GENESEO – The proverbial ‘man behind the curtain’ had a brief moment in the spotlight before going back to keeping Geneseo’s drinking water safe, as he accepted state-level recognition for his high standards for plant operation in the village’s wastewater treatment plant.
According to a press release from the Village Board, Steve McTarnaghan, Senior Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator for the Village of Geneseo, was recognized for his excellence in wastewater treatment plant operation from the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA).
“Only five individuals throughout the State are recognized for this award, in five categories based on size of the treatment plant,” said Village Trustee Ben Gajewski. “McTarnaghan was recognized in the category of plants treating between 1.1 to 10 million-gallons per day. The Geneseo plant can only treat up to 1.5 million-gallons per day. This is just the second time a Geneseo plant operator has been recognized with this State award. No matter the weather, the temperature, or the holiday, they are working constantly.”
The Board said that thanks to McTarnaghan’s work, the water and wastewater plant operations have continued seamlessly even when major repair and upgrade projects require shutting down key parts of the operation. Recently, the Village’s water tank was offline for over 60 days as improvements to the tank were made and just this past fall one of the two wastewater digesters was taken offline for several months as upgrades to that facility were completed. In each case, service to Village residents remained uninterrupted thanks to McTarnaghan’s ability to create effective contingency operation plans and execute them with his staff.
McTarnaghan is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and operations of the entire water and sewer systems with a staff of just 4. Despite the small number of staff in the department, the operations of these facilities accounts for $2 million of the Village’s $5 million budget. This speaks to Steve’s ability to effectively manage staff to continue the day-to-day operations while also addressing major infrastructure repair, and unexpected pipe and machine failures that require immediate attention.
The Village Board congratulates Steve for the well-deserved recognition he has received, and expresses their appreciation for the effort he makes every day toward ensuring proper treatment of wastewater from Geneseo, as well as his management of the water treatment plant.
PHOTO CAPTION: Steve McTarnaghan accepting the Uhl T. Mann Award.(Photo/Ben Gajewski)
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