Communities can't thrive without an adequate supply of clean and safe drinking water. Clean drinking water begins with a source of "raw" or untreated water. The Clayton County Water Authority is what the industry calls a "surface water" system. That means its water production cycle begins with the collection of rainfall that hits the surface of the basin and drains into one of the utility's five reservoirs. In addition, the Water Authority can withdraw raw water from the Flint River, which runs through the heart of the county. In total, the CCWA can produce up to 42 million gallons per day (mgd) of clean drinking water for the residents and businesses of Clayton County.
Once raw water is captured in the Authority's reservoir system, it is piped to one of three water production facilities (WPF) - the J.W. Smith, W.J. Hooper, or Terry R. Hicks.
The Terry R. Hicks Water Production Complex houses the water production departmental offices and water quality lab. In addition, this new plant features the state-of-the-art ClariCone purification process. The Authority is one of the only water systems in the Southeast to utilize this innovative method for treating drinking water.
The three CCWA water production plants are operated by some of the most decorated operators in the state of Georgia. They have won numerous state and national honors and over 70% of them have passed their Class I exams, which is the highest possible professional classification available in the industry.
Ensuring a safe and secure water supply is one of the key functions of the CCWA Water Production Department. The CCWA constantly monitors the water throughout the system for safety and efficiency. CCWA's lab services are NSF accredited for chemical monitoring. The Authority can further secure the system because there are three plants, leaving the system less vulnerable. Emergency Operating Procedures (EOP) are updated frequently with scheduled vulnerability assessments.
From the Authority's water production facilities, finished drinking water is piped through a distribution system and into the homes and businesses of Clayton County citizens. An intricate collection of above ground storage tanks also provides for more efficient distribution, as well as additional storage for operation flexibility.
In addition, the water production department manages the raw water reservoirs in the county to ensure sufficient quantity and quality of water is available for drinking water production. The Authority owns and operates five raw water reservoirs - the J.W. Smith (240 acres in size and holding approximately 844 million gallons of water when full), Shamrock (78 acres in size and holding 260 million gallons of water when full), Edgar Blalock, Jr. (263 acres in size and holding 889 million gallons of water when full), William J. "Billy" Hooper (143 acres in size and holding approximately 180 million gallons when full), and Shoal Creek (387 acres in size and holding 2.19 billion gallons of water when full).