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Posted on: August 20, 2021

Sweeney Plant receives state water quality award for 14th year

CapeFearRiver-MemorialBridge-Wilmington

For the 14th consecutive year, CFPUA’s Sweeney Water Treatment Plant has been recognized by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for exceeding state and federal standards for turbidity removal.

DEQ announced this week that Sweeney was one of 64 drinking water treatment plants recognized with the annual N.C. Area Wide Optimization Award. Along with the Fayetteville Public Works Commission’s Hoffer Water Treatment Facility, Sweeney was one of just two facilities in Southeastern North Carolina to win the award.

Sweeney was also one of 13 plants to receive a “Gold Star” honor, recognizing water systems that have received the award for at least 10 consecutive years.

The award recognizes surface water treatment plants that go above and beyond strict state and federal standards to remove turbidity, a measure of cloudiness or haziness in water. Turbidity is caused by particulate matter in water that can allow for microbial growth and interfere with water disinfection.

Sweeney has won the award every year since CFPUA opened its doors in 2008.

While we are honored to again be recognized amongst our outstanding peers, work is underway to improve water treatment methods even further at the Sweeney Plant. In early 2022, new deep-bed Granular Activated Carbon filters will come online, allowing the Sweeney Plant to significantly reduce levels of PFAS such as GenX in treated water.

Because the Area Wide Optimization Award recognizes facilities that treat water from surface sources (in Sweeney’s case, the Cape Fear River), CFPUA’s Richardson Water Treatment Plant is ineligible for the award. Richardson, which treats groundwater from the Pee Dee and Castle Hayne aquifers, continues to maintain an outstanding level of turbidity removal as well.

Water quality results for all three water systems maintained by CFPUA are available in the 2020 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report.

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