HCWA Facilities and Staff Applauded for Performance

The Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) wrapped up the spring and summer conference season with several industry awards and honors for its facilities and staff. The Authority was recognized for outstanding performance in both water and sewer treatment, while several employees were recognized for service and leadership.

The highlight of the recent industry awards presented to the HCWA by the Georgia Association of Water Professional (GAWP) included a Best Operated Water Plant of the Year Certificate of Achievement for both the Tussahaw and Towaliga Water Treatment Plants, in the category of water treatment plants with 15 to 25 million gallons per day (MGD) capacity. In addition, these two facilities received GAWP Platinum Awards for 100% permit compliance for 20 consecutive years.

On the wastewater side of plant operations, the HCWA Indian Creek Water Reclamation Facility received a GAWP Gold Award for 100% permit compliance this past year, while the Authority also received a GAWP Gold Award for 100% permit compliance this past year at its Bear Creek LAS (land application system) Facility.

GAWP Gold and Platinum Awards recognize water and wastewater facilities that have no permit violations or pretreatment violations during the previous calendar year.

As a result of its ongoing efforts in public education and public outreach, under the direction of HCWA Environmental Compliance Coordinator Lindsey Sanders and the staff of the Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center, the HCWA received this year’s Public Education Program of Excellence Award, within the Water Conservation/Water Supply category, for superior public education programming. The Authority also received a GAWP Public Education-New Media Award for its video library available on the HCWA website.

Several HCWA employees have been recognized recently by the state’s water industry for their outstanding individual performance. 

Recently retired HCWA Operator Sheila Kern, who is a past GAWP District 3 Top Operator, was inducted into the GAWP Golden Hydrant Society. The Golden Hydrant Society is an award society organized through the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA) for the recognition of professionals in the drinking water industry. Each year, five nominees are inducted into the Golden Hydrant Society after first being nominated by a peer and then selected from members of a selection committee made up of past winners.

HCWA Manager of Sewer Line Maintenance Tara Brown was inducted into the Georgia Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5S). According to GAWP officials, this Society was founded for the betterment of GAWP and the promotion of its objectives. 5S is an invitation-only organization, and selection for membership is considered a high honor. Members are selected based on personal merit, and 5S membership recognizes long and faithful service to GAWP.

Finally, HCWA employees James Estes, Cliff Hardin, and Jeremy Sledge were graduates of the 2022 class of the GAWP Level 1 Leadership Academy. The GAWP Leadership Academy’s mission is to prepare leaders by building relationships, developing skills, and cultivating knowledge necessary to effect change within the organization and water industry. 

“I’m so very proud of our employees for their outstanding performance, their dedication to the profession, and their service to our customers and our community,” says Tony Carnell, HCWA General Manager. “These industry awards are well deserved, and the recognition that comes from our fellow water professionals lets us know that we are highly regarded as a model utility within the state. But we don’t want to rest on our past success; we want to continue to improve for the betterment of the community that we’re privileged to serve.”

Caption for photo:

(L to R): Receiving GAWP Industry Awards on behalf of the HCWA were Division Manager Scott Sage, Reservoir and Cubihatcha Center Manager Ken Presley, Environmental Compliance Coordinator Lindsey Sanders, Top Operator Sheila Kern, and General Manager Tony Carnell.



Media contact:     Chris Wood, Ph.D.

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