Staff in the N.C. Division of Water Resources have honored forty-nine water treatment plants for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards.
The division’s Public Water Supply section has awarded the facilities the prestigious N.C. Area Wide Optimization Award, which is a state effort to enhance the performance of existing surface water treatment facilities.
In 2016, the state recognized five facilities with the “Gold Star” honor, which is an award for systems that have received the N.C. Area Wide Optimization Award for 10 consecutive years. They are Newton, Two Rivers Utilities in Gastonia, Lincolnton, Marion, and Henderson-Kerr Lake Regional Water Authority.
Awards are given each year to water systems that demonstrate outstanding turbidity removal, a key test of drinking water quality. Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness or haziness of water caused by individual particles that can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Microbes are microscopic particles that occur naturally but can include harmful bacteria and viruses.
While all drinking water systems must meet strict state and federal drinking water standards, these systems met performance goals that are significantly more stringent. During 2016, nearly 3 million North Carolina residents were served by these award-winning plants.
The award winners for 2016 are Burnsville, Asheville – North Fork, Asheville – William DeBruhl, Weaverville – Ivy River, Valdese, Morganton – Catawba, Newton, Andrews, Two Rivers Utilities, Mount Holly, Cherryville, Robbinsville – Rock Creek, Waynesville – Allens Creek, Maggie Valley Sanitary District, Hendersonville, Western Carolina University, Lincolnton, Lincoln County, Marion, Charlotte Water – Franklin, Charlotte Water – Lee S. Duke, Charlotte Water – Vest, Kannapolis, Broad River Water Authority, Boone, Wilkesboro, Thomasville, Louisburg, Eden – Robert A. Harris, Mayodan, Madison, Mount Airy – F.G. Doggett, Mount Airy – S. L. Spencer, Henderson – Kerr Lake Regional Water Authority, Pittsboro, Fayetteville PWC – Glenville, Harnett County Dept. of Public Utilities, Johnston County – West, Southern Pines, Orange Water & Sewer Authority, Hamlet, Raleigh—E.M. Johnson, Raleigh – D.E. Benton, Cary, Harris Nuclear Plant, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority – Wilmington, Greenville Utilities Commission – Charles Horne, Piedmont Triad Regional – John F. Kime, Johnston County – East.