The Clayton County Water Authority has a rich history dating back to when the Georgia General Assembly established the Authority in 1955. Below are the Authority’s highlights from last year. To read more of our history, click on one of the decade tabs.
- CCWA’s water professionals began the year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. They continued with the mission of providing quality water and quality services to our community to ensure critical water, sewer and stormwater services.
- A 10 percent rate adjustment for water and sewer base rates and usage went into effect January 1.
- CCWA’s Board of Directors approved temporarily increasing the maximum amount of assistance for CCWA’s Hardship Assistance Program. Qualified customers were able to receive up to $400 in assistance instead of $200 between January 8 – July 31, 2021. (This was later extended to December 31, 2021.)
- In February, CCWA was featured in a Georgia Climate Project video for its innovative water treatment process and contributing to the alleviation of drought in the Flint River.
- CCWA Meter Services and Communications staff teamed up to produce videos on finding and fixing leaks in celebration of National Fix A Leak Week 2021 in March.
- Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day was held in March with a new record of 540 vehicles being serviced.
- Conveyance Department staff was featured in Municipal Sewer & Water Magazine for its structured cleaning program that aims to minimize the number of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) in our community.
- April brought the passing of CCWA Board Member Vivian Baldwin. She was appointed to the board in May 2017. During her service, CCWA adopted its 2020 Strategic Master Plan, its first Strategic Asset Master Plan and implemented a new Customer Information System. Her love of education and children was evident when the board recognized local students for their award-winning water related science fair projects and model water towers. She said one of her greatest honors was serving on the Clayton County Water Authority Board.
- CCWA was designated a WaterFirst Community by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) for achieving excellence in water resource management. Benefits include statewide recognition for environmental stewardship, 1% interest rate reduction on GEFA loans, annual eligibility for water-related project applications to the Community Development Block Grant Program through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and priority status for the 319(h) Grant Program administered by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
- Emma Godbee was appointed to the Board of Directors in May.
- CCWA’s payment drop box located at Riverdale City Hall was relocated to 971 Wilson Road.
- Staff earned several spring awards from the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) including the Denise Skinner-Hurst Pretreatment Award – Environmental Compliance Manager, Jennifer Brandon, GAWP Biosolids/Residuals Program of Excellence Award for Small Operating System – Less Than 5 Dry Ton Category for 2020 – Northeast Water Reclamation Facility and Public Education Program of Excellence in Water – CCWA Communications & Community Relations. All three water production plants earned Platinum Awards for 100 percent permit compliance in 2020 – J.W. Smith Water Production Plant – 12 years platinum, Terry R. Hicks Water Production Plant – 20 years platinum, and W.J. Hooper Plant – 23 years platinum. Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Facility was awarded a Gold Award for 100 percent compliance in 2020.
- CCWA hosted its third annual Model Water Tower Competition on April 21. The competition grew to add a third school with 21 sixth grade students from Rex Mill Middle, Babb Middle and Mundy’s Mill Middle designing and building working towers and then bringing them the day of competition to go through several test stations and an interview with a panel of judges.
- Stormwater’s Vac Truck Crew was featured in the Metro North GA Water Planning District and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) Live Exploration that aired on GPB May 6. This virtual program was filmed to educate students throughout Georgia about the cycle of the water. The initial broadcast reached more than 80,000 viewers.
- Clayton County Department of Transportation & Development began clearing and removing trees near CCWA’s Headquarters campus for the widening/realigning of Battle Creek Road and Mt. Zion Boulevard. This project takes CCWA property as both roads are being widened to a four-lane, median divided road that runs from Valley Hill Road to Somerton Drive. This is a multi-year project that will impact CCWA’s HQ Campus and customer service parking lots.
- Metro North GA Water Planning District implemented changes to the Toilet Rebate Program. Beginning July 1, 2021, rebates are only awarded to WaterSense labeled Ultra High Efficiency toilets using 1.1 gpf or less at a rebate value of $75. This ended the previous $50 and $100 credit options.
- General Manager H. Bernard Franks made history on July 12 as the first African American President of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals. Mr. Franks serves as president for one year.
- Georgia Utility Contractors Association, Inc. (GUCA) presented CCWA with its 2021 In-Kind Community Service Award in July.
- The new W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery Facility Polishing Plant was put online allowing CCWA to return up to 6.6 million gallons per day (MGD) of highly treated effluent back to the Flint River. This helps restore water levels in the upper Flint River, which also benefits neighbors downstream.
- Finance staff earned its 15th Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. This is the fifth time CCWA has received Special Distinction for excellence in the reporting of one of two primary topics: Performance Measures (KPIs) and Capital.
- Board Member John Westervelt was honored during the August Board Meeting for 18 years of service on the board after resigning since he and his wife Vicki were moving out of the county.
- In August, a CCWA contractor hit an 8” cast iron water main causing a complete loss of pressure in the pipe. This affected approximately 600 customer accounts in the Lovejoy/Hampton area. The incident led to a precautionary boil water advisory, which is required by Georgia EPD when there is a complete loss of pressure. CCWA teams from Water Production, Distribution Maintenance, Customer Service, Communications and Spatial Assets worked together to notify customers, get the repair made, sample, and test to ensure it was safe for customers to resume using their water for consumption.
- The Newman Wetlands Center received a Clayton County Tourism Authority grant in the amount of $39,300 for the “Welcome to the Wetlands” project to make the center more accessible and to better tell its story. The upgrades will include a new website, an offroad powerchair, hiring an accessibility consultant to help update and plan, and marketing materials.
- On September 1, CCWA’s Inventory Warehouse went live with is new and improved business processes and rules to ensure the right materials are available at the right time in the right place. This completed the Warehouse and Inventory Management Improvement Project that began in January 2020.
- The Huie Nature Preserve moved closer to reality. CCWA created the Huie Nature Preserve Foundation, Inc. in 2019 to develop some of the 4,000 acres of land that was previously used for spray irrigation. This 501c3 nonprofit is separate from CCWA’s water/sewer/stormwater utility and can accept public and private donations to help fund the projects. The foundation board was expanded to include a representative from the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education. The first part of the preserve slated to be developed is approximately 625 acres of land on the south side of Freeman Road in Jonesboro. Plans include: initial walking trails, open space with multi-surface trails surrounding for biking, walking, strollers, plus a splash pad and room for picnics; outdoor classroom/creative play area providing hands-on play areas with tree houses, building areas and creative woodland play, archery zone for competition archery and youth archery, a 18-hole competition disk golf course, group camping zone for scouts and other groups; a 14-station obstacle course from Camp JK Orr (which was the camp for African American boy scouts before 1964) and trails connecting Newman Wetlands Center and the archery areas.
- CCWA hosted a rebranded Wetlands & Watershed Festival the week of October 4 – 8 to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols and work around the Learning Center being closed for renovation. Staff hosted a virtual event about the Salamanders of Georgia, a live animal program, constructed treatment wetlands birding trip and an up-close look at lichens around the Wetlands Center.
- Distribution & Conveyance Director Jeff Jones retired on October 22 after more than 32 years of service.
- Water storage tanks at Noah’s Ark Road (Jonesboro) and Forest Avenue (Forest Park) got a refresh with new exterior paint and logos.
- CCWA staff earned awards during the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Fall Conference on November 9. The W.B. Casey WRRF Lab earned the Lab QA/QC Award for Municipal Wastewater Systems Serving Greater than 20 million gallons per day, the Northeast WRF staff earned the GWEF Burke Safety Award, Distribution and Conveyance each earned Platinum Awards, Communications and Water Production’s Water Quality staff earned the Best Consumer Confidence Report Award for Large Surface Water Systems. Conveyance Manager Cornell Sims was inducted in the Golden Manhole Society.
- In November, CCWA’s Communications & Community Relations team won a Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Georgia Chapter for the Community Relations – Associations/Government/Non-Profit Organizations Category for a collaboration with Jacobs Engineering on the 2021 rate adjustment awareness campaign.
- CCWA closed the year amidst a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.
