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story.lead_photo.caption Sierra Bush/Siloam Sunday City Administrator Phillip Patterson, right, and Mayor John Turner, left, pose with wastewater superintendent Tom Myers, center, after recognizing him and the Siloam Springs Water/Wastewater Department Tuesday for winning state and national awards in safety and excellence.

The wastewater treatment plant stands a bit taller today after winning field-specific, prestigious awards Monday, April 29.

Tom Myers, waste water superintendent, and the Siloam Springs Water/Wastewater Department were the recipients of safety awards from both the Arkansas Water and Environment Association and the national Water Environment Federation.

Myers was awarded the William D. Hatfield safety award, a national award which recognizes "operators of wastewater treatment plants for outstanding performance and professionalism," according to the WEF's website.

Myers has been a wastewater superintendent for the city of Siloam Springs since 2002. He has had a hand in writing the safety manual currently distributed to new employees, Myers said.

"Tom is one of the better operators I've encountered," Steve Gorszcyk, public works director, said. He's part of the reason that this plant has been 10 years without a job-related accident, Gorszcyk said. "I would attribute it to attention to detail and attention to potential hazards that could be associated with working with waste water."

Mayor John Turner praised Myers and the department during the city's board of directors meeting Tuesday.

"We're privileged to have a man of the caliber of Tom."

Myers attributed his success to his staff and the combined efforts of the different facets of city government.

"It's not one individual - it's the bunch," Myers said. "I'm blessed - God has blessed me. I have a great community to work for. It takes more than one individual to make this achievable. To win an award on a state level from my peers is unbelievable. I'm blessed to have city administrator's [Phillip Patterson's] and Steve [Gorszcyk's] backing, as well as human resources, the fire department and everyone. It's really great. A lot of cities don't have this opportunity."

The AWEA awarded the Siloam Springs Water/Wastewater Department with a safety award for a population under 20,000. The WEF awarded the department with the George W. Burke Jr. safety award "for establishing and maintaining an active and effective safety program," according to the federation's website.

Siloam Springs Water/Wastewater Department "is responsible for all water and sewer improvements made in the City of Siloam Springs," according to the department's website. This includes water mains, water meters, water towers, sewer lines, manholes, and sewer pumping stations.

AWEA is a member of the WEF and works to "advance the fundamental knowledge of the water environment; advance the knowledge and technology in the design of water quality systems and facilities; and develop and implement effective delivery mechanisms to rapidly disseminate knowledge concerning the water environment to members and other interested parties," according the association's bylaws.

The WEF "is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 35,000 individual members and 75 affiliated member associations representing water quality professionals around the world," according to the federation's website.

General News on 05/12/2019

Print Headline: Wastewater superintendent, department win national awards

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