The Orange Water and Sewer Authority is being honored by North Carolina for its high quality drinking water.

OWASA was one of 38 systems to receive the 2013 North Carolina Area Wide Optimization Award from the state Division of Water Resources’ Public Water Supply section.

Sarah Young is the public information officer for the state Division of Water Resources. She says the award recognizes efforts to enhance the performance of water treatment systems.

“All public water supply systems have to meet very stringent requirements, but these systems met even greater requirements,” says Young.

OWASA won the award due to efforts to reduce cloudiness in the water, also known as turbidity.

Kenneth Loflin, OWASA’s water supply and treatment manager, says the lower level of turbidity makes water safer for consumers.

“You are limiting any opportunity for any type of giardia or bacteria that pass through your filters and get into the system, so it lowers your disinfection by-products and you’re removing more organics from the water,” says Loflin. “It’s an all around safer product.”

This isn’t the first time the utility has been recognized for its clean water-OWASA also received the award in 2010 and 2012.