GUC Water Plant Receives Prestigious Award

GUC Water Plant Receives Prestigious Award

June 28, 2018

The N.C. Division of Water Resources has included Greenville Utilities among the 69 out of 149 water treatment plants in N.C. honored for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards in 2017. This is the third time GUC has received the prestigious N.C. Area Wide Optimization Award, which is a state effort to enhance the performance of existing surface water treatment facilities.

In 1998, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed new regulations to reduce the risk of biological contamination. EPA then partnered with states to form the Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP). This program introduced more stringent water quality goals and helps water systems meet those goals. North Carolina has participated in AWOP since 2000, and is one out 23 state participants.

The focus of the AWOP award is turbidity removal, a key test of drinking water quality. Turbidity is a measure of cloudiness of water caused by individual particles that can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Eliminating particles lessens the amount of chemicals needed to process water, which reduces byproducts in the water. The Tar River is very turbid because its water comes from tributaries that run through swamps.

It is difficult for water treatment plants in the eastern part of the state to achieve the AWOP turbidity goals. Most of the winning plants are from the western part of the state, while GUC is the only water treatment plant honoree out of the Washington region. With 28 counties in the coastal plain area, GUC joined Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, Tarboro, and Brunswick County as the four water systems in this area to be recognized.

ā€œI credit the award to our Water Treatment Plant staff that treated over 4.6 billion gallons of water last year to ensure that we produce the highest quality of water," said Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Julius Patrick. ā€œIā€™m really proud of them.ā€

Congratulations to our Water Treatment Plant staff for working hard to obtain this award three years in a row!