HCWA Celebrates Plant of the Year Award
If competition brings out the best in an organization, the Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) is competing and performing at a high level.
The Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) honored the HCWA during its Spring Conference & Expo with the Plant of the Year Award for the Walnut Creek Water Reclamation Facility. GAWP judged the Walnut Creek Plant as the best in the state among non-discharging facilities with land application systems that have a capacity up to 10 million gallons per day (MGD).
HCWA wastewater treatment facilities have won “Plant of the Year” Awards in eight out of the last nine years. During that time, GAWP selected the Walnut Creek and Bear Creek facilities as Georgia’s best on three occasions, while the HCWA Indian Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility has been a two-time Plant of the Year Award winner.
The Walnut Creek Plant is the largest of the three HCWA water reclamation facilities, with a wastewater treatment capacity of 8 MGD. The facility utilizes approximately 1,000 acres of forested land to apply treated wastewater via spray irrigation through more than 8,000 sprinkler heads. The HCWA wastewater system departmental offices and laboratory are housed at the Walnut Creek facility as well.
In addition to Walnut Creek being selected as the GAWP Plant of the Year, the HCWA also received the GAWP Certificate of Achievement for Best Operated Water Plant for its Towaliga Water Treatment Facility. The Towaliga Plant graded out at 90 percent or higher on its annual industry audit to receive this industry honor.
As for the final GAWP facility awards given out this year, four HCWA facilities received acclaim for achieving 100 percent permit compliance. The HCWA Towaliga and Tussahaw Water Treatment Plants were Platinum Award winners for operating without a permit violation for 10 consecutive years through 2016; coincidently, the HCWA Tussahaw Plant was the Plant of the Year in Georgia last year. Likewise, the HCWA Walnut Creek Facility – this year’s Plant of the Year – also was a Platinum Award winner for eight consecutive years without a permit violation. Finally, the HCWA Bear Creek Water Reclamation Facility received a GAWP Gold Award for having no permit violations last year.
The GAWP awards program also recognizes ongoing programs and initiatives within the state’s water industry. This year, the HCWA received the GAWP Public Education Program of Excellence Award for its efforts in public outreach. This honor recognized the HCWA as a leader in educating the public about its water system and operations, while likewise encouraging citizen involvement in related issues that impact water quality.
“These statewide awards reflect the type of water professionals we have on staff at the Authority, in addition to our facilities being designed for excellence in water and sewer services for our customers,” says Lindy Farmer, HCWA General Manager. “A great deal of planning and preparation, not to mention our investment of time and resources, go into developing and operating the very best water and sewer facilities in the state.”
Chris Wood, Ph.D.