Jun. 18, 2013 @ 06:32 PM

Monroe was one of 49 utilities honored for its drinking water by the N.C. Division of Water Resources' Public Water Supply section.

The Water Resources Department received the Area Wide Optimization Award, which is part of an effort to enhance the performance of surface water treatment facilities. 

Awards are given to systems that demonstrate outstanding “turbidity removal,” which is a key test of drinking water. Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness caused by particles or suspended matter in water.

Turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a place for microbial growth. While microbes occur naturally, they can potentially include harmful bacteria and viruses.

The award is given to utilities that meet performance goals that are more stringent than state and federal drinking water standards.

Monroe also recently received a clean report card on its 2012 water quality report. 

“We are doing a great job meeting those standards,” Water Resources Director Russell Colbath said in a previous interview. “It’s a technical business, there’s a lot of standards, we meet all those standards...(it is) a pretty difficult profession.” 

Colbath encouraged residents to have confidence in their tap water. 

“We’ve always generally met all the state and federal standards,” Colbath said previously.

The award is given to organizations that surpass state and federal standards.