Wastewater Treatment Division Receives Pollution Prevention Award

Award presentation

The City of Gastonia’s Wastewater Treatment Division received a Pollution Prevention Award from the NC Department of Environmental Quality’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI) program. The Division’s South Fork Sewer Phase II project was selected for the award, which was presented at the ESI Conference on October 25.

“Projects like these take a high degree of coordination and solid partnerships,” said Joe Albright, director of Two Rivers Utilities. “We thank NCDEQ for the recognition and our municipal and business partners who made this project a success for our communities and the environment.”

The South Fork Sewer Phase II project was a multi-year effort to decommission the Pharr Yarns and the Town of McAdenville wastewater treatment plants and convey the sewage to the City of Gastonia’s Long Creek wastewater treatment plant. The Long Creek plant offers the highest level of treatment in Gaston County, including removal of nutrients before the cleaned water is placed into the South Fork River. Nutrients in waterbodies can cause harmful effects, such as algal blooms and fish kills. The aging plants that were decommissioned were not capable of treating the water to remove nutrients.

“We are honored to receive this award from NCDEQ,” said Stephanie Scheringer, Division Manager for Wastewater Treatment. “This project is a great example of how the City’s business and environmental objectives align. It allowed the City to gain new sewer customers, opened a large tract of land to development, and greatly improved the quality of water in the South Fork River.”

The Wastewater Treatment Division has been a member of the state’s ESI program since its inception in 2002. ESI member organizations and facilities go beyond regulatory requirements to reduce their environmental impacts.  Since treating wastewater is all about environmental protection, the ESI program is a perfect fit. The Wastewater Treatment Division was recognized at the ESI annual conference as a 20-year member.