ABINGDON, Va. — The Washington County Service Authority (WCSA) has earned the 2020 Virginia Optimization Program Gold Award for its high-quality drinking water treatment from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Office of Drinking Water, the highest possible ranking in operations and performance excellence for water utilities. WCSA has received this award each year since 2010.
The award was presented to WCSA staff on June 8 by Eric R. Herold, P.E., VDH district engineer for the Mount Rogers Planning District, and Dr. David Dawson, P.E., deputy field director of VDH’s Field Office in Abingdon. WCSA received the award for the Middle Fork Drinking Water Plant following a 12-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 by optimizing and running their treatment process efficiently and effectively. The primary purpose of the program is to reduce risks to public health associated with drinking water.
“We are greatly honored to receive this year’s award and are extremely pleased to have earned it for the past eleven years,” says Robbie Cornett, general manager of WCSA. “This award demonstrates a tremendous amount of dedication by our Middle Fork team, as well as WCSA’s overall commitment to our community for providing top-quality drinking water that meets or exceeds the standards set forth by the VDH.”
Of the 129 conventional surface water treatment plants evaluated by the VDH during 2020, WCSA was among 50 that received a gold award, while 30 received silver awards.
“WCSA has the largest permitted capacity and serves the largest number of service connections in the Mount Rogers Planning District,” Herold says. “WCSA has consistently been a top performer in the Virginia Optimization Program and was one of 40 plants in Virginia to receive a perfect score for 2020.”
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).”
Over a period of time, through research and plant performance studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Water Works 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
The WCSA serves more than 21,500 water connections and approximately 2,500 wastewater connections in Washington County, Virginia, and surrounding areas. The water system consists of an estimated 900 miles of water line, a 12-million-gallon-per-day surface water treatment plant, a 3.1-million-gallon-per-day membrane filtration plant, two springs, one well, 28 pump stations and 26 water storage tanks. The wastewater system consists of approximately 100 miles of wastewater collection lines, 29 lift stations and two wastewater treatment plants. For more information about WCSA, visit www.wcsawater.com.