BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. — On May 30, the Rockingham-Bellows Falls wastewater treatment plant will join other facilities statewide to host a public open house and facility tours. Attendance is free and Vermonters of all ages are invited for a first-hand introduction to the science, high-tech, and human dedication that protect the public health and keep Vermont’s rivers and lakes clean.
The event is part of Water Quality Day, proclaimed every year since 2014 by Governors Shumlin and Scott to honor Vermont’s drinking water and wastewater systems and the professional community that operates them. In his 2019 proclamation, Gov. Phil Scott described these systems as Vermont’s“most critical barriers against water pollution and the most essential protectors of the public health.” They also constitute the largest and most valuable — yet least visible — infrastructure that cities and towns own.
The Rockingham-Bellows facility, at 80 Mill Street, will hold its open house fro 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, contact Rob Wheeler, chief operator, at (802) 376-6483 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitors will see the many processes — filtration, UV light exposure, chemical treatment, sedimentation, biodigestion, testing, computer monitoring, and more — required to make wastewater safe to release back into natural waterways. They will also get a sense of the staggering volume of water processed by community water systems in Vermont: about 45 million gallons per day, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, all of it treated before use to make it safe to drink, and all of it treated again in wastewater facilities.
The facility is among 19 plants open to the public, statewide, on Water Quality Day. For information on all tour schedules and locations, visit www.gmwea.org/water-quality-day.html.