National praise for Quonset's world class infrastructure

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When a company chooses where to do business today there’s several things they consider – and world class infrastructure is always near the top of the list. At the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) we recognize the importance of infrastructure to our tenants, present and future.

More than 200 companies with 11,000 employees are at Quonset today taking advantage of our world-class roads, port, utilities, and amenities.  The upkeep, improvements, and care of Quonset’s infrastructure falls to Quonset’s Public Works Department, led by Jack Sprengel. Jack’s team works tirelessly to ensure our companies have the resources they need to succeed and we could not be more proud of them.

Much of their work is behind the scenes and can go unnoticed. Recently, however, our Wastewater Department was recognized for excellence in its field by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Quonset’s wastewater team is led by Mr. Dennis Colberg, a 37-year employee of the QDC. He and his colleagues were honored with the EPA’s 2016 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award. The facility was one of only six facilities across New England recognized for exemplary performance during 2016.

The EPA Regional Wastewater Awards Program recognizes public service managing and operating wastewater treatment facilities throughout New England. Its Treatment Plant Excellence Award was established to honor the distinguishable employees of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality with outstanding plant operations and maintenance.

Not surprisingly, Dennis attributed the award to the larger group, “We have a great group of people that works hard to provide reliable world-class services for everyone at Quonset,” he said.

Dennis’ team covers a lot of ground in maintaining our system and overall wastewater treatment program. With a daily flow of close to 500,000 gallons per day, the Quonset Wastewater Collection System and Treatment Facility works hard to service Quonset Business Park. The system is comprised of 20 miles of gravity sewer lines and force mains, four pumping stations, and a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility that has a total capacity of almost 1.8 million gallons per day. The system also includes sewer laterals and trunk lines ranging in pipe size from 8" to 24". (These are completely separate from the 64 miles of pipe in the stormwater collection system at Quonset Business Park.)

The Wastewater treatment facility also adheres to a strict Industrial Pretreatment Program in accordance with State and Federal laws. This program is beneficial to the environment as it works to prevent the introduction of pollutants that could interfere with the facility's operation, prevent pass-through of untreated pollutants that could violate water quality standards, and prevent contamination of and limit use and disposal of wastewater sludge.

The QDC prides itself on delivering commercial utilities to meet the needs of every tenant. We also recognize the need to ensure these services are delivered in a safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible manner. Our award-winning wastewater treatment facility meets both these goals and has the available capacity to service the continued growth at Quonset Business Park.

Modernized infrastructure continues to be one of the leading elements of our success. With nearly 11,000 employees working at more than 200 companies, Quonset Business Park is Rhode Island’s leading engine of job creation and economic growth. We’re committed to building on our momentum while protecting the environment by maintaining the world-class infrastructure that allows us to do so.

Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown.

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