ABINGDON, Va.—For the third consecutive year, the Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water has awarded a division of the Washington County Service Authority (WCSA) the highest possible ranking in operations/performance excellence for water utilities.
The WCSA’s Middle Fork water treatment plant was one of 22 conventional water treatment plants out of 130 in Virginia that received a gold award following a12-month analysis of data by the VDH Office of Drinking Water.
Each year, through Virginia’s Optimization Program, the VDH recognizes drinking water plants that perform above and beyond minimum standards, optimizing their treatment process and running it efficiently and effectively. The primary purpose of the program is to reduce the risks to public health associated with drinking water.
WCSA’s Middle Fork plant, along with 21 others statewide, earned a performance score of 20 in the judging criteria, with 20 being the highest possible score.
“A number one ranking means this water is three times cleaner than the standards require,” says Charles Rest, VDH District Two engineer and chairman of the Virginia Optimization Program. “WCSA is one of only 22 plants in the state that earned a perfect score.”
The mission of Virginia’s Optimization Program is “to encourage waterworks to provide water with a quality that exceeds minimum regulatory standards (i.e., as perfect as possible) and to operate water systems in an exemplary manner (i.e., as effective and functional as possible).”
“It’s an incredible accomplishment to receive this top ranking three years in a row,” says Robbie Cornett, general manager of WCSA. “Also, this recognition is especially noteworthy considering the extensive, ongoing renovations that have been taking place at the treatment plant over the past three years. This recognition reflects our commitment to provide our customers with the highest quality drinking water.”
Over a period of time, through research and plant performance studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, American Waterworks Association and the waterworks industry, the VDH has developed performance goals for clarification and filtration processes in surface water treatment plants. For Virginia’s Optimization Program, drinking water programs throughout the commonwealth submit monthly operation reports containing operational data.
More About WCSA
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2013, the WCSA serves approximately 21,500 water connections and approximately 2,072 wastewater connections in Washington County, Va., and surrounding areas. The water system consists of approximately 900 miles of water line, a 6.6-million-gallon-per-day surface water treatment plant, a 2.5-million-gallon-per-day membrane filtration plant, two springs, one well, 26 pump stations and 20 water storage tanks. The wastewater system consists of approximately 70 miles of wastewater collection lines, 27 lift stations and two wastewater treatment plants. For more information about WCSA, visit www.wcsawater.com.