NEWTON, NC (July 19, 2018)— The Newton Water Treatment Plant has been honored for the 15th consecutive year with a prestigious award for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards.
The Area-Wide Optimization Program Award was accepted by Newton Public Works and Utilities Director Dusty Wentz and his staff at the Newton City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 10. Newton was one of only four water treatment facilities in the state recognized with the Gold Star Honor for receiving the award for 10 or more consecutive years. There are 152 water treatment facilities in North Carolina.
“My fellow City Council members and I are so thankful to have such a skilled Water Treatment Facility staff,” Newton Mayor Anne P. Stedman said. “They work around the clock to deliver the highest quality water possible to Newton’s homes and businesses. Producing water that exceeds state and federal standards allows us to pursue beneficial economic development opportunities and allows our residents to know that when they pour a glass of water, it is safe and healthy.”
Designed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Area-Wide Optimization Program enhances public health protection by encouraging superior performance and operations at water treatment facilities across the country. Facilities that adopt the program aim to reach sustainable water quality standards far more stringent than those required by government regulators.
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, systems receiving the award met performance goals that are significantly more stringent.
“As I say every year, the credit for this award goes to our Water Treatment Facility staff,” Wentz said. “They are dedicated to delivering some of the best water in the state to Newton’s water customers, and they constantly work on improving their skills.”
“Our staff works every day of the year to make sure Newton’s water customers have excellent water every time they turn on the tap,” Newton Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Brian Wilson said. “I’d like to thank the staff for their dedication. This award shows that they truly care about what they do and have the skills to do it well.”
The Newton Water Treatment Plant opened in 1988. The plant has a capacity of 8 million gallons per day. Newton’s source of raw water is the Jacob Fork River, which originates in South Mountain State Park.
The Newton Water Treatment Plant was recently recognized for the 15th consecutive year for surpassing state and federal drinking water standards. Pictured (front row, left to right) are Chief Water Treatment Plant Operator Jeff Griebel, Water Treatment Plant Operator Eric Wheeler, Water Treatment Plant Operator Chris Sigmon, Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Brian Wilson, Assistant Public Works and Utilities Director Dennis Falder, Council Member Anne Abernethy Wepner, (back row, left to right) City Manager Todd Clark, Council Member Ed Sain, Council Member Jody Dixon, Mayor Pro Tem John Stiver, Public Works and Utilities Director Dusty Wentz, Mayor Anne P. Stedman, Council Member Jerry Hodge, and Council Member Tom Rowe.