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CCWA Earns Industry Awards during Recent Spring Conference

May 3, 2018 by Suzanne Brown


CCWA's Stormwater Maintenance Foreman Marcus McLester was named Georgia's Top Operator for Stormwater during the Georgia Association of Water Professionals' recent spring conference.

Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA) employees brought home several awards from the Georgia Association of Water Professional’s (GAWP) recent Spring Conference.

CCWA’s Northeast Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) was named the 2018 Wastewater Plant of the Year for the Advanced Treatment 6 – 9.9 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) category for its performance during 2017. The W.J. Hooper Water Treatment Plant earned a Certificate of Achievement for Best Operated Water Plant in the Surface Water 15 MGD to 49.99 MGD category. CCWA’s Stormwater Maintenance Foreman Marcus McLester was named Stormwater Top Operator for the state, and Distribution & Conveyance Department Manager Jeff Jones was inducted into the inaugural Golden Hydrant Society.

In addition, all three water production plants earned Platinum Awards for 100 percent permit compliance in 2017:
J.W. Smith Water Production Plant – 9 years Platinum
Terry R. Hicks Water Production Plant – 17 years Platinum
W.J. Hooper Plant – 20 years Platinum

All three water reclamation facilities earned Platinum Awards for 100 percent compliance in 2017:
Northeast WRF – 9 years Platinum
W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery Facility – 13 years Platinum
Shoal Creek WRF – 21 years Platinum

“I am very proud of our CCWA team and all of their accomplishments” says CCWA General Manager P. Michael Thomas. “They are proud to be water professionals and work hard to raise the bar in our industry while providing the quality services to our community.”
The formal Wastewater Plant of the Year competition program is conducted statewide by GAWP and includes a comprehensive on-site evaluation performed by an expert technical inspection team. All of the systems under review possessed examples of exceptional operation, but only a select few rise to the top during this exhaustive process.

According to Water Reclamation Manager Chris Hamilton, the Northeast WRF has a long history of being an award winning facility. Since 1989, it has now won 10 GAWP Plant of the Year Awards and two Water Environment Federation/Burke Safety Awards. The highly trained staff who operate the Northeast WRF have to comply with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s highly regulated operating permits that require strict monitoring of numerous water quality parameters.

“I’m very proud of all the Water Reclamation Staff that make these awards possible. They are truly dedicated water professionals that set high standards and work hard year round to meet permit compliance and levels of service goals for CCWA all in an orchestrated effort to provide Quality Water and Quality Services to our community,” adds Hamilton.

According to GAWP, the Top Op Award recognizes operators who are ‘a moving force in the operations of their respective facilities.’ These outstanding operators are an example for others who have imparted knowledge that helps in the operation of water and wastewater municipalities across the state. McLester joins several other CCWA operators who have earned this honor in the past for water and wastewater.

“Being recognized by GAWP as a Top Operator is a unique honor. Marcus has been instrumental in the startup and daily operations of CCWA’s Stormwater Department,” adds Stormwater Manager Kevin Osbey. “His dedication in leading our maintenance staff and working with a variety of stakeholders makes the department what it is today.”

CCWA Board Chairman John Chafin adds that the awards are industry validation that CCWA employees are top notch. “Our employees are leaders in our state’s water industry. They work hard and look for innovative ways to do their jobs and continue to earn the respect of their peers.”

CCWA competed against other award-winning systems within metro Atlanta and the state for the awards. Competition continues to be very tight for these prestigious industry awards, which signifies validation from fellow water professionals.

The Georgia Association of Water Professionals is the State’s premier professional association for water, wastewater and related issues. GAWP was founded in 1932, and started the first license program for water professionals in Georgia. For over 75 years, GAWP has provided the bulk of certified professional training for water and wastewater operators here in Georgia. GAWP is the nation’s second largest state-level association of water professionals and is formally affiliated with several other national professional organizations.

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