1955 – The Georgia General Assembly established the Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA). J.A. “Red” Garner was selected as first Chairman of the CCWA Board and Robert and Company was hired as engineering firm of record. Bonds totaling $1.1 million were sold to finance the initial construction of the water system. Ed Kemp doubles as both the Clayton County and CCWA attorney. Robert McMullen served in the capacity of what would be referred to as general manager.
1956 – With initial financing secured, the Authority completed the Little Cotton Indian Creek Water Production Plant (W.J. Hooper), supplying 2.0 million gallons of drinking water capacity per day (MGD). The Mountain View elevated tank was built, with 250,000 gallons of storage. The CCWA organization at this time features:
- CCWA serves 450-475 customers
- CCWA employs 8
- CCWA owns and operates 5 pieces of equipment
- CCWA supplies 250,000 gallons of water on an average day
1957 – General obligation bonds totaling $950,000 financed the beginning of construction of the sewer system. The CCWA also received a Public Service health grant of $250,000 to support this initial construction. T.J. Elliott served in the capacity of what would be referred to as general manager.
1958 – The Flint River Plant (W.B. Casey) was completed, with the capability of treating 1.0 MGD of wastewater.
1959 – Revenue bonds of $750,000 were sold to finance further construction of the system.
1960 – Edward L. “Ed” Huie, Jr. was hired as General Manager.
1961 – Pumping stations and a 500,000 gallon storage tank were built in and around areas of Morrow. Revenue bonds of $350,000 were sold to finance construction of the system.
1962 – The Little Cotton Indian Creek Plant was expanded to 4.0 MGD. Revenue bonds of $650,000 were sold to finance further construction of the system.
1964 – The CCWA pursued major expansion of the water system. General obligation bonds of $975,000 and revenue bonds of $1.16 million were sold to finance construction of the system. Elevated tanks at Lovejoy and Crystal Lake were built, with a capacity of 500,000 gallons each. The 170-acre Little Cotton Indian Creek (W. J. Hooper) Reservoir filled with 300 million gallons of capacity. Charles Crawley was selected as Chairman of the CCWA Board.
1965 – The Morrow pumping station was expanded, with an 8.0 MGD pump added. Revenue Bonds of $2.12 million were sold to finance construction of system.
1966 – The Little Cotton Indian Creek (W. J. Hooper) Water Production Plant exp
anded from 4.0 to 10.0 MGD. An elevated tank at Conley Road was built, with 500,000 gallons of storage capacity. The Flint River Plant (W.B. Casey) expanded from 1.0 to 6.0 MGD.
1967 – Revenue bonds of $1.795 million were sold to finance construction of the system. The CCWA completed construction on its headquarters building located off of Lake Harbin Road in Morrow.
1970 – The Northeast Clayton County Water Reclamation Facility opened, with 800,000 gallons of treatment capacity per day.
1971 – The Little Cotton Indian Creek (W. J. Hooper) Plant expanded from 10.0 to 14.0 MGD. Revenue bonds of $4 million were sold to finance construction of the system. Bob Oliver was retained to provide legal counsel for the CCWA.
1972 – The Flint River (W.B. Casey) Water Reclamation Facility expanded from 6.0 to 9.0 MGD. The R.L. Jackson Water Reclamation Facility opened, with 1.0 MGD treatment capacity. Revenue bonds of $4.5 million helped finance system construction.
1973 – The CCWA refinanced its 1971 bonds in the amount of $3.76 million to finance construction of the system.
1977 – Edgar Blalock, Jr. was selected as Chairman of the CCWA Board. Revenue bonds of $12 million were sold to finance construction of the system.
1978 – The CCWA acquires the property that includes Shamrock Lake.
1979 – The Little Cotton Indian Creek (W. J. Hooper) Plant expanded from 14.0 to 20.0 MGD of water production capacity, while the R.L. Jackson Plant expanded from 1.0 MGD to 4.5 MGD of wastewater treatment capacity.
1980 – The Flint River (W.B. Casey) Water Reclamation Facility expanded from 9.0 to 15.0 MGD of wastewater treatment capacity, and pelletization operations began. The E.L. Huie Land Treatment facility opened.
1981 – Lake Shamrock opened for fishing and picnicking.
1982 – The Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Facility opened, treating 1.1 MGD of wastewater. The 300-acre Shoal Creek land treatment facility also opened. The Irongate and Highlands Water Reclamation Facilities closed, each treating 500,000 MGD of wastewater. Revenue bonds of $12.5 million were sold to finance construction of the system.
1983 – E.L. “Ed” Huie, Jr. retired as General Manager and was replaced by Melvin Newman. Revenue bonds of $6 million were sold to finance system construction.
1984 – The original Mountain View Elevated Tank was dismantled to make way for Hartsfield International Airport expansion. The new Mountain View Tank was built to provide 1 million gallons of finished drinking water storage. The Grant Road Elevated Tank was also built, with a 1 million gallon capacity.
1985 – The J.W. Smith Water Production Plant opened, producing 6.0 MGD of drinking water. The Northeast Water Reclamation Facility expanded from 800,000 to 4.0 MGD. Jack Drew was selected as CCWA Chairman of the Board. Revenue bonds of $23.53 million were sold to finance construction of the system.
1986 – The CCWA refinanced part of the 1985 bonds in the amount of $23.975 million to finance construction of the system.
1987 – The Flint River Water Reclamation Facility was re-named for W.B. Casey, who served as a CCWA board member for approximately 30 years. The Highway 138 Elevated Tank was built, storing 1 million gallons of finished drinking water.
1988 – The J.W. Smith Reservoir was opened for fishing and picnicking. Clayton County Fire Station No. 10 was dedicated to former Chairman of the CCWA Board Charles Crawley. The Little Cotton Indian Water Production Plant and Reservoir are renamed for William J. “Billy” Hooper, longtime department manager.
1989 – The Pate’s Creek Reservoir was completed, filled and renamed the Edgar Blalock, Jr. Reservoir, measuring 263 acres in size and holding 889 million gallons of water when full.
1990 – The J.W. Smith Water Production Plant expanded from 6.0 to 12.0 MGD.
1991 – The CCWA constructed a Community Use Building on Lake Shamrock/Blalock.
1992 – The Pate’s Creek (Blalock) Reservoir opened for fishing and picnicking. Revenue bonds of $15.5 million were sold to finance system construction.
1993 – Revenue bonds of $31.6 million were sold to finance construction of the system.
1994 – The CCWA acquired the city of Forest Park Water System. The Authority also completed construction of its new headquarters building off of Battle Creek Road in Morrow, later re-named the Jack H. Drew, Sr. Water Authority Headquarters Complex.
1995 – The Melvin Newman Wetlands Center opened.
1996 – The CCWA acquired the city of Jonesboro Water System. The J.W. Smith Community Use Building opened. Melvin Newman retired as General Manager and was replaced by Richard Calhoun. Revenue bonds of $33.08 million were sold to finance construction of the system.
1997 – JWA was hired as public relations counsel to begin a structured public education program for the Authority.
1998 – CH2M HILL was retained by the CCWA as its engineering firm of record. Joe T. Lane was selected as Chairman of the CCWA Board and Wade Brannan was hired as General Manager of the CCWA. Revenue bonds of $24 million were sold to finance construction of the system. Steve Fincher of Fincher & Hecht, LLC was retained as legal counsel for the Authority.
1999 – The Freeman Road Water Production Complex, featuring the ClariCone process, opened with a capacity to treat 10.0 MGD of potable drinking water.
2000 – The CCWA adopted the Water Resources Initiative 2000, the most comprehensive master plan in the Authority’s history, designed to upgrade the water, sewer, and administrative and technological capabilities of the system. The capital projects scheduled for the first 10 years of the master plan total approximately $250 million. Revenue bonds of $22.32 million were sold to finance continued construction of the system.
2001 – The CCWA purchased the city of Riverdale Water System. Pete McQueen was selected as Chairman of the CCWA Board. Revenue bonds of $93.55 million were sold to continue financing construction of the system according to the Water Resources Initiative.
