Boone recognized for clean drinking water

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Jul. 10 | Modified: Jul. 15
Boone recognized for clean drinking water

You don’t have to go to a pristine mountain stream to find a quality source of water in the High Country.

Boone was recently recognized as one of 38 utilities that have surpassed state and federal drinking water standards, according the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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 potentially include harmful bacteria and viruses, according to a news release.

Regionally, Lenoir, Hickory, Newton and Wilkesboro joined Boone in receiving the honor.

Previously, Boone took home the honor for quality water in 2011, 2012 and 2013, according to Sarah Young, a spokesperson for DENR.

To be considered for the award, water systems must first apply for the Area Wide Optimization Program award each year on their monthly operations report they send into the N.C. Division of Water Resources, Young said.

With a mixed list of rural and metropolitan water systems making the list, there is no conclusive evidence that one out performs the other.

“Only community surface water systems, those that serve piped drinking water to, at least, 15 connections or 25 or more people 60 or more days per year are able to participate in this program,” Young said. “Yes, some surface water plants are larger than others, but I’m not sure we have the data on hand to make the conclusion that a larger plant performs better, overall, than a smaller one or vice versa.”

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