RALEIGH — The N.C. Division of Water Resources has honored 57 water treatment plants, including the town of Boone’s and Appalachian State University’s, for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards in 2018.

The division’s Public Water Supply section awarded the facilities the N.C. Area Wide Optimization Award, which is part of a state effort to enhance the performance of existing surface water treatment facilities.

In 2018, the state recognized six 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 Andrews, Weaverville, Newton, 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 than state and federal standards. In 2018, nearly 3 million North Carolina residents were served by these award-winning plants.

The award winners for 2018 are Andrews, Appalachian State University, Asheville – North Fork, Asheville – William DeBruhl, Boone, Broad River Water Authority, Burnsville, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority – Wilmington-Sweeney, Cary, Charlotte Water – Franklin, Charlotte Water – Lee S. Duke, Charlotte Water – Vest, Cherryville, Cleveland County, Concord – Coddle Creek, Eden – Robert A. Harris, Elkin, Franklin, Greenville Utilities Commission – Charles Horne, Hamlet, Harris Nuclear Plant, Harnett County, Henderson-Kerr Lake Regional Water Authority, Johnston County – West, Kannapolis, Lincoln County, Lincolnton, Louisburg, Madison, Maggie Valley Sanitary District, Marion, Mayodan, Morganton – Catawba, Mount Airy – F.G. Doggett, Mount Airy – S. L. Spencer, Mount Holly, Newton, Norwood, Orange Water & Sewer Authority, Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority – John F. Kime, Pilot Mountain, Pittsboro, Raleigh – D.E. Benton, Raleigh – E.M. Johnson, Robbinsville – Rock Creek, Sandford, Smithfield, Statesville, Tuckaseigee, Two Rivers Utilities, Valdese, Waynesville – Allens Creek, Weaverville – Ivy River, Western Carolina University, Wilkesboro, Woodfin Water District and Yadkinville.

For more information, contact N.C. Drinking Water Protection Program Coordinator Rebecca Sadosky at Rebecca.Sadosky@ncdenr.gov or 919-707-9096.

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