On Saturday, the Little Juniata River Association held its winter banquet for members at the Edgewater Inn and Riverside Grill, honoring a special “friend of the river,” and celebrating accomplishments while looking ahead to future plans.
“Each year the LJRA honors an individual or organization that has contributed the most to our efforts to ‘Monitor, Protect and Improve the Little Juniata River,;” explained Bill Anderson, Association president.
This year’s “Friend of the River” award winner was Tim Nulton, who retired from the Tyrone Borough this month after 42 years as manager of the Tyrone Waste Treatment Plant.
“We chose Tim for this award because of his dedication to the efficient management of the waste treatment facility and the resulting excellent water quality in our river,” said Anderson. “Before the Tyrone Wastewater Treatment plant came on-line in 1973, the untreated paper mill effluent and poorly-treated domestic sewage flowed directly into the river. It was unfit for any public use. Under Tim’s guidance, the Tyrone Borough Wastewater Treatment facility has kept our river clean!”
In February of 2006, an LJRA member discovered that fish were dead and dying downstream from the plant’s outflow. Upon inspection, the Association saw that there were indeed hundreds of dead fish of all species floating in the river for over a mile downstream as far as the Irish Flats bridge near Birmingham.
“We reported our findings to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Water Conservation Officer who in turn notified the Department of Environmental Protection. They immediately suspected something was amiss with the wastewater out flow and went to Tim’s office,” said Anderson. “Tim didn’t try to side step or impede, instead he investigated and found that his staff made a mistake on the night shift and accidentally added a lethal (to the fish) dose of ammonia to the waste stream. We were impressed that Tim immediately accepted the responsibility for the fish kill and implemented the necessary remedies.”
LJRA members were happy to extend their award this year to Nulton and his efforts in helping to keep the Little Juniata River clean, safe, and a healthy habitat for fish.
The Association looks ahead to its annual spring river cleanup in April, including a luncheon at the Spruce Creek church afterwards. More details will be reported closer to the time of the event.