The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality awarded the Midlothian Tayman Plant staff Wednesday, Sept. 18 for their tenure in its Texas Optimization Program (TOP).

Regional TCEQ Agent Mason Miller presented the water treatment operators and technicians for meeting the agency's TOP recognition criteria for 11 years with plaques for their five- and ten-year milestones. There are about 400 water treatment plants in Texas and out of the 11 plants participating in TOP, Midlothian ranks third in longest tenure, having entered the program in April 2002.

“It's very impressive that Midlothian has been a part of this program for so long because we don't have to but you do,” City Manager Don Hastings said. “You all are part of something really special.”

Of the standards required to qualify for TOP, a plant must continuously meet six criteria for six consecutive months, which Miller said are the hardest to meet.

These highly technical standards define the level of quality and clarity the water must meet at all times and under additional circumstances. Midlothian met these standards in 100 percent of their reports and surpassed some of the criteria.

If a plant in TOP ever fails to meet these standards, they are removed from the program but may rejoin the program within six months and reset their tenure to zero.

Miller presented the plant's awards to Water Treatment Plan Manager Ben Wilson and Assistant Chief Operator Johnny White at luncheon held to congratulate the employees.