Newton wins water award

Newton receives water quality award for 13th year

NEWTON, N.C. – The Newton Water Treatment Plant has been honored for the 13th consecutive year with a prestigious award for the quality of its water.

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, June 2.

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.

Of the 152 water treatment plants in North Carolina, Newton was one of only 44 honored with the award.

Wentz said meeting the criteria required to win the award is extremely difficult. He credited the employees of the Newton Water Treatment Plant with bringing home the award for the city.

“They love that plant like an old man loves his first car,” Wentz said. “I’m proud of them and appreciate their work. Newton’s residents are fortunate to have a group of people so dedicated to providing them with water of the highest quality possible every time they turn on the tap.”

The Newton Water Treatment Plant opened in 1988. The plant has a plant 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.

AWOP AwardFrom left, Newton Mayor Anne P. Stedman, Chief Water Treatment Plant Operator Eddie Copeland, Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Garrett Gilbert, and Public Works and Utilities Director Dusty Wentz stand with the Newton Water Treatment Plant’s 13th consecutive Area-Wide Optimization Program Award.