2003 – The CCWA opened its first Constructed Wetlands facility on Panhandle Road, which includes 55 acres of treatment wetlands with a capacity of 3.3 MGD. Revenue bonds of $87.685 million were sold to finance capital projects.
2004 – The CCWA opened the new W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility with the capacity to treat 24.0 MGD. In doing so, the CCWA decommissioned the old W.B. Casey and R.L. Jackson Water Reclamation Facilities. The CCWA completed Phase I of the E.L. Huie Constructed Wetlands facility, which provides approximately 55 acres of wetland cells with 3.6 MGD of treatment capacity. The CCWA refinanced $59.085 million of revenue bonds.
2005 – The CCWA sold revenue bonds totaling $60.245 million to continue upgrading the system. The Authority also began Phase II of the Huie Constructed Wetlands site, as well as upgrades at the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility, to be completed in 2008, which will expand treatment capacity from 6.0 to 10.0 MGD. Features of the CCWA on its 50th Anniversary in 2005:
- The CCWA serves a population of over 267,000 and over 75,800 customers.
- The CCWA employs over 350 people.
- The CCWA owns and operates over 500 pieces of equipment.
- The CCWA supplies 25.77 million gallons of water on an average per day.
- The CCWA has an operating budget of approximately $80 million.
- The CCWA holds over $452 million dollars of public assets.
2006 – The CCWA unveils a redesigned, more customer friendly web site and begins providing telephone and credit card payment options. The $20 million rehabilitation and upgrade of the William J. Hooper Water Production Plant was completed. Phase II of the E.L. Huie Constructed Wetlands was put in operation, adding another 3.0 MGD of treatment capacity. The Freeman Road Water Production Complex was officially renamed in honor of retired Deputy Manager Terry R. Hicks. Wade Brannan retired as General Manager and was replaced by P. Michael Thomas. The CCWA implemented a new Hardship Assistance Program to provide financial assistance with water/sewer bills to eligible customers.
2007 – The CCWA started the year under new leadership with General Manager P. Michael Thomas and Deputy Manager Malachi “Mike” C. Bennett III. During one the worst droughts of the past 50 years, the CCWA was able to stay ahead of the curve due to the use of constructed treatment wetlands and existing raw water reservoirs. While many Georgia areas were experiencing drastically low water reserves, the CCWA’s reservoirs never went below 78 percent of their storage capacity. This led to the CCWA garnering a lot of favorable media attention, especially in national industry publications. Phase 3 of the E.L. Huie Constructed Wetlands was put into operation, bringing the total treatment capacity to 9.12 MGD. The Authority also implemented a new county-wide Stormwater Utility and a new customer billing system. The CCWA unveiled a new vision statement of “Quality Water, Quality Service” and a new mission: Providing reliable water services to our community through innovation, efficiency and the protection of our water environment. Plus, the Lovejoy Public Library unveiled an original mural of the Newman Wetlands Center, which was hand-painted by a local Southern Crescent artist.
2008 – The CCWA continued to garner industry accolades for its innovative use of constructed treatment wetlands, which enabled the Authority to maintain a sustainable supply of drinking water during one of the worst droughts in the past 50 years. In May, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon even commended the CCWA for this innovation during a press conference with Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Other milestones include:
- The $55 million expansion and upgrade of the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility was completed under budget and seven (7) months ahead of schedule. This project was funded by a Series 2005 Bond Issue
- CCWA Earned Best Tasting Tap Water for the metro Atlanta region and placed 2nd in the State’s Taste Test
- GA Environmental Protection Division (EPD) relaxed Clayton County’s outdoor watering rules since the CCWA continued to have a sustainable water supply
- CCWA rolled out a new bill format, a new Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System and Online Account Access
- The Stormwater Utility marked its one year anniversary having completed more than 600 jobs throughout the county
- Work on a four-year, $10 million project began to upgrade all water meters in the system by replacing older water meters and converting all meters to automated meter reading (AMR) technology
- The CCWA began participating in the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District’s Regional Toilet Rebate Program to encourage customers to replace pre-1993 toilets with ultra-low flush toilets or high efficiency toilets
2009 – Throughout 2009, CCWA continued to gain recognition for its sustainability practices from local and national groups. While revenues continued to decline, the Board of Directors, management and staff continued on a fiscally conservative course to keep the Authority in good financial shape. Highlights from 2009 include:
- Recognition by the Georgia State House of Representatives as ‘one of the most successful water and wastewater planning in the state.’ House Resolution 371 spotlighted CCWA’s Total Watershed Management (TWM) approach, which integrates management of watersheds, water supply resources and effective land-use practices. This TWM approach helped CCW maintain a water supply in excess of 200 days during one of the worst droughts in the past 50 years.
- A customer service survey was conducted by an outside firm to give management feedback on how customers rate CCWA’s customer service. While the results were good overall, the survey helped management and staff see areas that needed improvement.
- Work began on 2010 Strategic Master Plan, which will focus on improvements to customer service, infrastructure and technology.
- Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Rating Services increased CCWA’s Bond Rating from AA to AA+ based on the Authority’s strong financial position despite a sharp slowdown in its service area economy. S&P stated, ‘the authority’s financial operations are good despite a decline in construction-related revenues and water consumption due to drought conditions.
- CCWA lost a member of its family in June when Sergeant First Class John C. Beale was killed in action in Afghanistan while serving in the Georgia Army National Guard. John was deployed as part of the 1st Battalion, 108th Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He worked for CCWA for nine years, serving as a Surveyor and then as the Storm Water Maintenance Technician. Following John’s death, CCWA employees dedicated a living memorial to John’s memory at its Headquarters Complex.
- Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) declared the drought was over and eased outdoor watering restrictions for all of Georgia.
- Leading Conservation Organization American Rivers named Clayton County one of the nation’s top “Water Wise Communities” for its use of constructed wetlands, stating in its report, “Clayton County’s water capturing and recycling system will ensure a secure and reliable water supply for its residents.
- CCWA Board Member Doug Bonner moved out of the county and resigned his seat after serving for three years. The Board of Commissioners appointed Don McMillian, Jr. to replace Bonner.
- Improvements began on the J.W. Smith Water Production Facility began. The $4 million project includes: complete replacement of the filter bottoms, replacement of the majority of the filter control valves, replacement of two major chemical feed systems (others were replaced over the last two years), renovation of laboratory and office space, and storage building addition.
- A record number of residents took part in CCWA’s annual public education events: Household Hazardous Waste Amnesty Day, Wetlands and Watershed Festival and Rivers Alive Stream Cleanup.
- CCWA General Manager P. Michael Thomas was chosen to serve on Governor Sonny Perdue’s Water Contingency Task Force.
- Work continued on Phase 4 of the E.L. Huie, Jr. Constructed Wetlands. Once completed, CCWA will be able to return up to 21 MGD to its water supply.
- CCWA took advantage of favorable financial conditions in the bond market and saved the Authority more than $1.2 million in future debt service payments by advance refunding a portion of its outstanding Series 2001 Water and Sewerage Revenue Bonds.
- CCWA finished the year by changing to a new third party payment processor, Paymentus Corporation. This change allows customers to pay their bill online or by phone for a reduced service fee. CCWA worked to reduce this fee, which is charged by the third party payment processor, from $3.95 to $2.75.
- CCWA’s Atlanta Lift Station was completed and put into operation. This $4.2 million project included construction of a new one million gallon per day (MGD) capacity lift station near I-285 and three miles of 16 inch forcemain pipeline. This new lift station was needed to collect and return wastewater that had historically been sent to the City of Atlanta for treatment. The lift station now returns the wastewater to CCWA’s W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility for treatment.
- The Clayton County Board of Commissioners appointed Oscar Blalock and Rodney Givens to the Board of Directors.
- The WateReuse Association honored CCWA with its WateReuse Award of Merit for the use of constructed treatment wetlands for a sustainable water supply.
- The W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility was named Wastewater Plant of the Year for the Greater than 10 MGD Category by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP).
