshire.

As many towns in the Great Bay watershed battle with how to reduce nitrogen discharge from their waste water treatment plants, Durham's plant is already discharging at levels below 8 milligrams per liter, a limit other communities will be required to meet in the next five years.

The EPA has recently called for Newmarket and Exeter to cap nitrogen discharge at 3 milligrams per liter in the next 15 years.

Peterson has worked for the town since 2007 and was involved in the upgrade of the facility that brought the nitrogen discharge to the reduced levels.

"Operating a waste water treatment plant is not glamorous business, but it's important business and it's great to see a public employee recognized for his or her good work," Selig said.

Peterson will be formally recognized by the EPA during the annual New England Water Environment Association Awards Luncheon on Jan. 30 in Boston.


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