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City, county honored for quality drinking water

SARAH LOWERY
Staff Writer

Both Lincolnton and Lincoln County were recently honored for surpassing state and federal drinking-water standards.

Municipalities across the state were announced by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources as having reached this distinction in August.

“Only 35 public systems in North Carolina received this designation, which I think makes it a pretty big deal,” Lincolnton City Manager Jeff Emory told the Times-News on Wednesday.

The systems received the N.C. Area Wide Optimization Award from the N.C. Division of Water Resources’ Public Water Supply section. The awards are part of the N.C. Area Wide Optimization program, which is an effort to enhance the performance of existing surface water treatment facilities, a NCDENR press release noted.

“Awards are given to water systems each year that demonstrate outstanding turbidity and microbial removal, two factors important in determining the drinking water quality,” officials stated in the release. “While all systems have to meet strict state and federal drinking-water standards, these systems met performance goals that are significantly more stringent.”

Microbes are microscopic particles that occur naturally, but can potentially contain bacteria harmful to drink. Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness in the water and can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality, noted the release.

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