- CCWA mourned the death of E.L. Huie Jr. (who was known by many as Mr. Clayton County Water) who passed away at the age of 91. Mr. Huie served as General Manager from 1960 – 1983 and served on the Board of Directors from 1983-1996.
- A new base rate structure was implemented to reflect a true cost of service to cover fixed costs and provide an incentive for customers to use less water.
- Phase 4 of the E.L Huie Jr. Constructed Treatment Wetlands was put into operation giving the Authority the capacity to return 17.4 MGD from the site to water supply reservoirs. The completion of Phase 4 officially marked the end of the Authority’s Land Application System (LAS) Era. The E.L. Huie CTW is a $30 million project that was funded through municipal bonds, a GEFA loan and funds designated from CCWA. Completion of this project gives CCWA a truly sustainable water supply.
- CCWA began work on the East Jesters Creek Phase 4 Stream Restoration project in Lake City, which is being funded by the Storm Water Utility. In conjunction with CCWA’s project, the City of Lake City broke ground on its Nature Preserve Project that is being paid for by the city with SPLOST funds.
- CCWA was named Collection System of the Year and Public Education Program of the Year for Large Systems by GAWP.
- The 11th Annual Wetlands and Watershed Festival broke an attendance record with 703 visitors, plus another 62 exhibitor staff and volunteers; and a record number of community volunteers (198) participated in the Rivers Alive Stream Cleanup held at Beaver Dam Creek in Independence Park.
- CCWA adopted its 2010 Strategic Master Plan. With all water and wastewater plants upgraded through the Water Resources Initiative 2000 Master Plan, CCWA’s new 10 year plan takes a strategic approach to maintaining infrastructure investments to meet the community’s needs while striving to become more efficient operationally. The capital projects identified in the plan total approximately $200 million and will be funded on a pay as you go basis with funds designated by CCWA.
- The Clayton County Chamber of Commerce named CCWA the 2010 Business of the Year during its annual banquet in January.
- CCWA mourned the death of former General Manager M. Wade Brannan, who passed away on March 25. He served as General Manager of the Authority from November 1998 until December 2006.
- CCWA’s Northeast Water Reclamation Facility and Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Facility were awarded the Georgia Association of Water Professionals’ 2011 Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Year Awards for their advance treatment categories.
- In April, CCWA Meter Services celebrated the installation of the 50,000th Badger Orion water meter as part of a $10 million, 4 year program to replace all older water meters and convert all meters to automated meter reading technology.
- The Clayton County Board of Commissioners appointed Sophia Haynes to the CCWA Board of Directors.
- CCWA Operations were spotlighted in two national industry magazines. The June 2011 issue of Municipal Water & Sewer Magazine featured a cover story on CCWA’s innovative and successful leak detection program, which is often used as a model for other utilities. The June 2011 issue of Treatment Plant Operator Magazine featured a Top Plant Performer Profile on the W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility.
- CCWA’s Finance Department earned its 24th Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).
- The 2011 Rivers Alive Stream Cleanup brought out a record 242 community volunteers to clean up a portion of the Flint River in Jonesboro.
- CCWA’s Finance Department earned its 7th Distinguished Budget Presentation Award fromthe Government Finance Officers Association of the United States of America and Canada.
- CCWA received GAWP’s 2011 Collection System Gold Award and 2011 Laboratory Quality Assurance Certificate of Distinguished Merit for its operation of the W.B. Casey WRF Lab.
- CCWA took advantage of favorable financial conditions in the bond markets and saved the Authority close to $6 million in future debt service payments by advance refunding a portion of its outstanding Series 2005 Water and Sewerage Revenue Bonds. CCWA’s J.W. Smith Water Production Plant underwent a $5 million upgrade. This was funded by CCWA’s Series 2005 Bond Issue and Renewal & Extension Fund.
- CCWA completed its Water Resources Initiative 2000 Master Plan. This 10 year plan included 28 major capital improvement projects totaling more than $226 million. Projects included major upgrades to the W.B. Casey and Northeast Water Reclamation Facilities; the development of our constructed treatment wetlands system; upgrades to the Hooper, Smith and Hicks Water Production Plants; the development of a robust computerized geographic information system (GIS). The plan came in on time and under budget.
- New water and sewer rates went into effect on January 1, 2012 to offset rising operational costs and declining revenues.
- CCWA’s Residential Toilet Rebate Program dropped the $50 rebate for installing 1.68 gallons per flush (gpf) toilets and kept the remaining $100 rebate for installing 1.28 gpf WaterSense certified toilets.
- CCWA’s financial software, J.D. Edwards, was upgraded to the 9.0 Version of JDE. This web-based application replaced the software version that had been in place since 2002.
- In March 2012, Meter Services completed its $10 million, four-year project to replace all older residential water meters and convert all residential meters to automated meter reading (AMR) technology. The in-house team installed approximately 68,000 Badger Orion water meters, saving the Authority more than $2 million in contractor fees.
- CCWA took home several industry awards from the Georgia Association of Water Professionals Spring Conference. The W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) was named Wastewater Plant of the Year for the Greater than 10 Million Gallons Per Day Category for its performance during 2011. This facility won the same award in 2010 for performance during 2009. The W.B Casey WRF’s Pelletizing Operation received GAWP’s Bio-solids Excellence Award and Natural Treatment Systems Foreman Mark Cochran was chosen Top Wastewater Operator for District 3.
- Bernard Franks was promoted to Manager of the Authority’s Distribution and Conveyance Department in June 2012.
- Monthly backflow testing fees for non-residential customers were implemented on July 1, 2012. Unlike most water utilities, CCWA owns the backflow devices and accepted the responsibility to test and repair the devices by in-house state certified specialists rather than require customers to own and maintain the device at their expense. The small monthly fee was added to the customer’s water bill and covers all testing and repairs.
- In July, 2012, Customer Service began offering paperless billing to give customers the option of no longer receiving paper bills.
- CCWA’s Finance Department received its 8th consecutive Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
- During GAWP’s Fall Conference in November, CCWA brought home a 2012 Collection System Gold Award for earning a quantitative inspection score of 99.1 out of 100 for its wastewater collection system. This is the second consecutive year CCWA has earned the Gold Award. Plus,Senior Call Center Rep Brandi Head received GAWP’s Outstanding Customer Service Award.
- The Clayton County Board of Commissioners appointed Sylvia Wright to the CCWA Board of Directors.
- American Water Intelligence presented its inaugural American Water Award for Environmental Project of the Year to Engineering Firm CH2MHill for its work with CCWA’s East Jesters Creek Phase 4 Stream Restoration Project and the adjoining Lake City Nature Preserve Project.
- CCWA’s Environmental Compliance Division received the Georgia F.O.G. Alliance Program of the Year Award (for the 500-750 Qualifying Active Facilities category) for providing an excellent fats, oils and grease management program.
- New water and sewer rates went into effect on January 1, 2013 to offset declining revenues. Authority managers and staff continued to reduce operating costs as water sales continued to decline. The FY2013 Budget was $2 million less than the previous year’s budget. They also continued with the ‘pay as you go’ plan for capital improvements to avoid any new bond debt.
- In January, work began to renovate/modify CCWA’s Headquarters Building to create a better flow for walk-in customers; improve the drive-in teller capacity and traffic flow; consolidate customer service staff; and add additional parking. The $2.5 million project was funded from proceeds of a property sale in 2011. Richard Wittschiebe Hand Architects, Inc. of Atlanta was awarded the architectural design services and Bryson Constructors, Inc., a minority owned firm out of East Point, GA was awarded the construction contract.
- CCWA’s customer information system software, Northstar, was successfully updated to version 6.4. This upgrade was needed to enhance performance and for the new features it offers such as intergration with Online Utility.
- CCWA’s water treatment plants all received ‘Outstanding Performance Ratings’ from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) during a Sanitary Survey. The three facilities scored between 95.1 and 95.7 out of 100. This survey is done by GA EPD every three years.
