(April 26) NEW STANTON – The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County bested water samples from eight other entrants to win the People’s Choice Award for Best Tasting Water in Pennsylvania at the 69th annual American Water Works Association convention in Hershey PA.
Approximately 65 water treatment operators, engineers, consultants and other attendees voted, with MAWC’s sample from the George R. Sweeney Water Treatment Plant at Beaver Run Reservoir taking the top prize.
Called a “Pristine” water source in a report from Harold Hayes of KDKA, the MAWC’s Source Water Protection program at Beaver Run is where the quality begins.
“MAWC is very proactive in source water protection for all of its water sources within the Youghiogheny River and the Beaver Run Reservoir. But it is within the Beaver Run watershed, … MAWC really shines as a leader in source water protection,” said Thomas McCaffrey, a Geologic Specialist with the Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Safe Drinking Water.
Built in 1952 and then enlarged in 1962, the Reservoir holds 11 billion gallons of water. MAWC owns 5,000 surrounding acres to protect the source of the water, the streams and wooded runoff areas of the watershed.
Public access is restricted to limit the potential of introduced biological contaminants from other water bodies, which can be tracked in on shoes or tires, or by fishing equipment. For that reason, fishing is prohibited at the reservoir.
“This is our 75th year since MAWC was incorporated. We are gratified to have the hard work and diligence of our water treatment operators and maintenance staff at the George R. Sweeney plant recognized, and we are pleased to have our source water protection validated,” said Michael F. Kukura, MAWC Resident Manager.
Up-flow clarifiers with electrostatically charged beads improve on that clean intake water from the reservoir making it extremely clear, even before the water is passed through sand, gravel and activated carbon filters, cleaning it still further.