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The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources recently honored the Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District Water Treatment Plant along with 71 other water treatment plants for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards in 2022. 

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

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 meet performance goals that are significantly more stringent than state and federal standards. 

Target turbidity levels are 0.1 NTU, well below the regulatory limit of 0.3 NTU. Water treatment plants that consistently achieve such a low level of turbidity achieve significant water quality benefits.