- The Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) named the Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Facility Wastewater Plant of the Year for the 3.0 – 5.9 Million Gallons Per Day Advanced Treatment Category for its operations in 2012. This facility earned the same award for its operations in 2010. The facility received the highest score (108) of all the facility categories inspected for the wastewater plant of the year award.
- The Clayton County Board of Commissioners appointed Elizabeth G. Armstrong to the CCWA Board of Directors.
- In June, CCWA’s Board of Directors took advantage of favorable financial conditions in the bond market and saved the Authority almost $8.1 million in total debt service payments over the next seven years by advance refunding a portion of its outstanding Series 2003 and 2004 Water and Sewerage Revenue Bonds. These bonds were issued to fund capital improvement projects in the Authority’s 2000 Master Plan.
- Three members of the CCWA Management received prestigious water industry awards in July. General Manager Mike Thomas received the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Al Storey Award for his ‘years of service and outstanding service related to activities in support of the Association.’ Water Production Manager Guy Pihera received GAWP’s George Warren Fuller Award. This award is presented to the member of the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association who has provided ‘distinguished service to the water supply field.’ Water Reclamation Manager Jim Poff received GAWP’s Charles H. Jones WEF Service Award for his ‘exemplary service to the Water Environment Federation through GAWP’.
- Marshall Maddox was promoted to Manager of the Authority’s General Services Department in October.
- CCWA staff kicked off a new Fats, Oils and Grease (also known as F.O.G.) Education Campaign to increase awareness about the proper disposal of F.O.G. within Clayton County’s multi-family residential complexes. F.O.G. clogs sewer pipes and can cause costly sanitary sewer overflows. Staff was able to reach 439 residents during the initial campaign.
- The new Customer Service area and drive-thru teller opened in November as work continued on the rest of the renovation.
- CCWA finished the year earning top industry honors at the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Fall Conference. Authority staff received the 2013 Distribution System of the Year Award for Large Systems and a 2013 Collection System Gold Award for Large Systems while Collections Specialist Carolyn Smith earned the the 2013 Outstanding Customer Service Award.
- New water and sewer rates went into effect on January 1, 2014. Authority managers and staff continued to reduce operating costs as water sales continued to remain stagnant. They also continued with the ‘pay as you go’ plan for capital improvements to avoid any new bond debt.
- Deputy Manager Mike Bennett retired after seven years with CCWA and 40 years in the water industry. He was instrumental in streamlining processes in Meter Services, Customer Service, Distribution & Conveyance and General Services. He worked with Meter Services staff to develop the meter upgrade program utilitizing CCWA staff and temporary employees rather than contractors. This program improved meter accuracy, made meter reading a more efficient process and provides information on leaks on the customer side of the meter.
- CCWA began using Western Union Speedpay to process online customer payments online. This change reduced the convenience fee from $2.75 to $1.25.
- January brought two extreme cold weather events that lead to freezing pipes and then paralyzed the metro Atlanta area and caused CCWA to close business offices for a couple of days (a first in recent history). During the first extreme cold weather, CCWA’s Call Center answered a record 1,550 calls in one day due to the sheer number of customers with broken water pipes. The second snow/ice event led CCWA to officially close business offices. During this time, plant operations staff in both Water Production and Water Reclamation continued to staff and operate their facilities while employees in Meter Services, Customer Service, Distribution & Conveyance and General Services came in to assist with other issues that had to be handled while business offices were closed. CCWA rallied together as they responded to both extreme events.
- CCWA’s Ambassadors were recognized for reaching 9,248 members of the community during 33 outreach events from December 2012 – December 2013. This group of 94 employees participated in school events, CCWA sponored events, community events and facility tours.
- In March, former CCWA Water Reclamation Manager Jim Poff and former Stormwater Manager Kevin Osbey were promoted to Assistant General Managers over Operations and Support Services.
- On March 7, 2014, State Senators Valencia Seay and Gail Davenport recognized CCWA’s Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Facility staff for earning the Georgia Association of Water Professionals Wastewater Plant of the Year Award in 2013. Resolution 789 was presented to CCWA board members and managers in the Senate Chambers. While addresssing the Senate, Senator Seay stated how proud she was of CCWA and its sustainability practices. “The Clayton County Water Authority is a leader in the water industry and draws visitors from all over the world to learn about their innovative practices.”
- Also in March, Bryson Constructors Inc. completed the renovation/expansion of CCWA’s Headquarters Building. Along with the new Customer Service space that opened in November, 2013, existing space was converted into a new first floor board room and community use room. The water feature in front of the building is used for stormwater runoff from the new customer parking lot and provides a way to show visitors how we use innovative constructed wetlands in our cycle of water.
- CCWA’s Northeast and W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facilities earned Wastewater Plant of the Year Awards during the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Spring Conference. The Northeast WRF won for the 6.0-9.9 Millions Gallons Per Day (MGD) Advance Treatment Category and the Casey WRF won for the 10 MGD or Greater Category.
- The W.B. Casey WRF’s Pelletizing Operation received GAWP’s Biosolids Excellence Award for Operations & Maintenance during the Spring Conference.
- Chris Hamilton was promoted to Manager of CCWA’s Water Reclamation Department in April.
- CCWA launched a new Small Local Business Enterprise Program in May. The program
- CCWA innovative use of constructed treatment wetlands was spotlighted in the U.S. National Climate Assessment.
- The Society for Georgia Archeology awarded CCWA the George S. Lewis Archeological Stewardship Award in recognition of outstanding efforts regarding the preservation the McVickers Cemetery located on the Natural Treatment Systems property in Jonesboro.
- Water Production Manager Guy Pihera retired in August after nearly 20 years with CCWA. Kendra Stanciel was promoted to Manager of CCWA’s Water Production Department.
- CCWA’s Stormwater Utility received the Georgia Association of Water Professionals Water Resources/Stormwater Project of Excellence for East Jesters Creek Phase 4 Nature Preserve and Stream Restoration. CCWA restored nearly 2,500 linear feet of stream while Lake City created a nature preserve system.
- Meter Services staff completed the water meter conversion project seven months ahead of schedule in August making CCWA 100% Badger Orion when it comes to water meters.
- In September, Kevin Osbey stepped down as Assistant General Manager and returned to his position as Stormwater Manager. Former Distribution & Conveyance Manager Bernard Franks was promoted to the Assistant General Manager position.
- Allison Halron was hired as the Finance Director in August.
- Jeff Jones was promoted to Manager of the Distribution & Conveyance Department in October.
- During the Georgia Association of Water Professionals Fall Conference in November, CCWA brought home a 2014 Collection System Gold Award, Georgia Water Environment Federation Safety Award for the W. B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility, Master Planning Spotlight Award and the Ira C. Kelley Award for achievements in the environmental laboratory field.
- CCWA’s Small Local Business Enterprise Program continued holding monthly workshops and speaking to local groups to encourage small local businesses to obtain a certification with CCWA. They ended the year with 35 certified Small Local Businesses.
- CCWA’s Environmental Compliance Division received the Georgia F.O.G. Alliance Award for providing an excellent fats, oils and grease management program for the 751-1,000 facilities category.
- Dr. Cephus Jackson was appointed to a five year term on the CCWA Board of Directors to replace Board Member Oscar Blalock. The 2015 Board of Directors included: Chairman John Chafin, Vice Chairman Rodney Givens, Secretary/Treasurer John Westervelt and Board Members Marie Barber, Sophia Haynes, Elizabeth G. Armstrong and Dr. Cephus Jackson.
- CCWA celebrated ‘Fix a Leak’ Week in March by reaching out to walk-in customers at its HQ and Forest Park customer service lobbies. Meter Services staff provided information on finding and fixing leaks, showing how easy it is to repair most toilet leaks and giving out leak detection tablets. They reached more than 400 customers. One customer was so thankful for the information, he came back to thank staff for helping him find a hidden leak.
- CCWA hosted its annual Household Hazardous Waste Amnesty Day in April for Clayton County residents to bring in old and unused paints, cleaners, batteries, bulbs and medications. Although it was a stormy morning, 424 vehicles were checked in and unloaded.
- Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Staff earned the Georgia Association of Water Professionals’ Wastewater Plant of the Year Award for the Advanced Treatment 3 – 5.9 Million Gallons per Day Category during the association’s spring conference in April.
- Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Facility Plant Supervisor Jim Hill earned the Georgia Association of Water Professionals’ Top Wastewater Operator for District 3 during the spring conference.
- Staff hosted more than 650 fourth grade students from several south metro counties at the 2nd annual Southern Children’s Water Festival. The hands-on-learning event celebrates National Drinking Water Week and provides quality water education so the students can connect the quantity and quality of our local rivers, lakes and streams.
- CCWA celebrated its 60th Anniversary in May by hosting an Open House for elected officials and community leaders. In the fall, the celebration continued with the roll out of a new logo design, a new mission statement. The new logo was the combination of concepts by Forest Park High School students William Johnson and Shatoyah Thurmond and local graphic design company Oliver Imprints. William and Shatoyah were Career Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) students at Forest Park High School during the 2014-2015 school year. They submitted their leaf/water drops concept in their marketing and management class led by Instructor Dan Moorer. CCWA reached out the Clayton County Public School system at the beginning of 2015 in the hopes of getting some concept designs from local high school students instead of just reaching out to consultants as many companies do. As a result of that initial contact, students from Forest Park High School and Morrow High School participated in the logo design challenge. The logo concepts were narrowed to three and presented at the CCWA Board Meeting in May, where William and Shatoyah explained that the multiple water drops reflect The Authority’s abundant water supply and the leaf represents its green practices. After further input from some community leaders and CCWA staff, their design was chosen and then refined into a final design by Oliver Imprints. General Manager Mike Thomas commented at the time of the logo rollout that he was ‘proud to say our new logo was created right here in Clayton County. The students’ water drops and leaf design concept perfectly captures what we do as a utility.’ This was CCWA’s first new logo in 50 years.
- CCWA’s new mission statement is “Providing quality water and quality services to our community”
- Finance staff earns its 28th consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
- Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Facility Plant Supervisor Jim Hill received the Water Environment Federation’s William D. Hatfield Award during the Georgia Association of Water Professionals Annual Conference in July. Assistant General Manager – Support Services Jim Poff received the Water Environment Federation’s Service Award during the conference.
- Senior Conservationist Carol Lambert retired in July after 20 years of service managing the Newman Wetlands Center.
- The HQ Building Board Room was named the Pete McQueen Board Room in August in honor of Mr. McQueen’s service as a board member and board chairman.
- The HQ Building Community Use Room was named the Marie Barber Community Use Room in honor of Mrs. Barber’s service as a board member and board chair and her work as an active community volunteer.
- CCWA entered into a non-exclusive partnership with Gas South to provide customers with discounted natural gas service. This was Gas South’s first partnership with a water utility.
- CCWA’s Records Management staff ushered out the microfilm records era. While a small amount of microfilm records remain, newer technology is now used to store and archive records.
- A little over 200 visitors attended the annual Wetlands & Watershed Festival in October despite rainy weather. CCWA debuted its new outreach tool, Tap on the Go, at the festival. Tap on the Go is a portable water tank that is used at community events to educate customers about the safety of tap water.
- Community volunteers set a new record at the annual Rivers Alive Stream Cleanup in October when 330 participants came out and collected 2.93 tons of trash from around Hurricane Creek at Panhandle Park in Jonesboro.
- Distribution and Conveyance staff completed the installation of new water lines and sewer lines at the Ft. Gillem redevelopment project. The new infrastructure was needed to serve future developments.
- Staff filmed three 30 second commercials in the fall to educate customers about importance of preventing stormwater pollution, proper disposal of fats, oils and grease and finding and fixing leaks. These commercials are on CCWA’s You Tube channel, and are used at the Southlake AMC movie theater, on Clayton County’s government access channel 23 and at community events.
- CCWA launched Project Pipefix in the fall to renew outfalls that are the backbone of the utility’s wastewater collection system. This long-term program will be completed in numerous phases across the county and is being managed by CCWA’s Program Management/Engineering Construction Services staff. The first project is the Flint River Outfall Replacement that involves replacing a major outfall sewer line in the central part of the county which collects wastewater form smaller sewer lines serving homes and businesses. This outfall carries these flows to the W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility where it is highly treated and then flows to CCWA’s Huie Constructed Treatment Wetlands. The entire outfall is a 10-mile lone pipeline that generally runs parallel to the Flint River. It dates back to the late 1950’s and is nearing the end of its useful life. A new 60 inch pipe made of more advanced, corrosion-resistant material will replace the existing 24 and 48 inch lines. Phase 1 replaces a section of the line from CCWA’s W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility to Highway 138. Full outfall replacement will take place in several phases over the next decade.
- CCWA’s Distribution & Conveyance staff earned the Georgia Association of Water Professionals’ 2015 Distribution System Gold Award and 2015 Collection System Platinum Award during the association’s fall conference in November. CCWA’s Northeast Water Reclamation Facility staff earned the Georgia Chapter of the Water Environment Federation George W. Burke Safety Award for a municipal wastewater treatment facility during the same conference.
- CCWA’s Small Local Business Enterprise Program continued to grow. ‘How To Do Business with CCWA’ workshops were held monthly. The program partnered with County Commissioner Shana Rooks to host its first business social mixer in November.
- The year was a busy one for CCWA’s Ambassadors (employees who participate in outreach events) as 133 employees participated in 61 events reaching 9,312 community members.
- The year ended with an extreme rain event (5-6 inches during a 36 hour period) that caused major flooding issues and power outages in the area. While most people were enjoying the Christmas holiday, CCWA staff were out in miserable weather making sure operations continued uninterrupted.
- The year started off with continued heavy rains and the rippling effects of the Flint, Michigan water crisis. The crisis in Flint showed the critical importance of safe tap water and underscored that our first job as water professionals is to protect the families we serve. CCWA staff increased education outreach efforts to explain what we do in Clayton County and in the state of Georgia to make sure something similar doesn’t happen here.
- CCWA launches a Facebook Closed Group page for employees as additional internal communication tool.
- Board Member Sophia Haynes’ term ended in late February. Mr. Robin Malone was appointed to a five year term to replace her.
- CCWA’s management team and board members provided input on a new vision statement. General Manager Mike Thomas decided to get input from a group of younger employees so he created a Future Vision project and had the group share their ideas about how CCWA will continue as a leader in the water industry, what the world of work will look like, the impact of technology on work and changes in customers and customer service over the next 10-15 years. The finalized new vision statement, “Utilizing Innovation to Provide Industry-Leading Service for Our Community” was rolled out to staff in the fall.
- The Newman Wetlands Center hosts ‘Unfiltered’, its first wetlands-inspired art exhibit.
- Meter Services and Customer Service staff celebrated National ‘Fix a Leak’ Week in March by reaching out to walk in customers again this year at its HQ and Forest Park customer service lobbies. Staff shared tips and information on finding and fixing the most common household leaks. They reached more than 1,000 customers.
- CCWA’s Small Local Business Program and Clayton County Central Services Department sponsored a Small Business Expo at Clayton State University in March.
- Finance staff earned the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report for fiscal year ending April 30, 2015. This marks the Authority’s 29th consecutive year earning this prestigious award.
- CCWA hosted its annual Household Hazardous Waste Amnesty Day in April for Clayton County residents to bring in old and unused paints, cleaners, batteries, bulbs and medications. 503 vehicles were checked in and unloaded, taking in 92,000 lbs. of materials.
- Northeast Water Reclamation Staff earned the Georgia Association of Water Professionals’ Wastewater Plant of the Year Award for the Advanced Treatment 6 – 9.9 Million Gallons per Day Category during the association’s spring conference in April.
- W. B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility Plant Supervisor Mike Holt earned the Georgia Association of Water Professionals’ Top Wastewater Operator for District 3 during the spring conference.
