By Valerie Baldowski
Efforts by the Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority to maintain clean water have been recognized once again.
The Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) has selected the authority's Indian Creek Water Reclamation plant as the state's "Plant of the Year" for calendar year 2008.
The award was presented during the quarterly GAWP industry conference, held in Macon, says Jason Jeffares, the authority's Water Pollution Control Manager.
Plenty of effort goes into achieving statewide recognition, says Jeffares. "It's a lot of work. You can't have any permit violations. We're very proud to win. Our employees worked hard to get everything in order."
According to Jeffares, some of the requirements for receiving the award include: maintaining accurate records and a safe work environment; ensuring that all equipment is working properly; and making sure the treatment plant is in "tip-top" condition, mechanically.
To stay in compliance with state regulations, Jeffares says plant employees must conduct daily and weekly tests on collected water samples. The test results must be in compliance with limits set by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
The annual awards are given to facilities based on the number of gallons of water treated per day, says Jeffares, and the Indian Creek plant received its award in the one million-to-10 million-gallons-a-day category.
According to information from the Henry Water Authority, the Plant of the Year award is the latest in a string of statewide honors. The authority was selected last year as the state's best Water Distribution System among large utilities, and it was named runner-up for Collection System and Water Quality Lab of the Year awards.
The Indian Creek Water Reclamation Plant uses a cyclical method to treat wastewater, explains Jeffares, then sprays it over 213 acres of protected green space to allow it to become groundwater again.
The plant came online in November 2000, he says, when Phase I of the facility's construction was completed. The facility, he says, has the necessary pipes and tanks to accommodate future expansion -- if needed.