Hagerstown sewer manager to retire
By DAN KULIN
After 17 years as manager of Hagerstown's sewer department, Rick Thomas will retire in June, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said Friday. The city is currently seeking a replacement.
Thomas informed Zimmerman of his retirement date in January.
Zimmerman said "there's no relationship" between Thomas' pending retirement and recent problems at the sewer plant.
"Rick has done an excellent job and overseen a lot of improvements to that facility," Mayor William M. Breichner said.
"I'm thankful he was here during this crisis," he said.
The city sewer plant off Frederick Street was shut down Saturday, Feb. 9, after chemicals entered the plant, killing the sewage-eating bacteria used to make waste water more treatable. Since then, about 5.6 million gallons of partially treated waste water has been flowing from the plant into Antietam Creek, and then into the Potomac River.
The quality of the waste water coming from the plant has been improving. The plant implemented a chlorine disinfection process Tuesday, and has been growing new bacteria that helps break down complex bacteria and chemicals.