- A 2% rate adjustment for water base rates and a 3% rate adjustment for sewer base rates went into effect in May. Stormwater rates remained the same.
- CCWA celebrated National Drinking Water Week in May with an Open House at the Terry R. Hicks Water Production Plant and outreach activities at its HQ and Forest Park customer service lobbies.
- Staff hosted more than 530 fourth grade students from several south metro counties at the 2nd annual Southern Children’s Water Festival. The hands-on-learning event celebrates National Drinking Water Week and provides quality water education so the students can connect the quantity and quality of our local rivers, lakes and streams.
- In June, CCWA earns The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District’s Inaugural STREAM Award for Wastewater and Septic Projects for its innovative use of constructed treatment wetlands.
- CCWA’s Water Resource Engineer Shayla Nealy received the Georgia Association of Water Professionals Jack C. Dozier Emerging Leader Award during the association’s annual conference in July.
- CCWA begins offering a Senior Citizen Discount Program for qualified seniors in August. The program assists low income seniors by providing up to a $5 a month discount on their monthly bill ($2.50 off water and $2.50 off sewer). The program is funded from fees received from CCWA’s partnership with Gas South.
- CCWA was recognized as a ‘Utility of the Future – Today’ in September by partnership of water sector organizations, including: the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Water Environment Federation, the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation and the WateReuse Association. CCWA was one of only 61 utilities in U.S., Canada and Denmark who were honored for exceptional performance. This is the first year the recognition is given.
- A Level 1 Drought Response was declared for most of north Georgia in late September.
- CCWA implemented a new security master plan in October to improve the safety and security of its facilities, resources and safety of its personnel.
- More than 500 visitors attended the annual Wetlands & Watershed Festival in October.
- A Level 2 Drought Response was declared for all of metro Atlanta in October after many months of severe drought. This requires using the odd/even outdoor watering schedule.
- This year’s Rivers Alive Stream Cleanup in October was held at Swint Elementary. 271 community volunteers collected trash and debris from a portion of the Flint River.
- Finance staff received its 11th Governmental Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Award – this time for the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget.
- CCWA won big at the Georgia Association of Water Professionals Fall Conference in November. Awards included: 2016 Distribution System Gold Award, 2016 Collection System Platinum Award, 2016 Wastewater Lab Award for systems serving greater than 20 Million Gallons per Day, Environmental Compliance and Lab Supervisor Jennifer Brandon received the 2016 Water Environment Federation Analyst Excellence Award, Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Facility received the 2016 GWEF Burke Safety Award and Plant Services Supervisor Brent Taylor received the 2016 Top Maintenance Technician Award.
- CCWA’s Small Business Enterprise Program held its annual business social mixer in November and finished the year with 102 certified small local businesses.
- The year that began with extreme rain events ended with drought conditions. Fortunately, rains at the end of the year did help.
- CCWA started the year off forming an Innovation Team of employees from across the company to help identify and implement innovative processes, equipment and projects.
- CCWA’s Small Local Business Program partnered with Clayton County Central Services to successfully host its 2nd Annual Small Business Expo in January.
- Meter Services’ Loss Prevention Team celebrated the collection of more than $1 million in past due balances and fees since starting the Loss Prevention program in 2012 aimed at reducing losses due to water theft.
- In February, CCWA began transitioning from its old access control system to an upgraded security platform to provide better security for its employees and customers.
- CCWA’s Water Production team earned “outstanding performance” ratings from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) an on-site inspection of water production facilities. The Hicks Water Production Plant scored 95.2%, the Smith Water Production Plant scored 96.5% and the Hooper Water Production Plant scored 97.3%. All three plants scored at the highest level which is Outstanding Performance.
- CCWA staff earned four top awards during the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Spring Conference. W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery Facility’s Pelletizing Operation received the 2017 Biosolids/Residuals Program of Excellence Award for the Large Operating System Greater than 5 Dry Tons Per Day Category.Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Facility was named the 2017 Wastewater Plant of the Year for the Advanced Treatment 3 – 5.9 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) Category. Hicks Plant Operator Lesley Rathburn was named the Water Top Operator and Shoal Creek Plant Supervisor Herlon Fayard was named Top Wastewater Operator.
- CCWA hosted its annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day in April and collected waste from 470 vehicles, the City of Forest Park, the City of Lake City, Clayton County Public Schools and Habitat for Humanity.
- CCWA began using Smart Covers to prevent sanitary sewer overflows in the county.
- Staff celebrated National Drinking Water Week in May with outreach activities at our HQ Customer Service lobby and an Open House at the Hicks Water Production Plant
- The Clayton County Board of Commissioners appointed Vivian Baldwin to the CCWA Board of Directors in May. Ms. Baldwin replaced board member Elizabeth G. Armstrong.
- CCWA began transitioning from compound meters to Ultra Sonic Meters in heavy flow areas after researching the benefits of using ultra sonic meters.
- General Manager Mike Thomas announced his retirement plans for June 2018
- Stormwater maintenance crews completed nearly 1,800 work orders during the fiscal year 2016-17.
- During GAWP’s annual conference Awards Luncheon in July, Shoal Creek WRF Plant Supervisor Herlon Fayard received the Water Environment’s William D. Hatfield Award.Water Reclamation Manager Chris Hamilton, Northeast WRF Plant Supervisor David Blackstock and Pelletizing Plant Supervisor Dan Doss were recognized during the awards luncheon for reaching GAWP’s Life Member milestones.
- CCWA started an 18 month implementation project for a new Customer Information System (CIS) system, Cayenta, after having been on Harris Northstar for almost 10 years.
- New fueling stations were installed at CCWA’s Dixon Industrial Boulevard site and HQ campus. The new stations are Fuel Master’s AIM2.4 technology, which is the leader in automated fuel management.
- Hurricane Irma moved through the metro Atlanta area in September. Even though CCWA offices were closed, staff was busy assessing damage, responding to emergency calls and making sure CCWA plants and lift stations did not have any service interruptions.
- CCWA’s launched its official Facebook page in late summer to provide another communication channel for customers.
- CCWA hosted its annual Wetlands & Watershed Festival on October 7th. This year’s festival brought in 398 visitors, not including volunteers and exhibitors.
- The 2017 Rivers Alive Stream Clean Up was cancelled due to inclement weather.
- CCWA participated in the national Value of Water’s Imagine a Day without Water campaign on October 12th. We partnered with TOTO USA (maker of high-end toilets) and Clorox to offer our Change Champions and Innovation Team members the chance to go behind the scenes and learn more about how water is used in their production processes.
- In November, CCWA’s Board of Directors named H. Bernard Franks as the Authority’s next General Manager. Franks will take over the position in June 2018 when General Manager Mike Thomas retires.
- CCWA’s Finance Staff earned two awards this year, its 30th Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for fiscal year ending April 30, 2017 and its 12th Governmental Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Award for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget.
- CCWA continued to earn the earn accolades for outstanding operations winning two awards during the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Fall Conference. CCWA received the 2017 Collection System Platinum Award and the 2017 Distribution System Gold Award.
- CCWA hosted its 3rd Annual SLBE Networking Social Mixer on November 16th in the Marie Barber Community Use Room. By the end of the year, there were 137 certified firms in the SLBE program and the numbers continue to rise.
- Former Board Member Edgar Blalock Jr. passed away in February. He father was one of the co-authors of the legislation that created CCWA in 1955.
- General Manager P. Michael Thomas was named the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Council’s ‘2018 Man of Distinction’ in March.
- CCWA published its first annual Community Report highlighting activities in 2017.
- A JD Edwards Upgrade project kicked off in April. This software is used for procurement, time entry, work orders, payroll, purchase orders, inventory, financial transactions and benefits.
- CCWA staff earned top awards during the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Spring Conference in April. The Northeast Water Reclamation Facility 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 – 49.9 MGD Category. Stormwater Maintenance Foreman Marcus McLester was named Stormwater Top Operator for the State of Georgia and Distribution & Conveyance Manager Jeff Jones was inducted into the Golden Hydrant Society.
