OWASA receives President’s Award from Partnership for Safe Water 

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) in Carrboro, N.C., recently received the prestigious Presidents Award for Distribution System Operation from the Partnership for Safe Water. To date, OWASA is only the third utility in the United States to achieve this award.

The OWASA is a public, non-profit agency that provides water, sewer and reclaimed water services to the CarrboroChapel Hill community in North Carolina including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in southern Orange County.

The Partnership’s Presidents Award for Distribution System Operation recognizes systems that meet the program’s highly stringent optimization goals for distribution system water quality. OWASA joined as an inaugural member of the Partnership’s Distribution System Optimization Program in 2010. OWASA’s water distribution system covers about 35 square miles and consists of approximately 390 miles of water distribution pipes, over 12,000 valves and more than 2,000 fire hydrants.

The Partnership is a drinking water optimization program sponsored by AWWA, the U.S. EPA and other water organizations to recognize water suppliers that continuously provide drinking water quality that surpasses regulatory requirements through treatment plant and distribution system optimization.

“Reaching Presidents Award status is a very significant achievement in our ongoing work to optimize the distribution system,” said Randy Horton, manager of OWASA’s water distribution and wastewater collection systems. “Improving the quality of water delivered to customers is a goal we will always try to meet and exceed. The Presidents Award is an important milestone as we seek to continuously improve distribution system performance and operations.”

OWASA’s Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant has been recognized by the Partnership for its outstanding performance several times, most recently receiving the program’s 10-year Directors Award in 2015.

The Partnership for Safe Water is a self-assessment program for water treatment plant and distribution system optimization. More than 250 utility subscribers, collectively serving more than 100 million people, commit to the Partnership’s goals of providing safe, high-quality drinking water by achieving operational excellence in water treatment or distribution. Partnership utility subscribers participate in a rigorous self-assessment and peer review process, developed by industry experts, and achieve recognition for their commitment to the delivery of safe water for their community.

The Partnership for Safe Water is an alliance of the American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, United States Environmental Protection Agency, National Association of Water Companies and the Water Research Foundation.

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