The award is made even more memorable due to the fact a department must be nominated for recognition by peers from other cities or municipalities.
"I don't know who nominated us," city superintendent Todd Watson said. "I've got some ideas, but I can't say for certain. What I do know is that the entire Rector Water Department works hard and is honored to have that work recognized."
The department will also be representing the district at the Arkansas Waterworks and Environment meeting at the end of April where departments are recognized at the state level.
Rector also received the Special Systems Award in 2010 at both the district and state level.
ADH, ADEQ and ARWA members throughout the year visit every water department in the state. The departments are reviewed on their everyday operations, records, systems, compliance, personnel training and qualifications.
"You've got to be on top of everything," Watson said. "When they come here, they look at everything to make sure the department is doing what it's supposed to and taking care of the people."
When evaluating a department for awards, numerous factors are taken into consideration, including recommendations from peer departments, reference letters from mayors, performance history and state evaluations.
"We're not the biggest department, but we've got people that work for us who really care about the people here and are willing to work hard to provide the best water department they can," Watson said. "You can't measure something like that. I'm proud to work with everyone in this department."