HCWA Brings Home State Industry Awards

The Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) ended 2021 on a high note, winning industry awards for the highest graded water distribution and wastewater collection systems in the state.

During the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Fall Conference in Athens, the HCWA won the Collection System Platinum Award for achieving a quantitative score of 95% or higher, for at least five consecutive years, on the annual sewer system review by fellow water professionals. In fact, the HCWA has reached this milestone for achieving a grade of 95 or higher on collection system excellence for 10 consecutive years now.

In addition, the HCWA received the GAWP Water Distribution System Platinum Award for scoring 95% or higher on the annual review of its water system for at least five consecutive years, with this most recent accolade marking six straight years the Authority has reached this highest level of achievement.

GAWP Collection System Excellence Awards recognize those utilities in Georgia that strive to continually improve their systems through proper management, maintenance, and operations. The criteria for the award include preventative maintenance, system evaluation, rehabilitation programs, and training, among many other checklist items. 

The GAWP Water Distribution System Excellence Award is given to those utilities who “operate in an outstanding manner.” This award recognizes water utility excellence in management, operations, and maintenance of public water production and distribution systems. The Water Distribution System Platinum Award also prepares the HCWA for its Georgia EPD Sanitary Survey, which is another comprehensive review of the HCWA water distribution system administered by Georgia EPD regulatory officials every three years. 

GAWP officials note that these Platinum Awards provide tangible evidence for Authority customers that the HCWA water and sewer systems operate according to the highest standards for quality and safety in the industry.

The ultimate goal of the GAWP system review process to determine statewide awards is to create incentives for utilities to strive to improve their operations. In addition, the water professionals who serve as volunteer judges are able to collaborate with the HCWA staff to learn from their successes and glean valuable information to improve operations at other utilities from all over the state.

The Wastewater Collection and Water Distribution Platinum Awards weren’t the only honors received by the HCWA at the recent GAWP Fall Conference. The HCWA received the state’s Master Plan Spotlight Award for the most outstanding water and wastewater master plan to cover 30 years of long-term planning of necessary capital improvements, from 2020 to 2050.

In addition, the HCWA Walnut Creek Water Reclamation Facility received the GAWP Laboratory Quality Assurance/Quality Control Award for facilities with a treatment capacity of up to 20 million gallons per day (MGD). 

Finally, the Authority’s Tara Brown, HCWA Manager of Sewer Line Maintenance, was inducted into the prestigious Golden Manhole Society of the Georgia Section of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), for her outstanding leadership and service to the profession.

“It takes an entire team of water professionals to operate a water and sewer system that reaches the level of excellence our systems have achieved, as reflected in these GAWP Platinum Awards,” says Tony Carnell, HCWA General Manager. “I’m so very proud of the skill, dedication, and attention to detail our employees exhibit on a daily basis for the benefit of our customers and community.”


Captions for photos (top to bottom):

Kim Pace (center, left), HCWA Asset/CMMS Coordinator of Water and Sewer Operations Maintenance, and Lesa Walker (center, right), HCWA Operations Manager, receive the GAWP Water Distribution System Platinum Award.

Ray Sanders (center, left), HCWA Manager of Water & Sewer Operations Maintenance, and Tara Brown (center, right), HCWA Manager of Sewer Line Maintenance, receive the GAWP Collection System Platinum Award. Brown also was inducted into the Golden Manhole Society during the recent year-end GAWP Fall Conference.

Scott Sage (left), HCWA Engineering Division Manager, and Patrick Kelley, HCWA Sr. Water Resources Engineer, receive the GAWP Master Plan Spotlight Award on behalf of the Authority.

Stephanie Martin (center), HCWA Lab Technician at the Walnut Creek Water Reclamation Facility, receives the GAWP Laboratory Quality Assurance/Quality Control Award on behalf of the Authority.


Media contact:     Chris Wood, Ph.D.

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