Chris Blane receives award

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 6:45pm

The following was written by Diane Johnson of the USDA Atlantic States Rural Water and Wastewater Association and submitted by New Shoreham Sewer Company Supt. Dylan Chase:

Congratulations to Chris Blane for being awarded the 2019 Atlantic States Rural Water and Wastewater A s s o c i a t i o n ’ s Outstanding Wastewater Operator.

Chris has worked over 20 years for the New Shoreham Water Pollution Control Facility and Sewer Commission; the last 15 years as its superintendent. Many wastewater projects have been completed during his tenure there. Removal of asbestos and underground storage tanks; the installation of new pumps, generators and an electronic SCADA system are just some of the examples of over $10 million spent on upgrades and improvements at the wastewater facility. Approximately half of that was funded by Rural Development USDA loans and grants. He credits the staff, commission and engineer Jim Geremia for all working together for getting these projects done. The Block Island wastewater department has dealt with severe weather, storms and other challenges over the years. Until the Deepwater Wind Farm was built, losing power was a common occurrence and today much of the original 1943 equipment is still in use. But in spite of all of it he is deservingly proud of the fact that the plant is now running 98 to 99 percent efficient all year round — quite an accomplishment for an island that grows from 1,000 year-round residents to 20,000 daily seasonal visitors each day.

Chris is looking forward to doing “as little as possible” and spending quality time with his family on the island during his retirement years. Job well done, Chris, and we wish him many happy and healthy years in his retirement.