Chelan County PUD’s Larry Peterson receives Washington PUD Association Water/Wastewater Outstanding Employee of the Year Award

The Washington Public Utility Districts Association presented the Association’s annual Water/Wastewater Outstanding Employee of the Year Award during the organization’s Water Workshop conference in Spokane, Washington. This year, Chelan County PUD wastewater treatment plant operator Larry Peterson earned the top honor. The award recognizes an outstanding field operator or staff person who has excelled in the successful operation and maintenance of a PUD water or wastewater system.

Peterson began his career in 1997 with a heavy construction contractor constructing large municipal projects in the Seattle area. He moved to the public works department of a small eastern Washington city in 2005 before joining the Chelan County PUD water team in 2013. Peterson transitioned from the water group to become the wastewater treatment plant operator for the PUD’s Lake Wenatchee facility in 2020. Peterson’s exemplary work includes development of procedures that improve functionality and reliability and ensure operational effectiveness. His accomplishments include:

  • Development of procedures that enabled him to work independently and safely in potentially hazardous areas such as confined spaces, open water, and electrical equipment.
  • Revising the existing collection system to improve functionality and reliability of the O&M program.
  • Implementation of operational changes to the disinfection system to improve performance and reduce chlorine usage.
  • Working with support personnel from the Department of Ecology to implement process changes for improved pH control of the aerated lagoon system.
  • Audited the onsite accredited laboratory and updated standard procedures.
  • Maintains Level 3 Water Distribution Manager and Level 3 Wastewater Treatment Plan operator certifications. The Lake Wenatchee plan and PUD water systems require only level 2 certifications.

“Larry is a person that continuously and consistently does his best, not because he has anyone to impress, but because it is the right thing to do,” said Water & Wastewater Manager Ron Slabaugh. “He definitely believes and promotes that and job worth doing is worth doing well.”

Peterson is known to demonstrate Chelan PUD’s core values of safety, stewardship, trustworthiness, and operational excellence.

The Washington Public Utility Districts Association advocates for 27 not-for-profit, public utility districts across the State of Washington and one joint operating agency, Energy Northwest.


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