County earns WaterFirst designation

By Ed Brock

Clayton County is now a WaterFirst community.

Gov. Sonny Perdue made the designation to representatives from the Clayton County Water Authority in a ceremony Tuesday morning at the state capitol building in Atlanta. Gwinnett County and the City of Savannah were also recognized as WaterFirst communities.

Perdue began the WaterFirst program in March as a technical assistance and recognition program and is intended to protect and manage water resources. A team of water experts judge the candidates on watershed assessment and management, storm water management, water supply planning, water conservation, water supply protection, wastewater treatment and management, water reclamation and reuse and residual biosolids management.

Being a WaterFirst community also qualifies the CCWA for incentives including reduced borrowing rate on specific loans from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority.

"This designation is not only a great honor, but it allows us the opportunity to develop even more programs, along with upgrading the facilities we currently operate, to benefit all of the residents of Clayton County," said CCWA Board of Directors Chairman Pete McQueen.

As part of the its Water Resource Initiative the CCWA plans a $60 million upgrade of the W.B. Casey Water Reclamation facility and the construction of Treatment Wetlands, McQueen said.