Destin Waster Users’ Tower 1 was recently dedicated as an American Water Works Association National Landmark.

The water tower has been a part of the Emerald Coast for the past 53 years and sits atop of one of Destin’s highest elevations near the harbor.

“In 2015, we won the state's American Water Works Association Landmark Award,” said Destin Water Users General Manager Lockwood Wernet. “Staff members then submitted for the national landmark award."

Destin Water Users Inc. is a member-owned not-for-profit corporation with a service area covering most of incorporated Destin and portions of unincorporated Okaloosa County. The company provides water service to over 12,000 people in the winter months and over 40,000 in summer months.

“It’s important to highlight the significance of water operations from across the county. A lot of people don’t really think about where their water is coming from," said Monica Autrey, the regional director for American Water Works Association. "This brings awareness ... (to) a hidden gem.”

The American Water Works Association is an international nonprofit scientific and educational organization that is dedicated to provide water solutions and assure the effectiveness of water management.

Autrey said if a water tower is regularly maintained, historically, they can remain operational for much longer than 50 years.

“This award represents good infrastructure that can hold up over time,” she said.

Wernet said he gives credit to his staff, who were able to maintain the iconic tower.

“I hope it will still function for the next 50 years and even longer,” he said.