Lucas named Wastewater Operator of the Year winner

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer 

COLUMBIANA – Columbiana Director of Environmental Services Dale Lucas has been named the 2019 Wastewater Operator of the Year award winner by the Alabama Rural Water Association.

Lucas received the award this month at the ARWA’s 41st Annual Technical Training Conference in Mobile.

“I was very surprised,” Lucas said. “I was very honored to be chosen out of the state of Alabama to represent our city.”

Columbiana Director of Environmental Services Dale Lucas was presented with the 2019 Wastewater Operator of the Year award at the Alabama Rural Water Association’s annual training conference. (Contributed)

Lucas has served as Columbiana’s director of environmental services for nearly nine years, and has worked with the wastewater treatment plant since 2003.

“They look at the projects you’ve completed, what you’re doing to upgrade your plant and whether you have to borrow money, watching your finances,” he said. “The treatment plant was built in 1986, and this is the first award we’ve received related to that.”

He has also served as a planning and zoning board commissioner for eight years and is currently the city’s planning and zoning director.

Mayor Stancil Handley said the award was an honor for Lucas and the city.

“I can’t take 100 percent credit for the award because I couldn’t do it without the employees I have on staff that help me every day,” Lucas said. “You have to be a team to make all these projects work.”