North Carolina officials from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced Thursday that 35 water systems have been honored for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards. Among those honored for the 2011 year was the Hamlet Water System.
These systems received the N.C. Area Wide Optimization Award from the N.C. Division of Water Resources’ Public Water Supply section.
According to a press release from North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, the awards are part of the N.C. Area Wide Optimization program, which is an effort to enhance the performance of existing surface water treatment facilities.
Awards are given to water systems each year that demonstrate outstanding turbidity and microbial removal, two factors important in determining the drinking water quality.
Microbes are microscopic particles that occur naturally, but can potentially contain bacteria harmful to drink. Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness in the water and can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.
While all systems have to meet strict state and federal drinking water standards, said Sarah Young of the state Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, these systems met performance goals that are significantly more stringent.
Hamlet Mayor Jeff Smart said he was happy to hear about the honor.
“I’m very pleased with the award and we’re happy that we can continue to provide great service and clean water to the City of Hamlet,” Smart said. “It’s nice to be recognized for this achievement.”