North Carolina honors 55 drinking water treatment plants


The N.C. Division of Water Resources has honored 55 water treatment plants for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards in 2019. 

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

In 2019, the state recognized eight 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 Weaverville-Ivy River, Lincolnton, Marion, Waynesville-Allens Creek, Maggie Valley Sanitary District, Wilkesboro, Harnett County, 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 2019, nearly 2.3 million North Carolina residents were served by these award-winning plants.

The award winners for 2019 are Appalachian State University, Asheboro, Asheville – Mills River, Asheville – William DeBruhl, Boone, Broad River Water Authority, Brunswick Co. Northwest, Burlington – Ed Thomas, Burnsville, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority – Wilmington-Sweeney, Carthage, Cary, Cherryville, Cleveland County, Dobson, Eden – Robert A. Harris, Elkin, Fayetteville PWC – Hoffer, Greenville Utilities Commission – Charles Horne, Hamlet, Harris Nuclear Plant, Harnett County, Henderson-Kerr Lake Regional Water Authority, Hendersonville, Hickory, High Point, Johnston County – East, Johnston County – West, Kannapolis, Lincolnton, Louisburg, Madison, Maggie Valley Sanitary District, Marion, Martin Co, Mayodan, Mocksville, Morganton – Catawba, Mount Airy – F.G. Doggett, Mount Airy – S. L. Spencer, Neuse Regional Water and Sewer Authority, Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority – John F. Kime, Pilot Mountain, Raleigh – D.E. Benton, Raleigh – E.M. Johnson, Robbinsville – Rock Creek, Rockhingham, Salisbury-Rowan, Southern Pines, Statesville, Tarboro, Thomasville, Waynesville – Allens Creek, Weaverville – Ivy River, Wilkesboro.

For more information, contact N.C. Public Water Supply Operations Branch Head, Rebecca Sadosky at or 919-707-9096.

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