- 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 – 13 years Platinum; and Shoal Creek WRF – 21 years Platinum)
- All three water production facilities earned Platinum Awards for 100 percent compliance in 2017 (J.W. Smith WPP – 9 years Platinum; Terry R. Hicks WPP – 17 Years Platinum and W.J. Hooper WPP – 20 years Platinum)
- CCWA celebrated National Drinking Water Week in May with activities at its HQ Office and an Open House at its Terry R. Hicks Water Production Plant.
- General Manager P. Michael Thomas retired in June after 19 years with CCWA. H. Bernard Franks assumed the position of General Manager after shadowing Thomas for six months.
- Teresa Worley was promoted to Assistant General Manager – Support Services in June after serving as Customer Accounts Director for more than seven years.
- Also, in June, Customer Service Coordinator Rodney Perkins was promoted to Customer Accounts Director where he oversees total customer account operations including Meter Service, Billing, Customer Service, Call Center and Collections.
- In July, CCWA earned the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA) Champion of Diversity Award during the Georgia Association of Water Professionals Annual Conference. The award recognizes an individual, group or organization that has created, promoted and maintained diversity by establishing an environment that recognizes, encourages and effectively utilizes each individual’s talents.
- A new customer information system implementation project kicked off in August to replace the system used for everything involving customers including customer service, billing, service requests, cash receipts and meter tracking. The projected 18-month project is schedule to be complete in 2019.
- Over the summer, CCWA employees collected pajamas and books for the Women of Clayton County’s annual literacy campaign. 249 books and 27 sets of pajamas were donated for this event.
- In September, a residential customer survey was conducted to gather information on customers’ overall satisfaction, as well as their experiences and perception around water quality, billing processes, communications with CCWA and programs offered by CCWA. This is done by a third-party contractor every two years.
- A comprehensive compensation review began in September. The Archer Group was hired to review all existing job descriptions and conduct a market survey of positions.
- The Georgia Water Coalition included CCWA in its Clean 13 Report for our efforts to return water to the Flint River with the construction of a polishing plant at the W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery Facility in Jonesboro. Once completed, CCWA will be able to return 6.6 Million Gallons Per Day of treated effluent back to the Flint River. This will help restore water levels in the Upper Flint.
- A Unidirectional Flushing (UDF) Program was piloted in the fall to clean the inside of water lines. This is an industry supported standard used to maintain an effective water distribution system and ensure high-quality water is delivered straight to customers’ taps. UDF harnesses the power of water itself by isolating a segment of pipe by closing off valves and opening hydrants to direct clean water down a single water main. The pressure creates enough velocity to scour the pipe and remove any sediment in the bottom of the pipe. The pilot was a success so the UDF Program is planned to continue in 2019.
- CCWA launched Care. Connect. Conserve. to market its affordability programs. These programs include: Hardship Assistance, Senior Assistance, Senior Delayed Billing and Leak Adjustments. Hardship Assistance and Senior Assistance are funded with revenue from cell tower contracts and CCWA’s partnership with Gas South.
- The J.D. Edwards Upgrade went live in October. The new platform includes a new user interface, easier navigation, new modules and a more intuitive look and feel for staff. The upgrade also provides vendors to sign up for ACH payments.
- In October, CCWA hosted its annual Wetlands & Watershed Festival at the Newman Wetlands Center and Rivers Alive Stream Cleanup at Panhandle Park in Jonesboro.
- Assistant General Manager – Operations Jim Poff retired in November after 30 years of service.
- Keisha Thorpe was hired as Assistant General Manager – Operations to replace Poff. Thorpe brought more than 17 years of combined experience in water and wastewater treatment with hands on experience in distribution, collections, project management, asset management, technical support, construction and maintenance.
- In November, CCWA hosts its first Model Water Tower Competition through a partnership with Clayton County Public Schools. The inaugural event is held at Rex Mill Middle School with more than 80 students forming teams to create 22 model towers. Each group was then judged on structural efficiency, hydraulics efficiency, design ingenuity and an interview presentation.
- Staff wrapped up the year earning several industry awards at the GAWP Fall Conference, including: Northeast WRF earned the Georgia Water Environment Federation’s Burke Safety Award; W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery Facility earning the Laboratory Quality Assurance at a Municipal Wastewater Laboratory Award for the Greater than 20 MGD Category; Collection System Platinum Award and Water Distribution Gold Award.
- CCWA’s Warehouse Operations began reporting to the Risk/Safety/Procurement Department to enhance efficiencies of purchasing goods and services company-wide.
- CCWA mourned the loss of Pete McQueen who passed away on February 19, 2019. Mr. McQueen served on the Board of Directors from 1997 to 2012. From March 2001 – February 2012, he served as Chairman. He led the Water Authority through its Water Resources Initiative 2000, the most aggressive ten-year master plan in the Water Authority’s history designed to upgrade and expand all water reclamation facilities; transitioning from spray irrigation to constructed treatment wetlands; implementation of a unified stormwater utility and completion of a $10 million meter replacement project. During McQueen’s leadership, the Water Authority’s fiscally conservative approach enabled it to use a ‘pay as you go’ approach to fund capital improvement projects while saving more than $7 million in future bond debt payments and having its bond rating increased from AA to AA+. This approach allowed rates to remain lower than most in the metro Atlanta area. He was extremely proud of CCWA being named Clayton County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year in 2010, earning the WateReuse Award of Merit and being designated one of the country’s ‘Top Water Wise’ Communities by American Rivers.
- CCWA published its Community Report highlighting activities in 2018.
- General Services staff moved into its new facility on Thomas Road. This new facility brought together Facility and Plant Maintenance staff that had been working out of three separate buildings that were long past their useful life. The building was designed for the type of equipment and work they do and is equipped with today’s technology.
- CCWA celebrated Fix A Leak Week in March at its HQ and Forest Park Customer Service locations.
- Brent Taylor was promoted to General Services Director in March after serving in the department for 12 years.
- CCWA Finance staff earned its 13th Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).
- CCWA was honored by the Georgia Water Coalition during its Clean 13 Celebration for its 2018 water heroes. CCWA was named a Water Hero for our efforts to return water to the Flint River with the construction of a polishing plant at the W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery Facility in Jonesboro. Once completed, CCWA will be able to return 6.6 Million Gallons Per Day of treated effluent back to the Flint River. This will help restore water levels in the Upper Flint.
- CCWA staff earned top awards during the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Spring Conference in April. The Shoal Creek Water Reclamation Facility was named the 2019 Wastewater Plant of the Year for the Advanced Treatment 3-5.9 Million Gallons Per Day (MGD) Category for its performance during 2018. The W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery Facility’s Pelletizing Plant was named the Biosolids/Residuals Program of Excellence for Large Operating System – Greater than 5 Dry Ton Category for 2018 operations while the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility was named the Program of Excellence for Small Operating System – Less than 5 Dry Ton Category for 2018 operations. Northeast Water Reclamation Facility Chief Operator was named the District 3 Top Wastewater Operator.
- All three water reclamation facilities earned Platinum Awards for 100 percent compliance in 2018 (Northeast WRF – 10 years Platinum; W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery – 14 years Platinum; and Shoal Creek WRF – 22 years Platinum)
- All three water production facilities earned Platinum Awards for 100 percent compliance in 2018 (J.W. Smith WPP – 10 years Platinum; Terry R. Hicks WPP – 18 Years Platinum and W.J. Hooper WPP – 21 years Platinum)
- Kendra Stanciel was named Water Reclamation Director in April after serving as the Water Production Director for five years.
- CCWA hosted its annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day in late April.
- In May, CCWA celebrated the retirements of two long time employees – Water Reclamation Manager Chris Hamilton, who retired with 34 years of service, and General Services Manager Marshall Maddox, who retired with 35 years of service. Kendra Stanciel and Brent Taylor succeeded them respectively.
- CCWA hosted the annual Southern Children’s Water Festival in May at its Shamrock Community Use Building and celebrated National Drinking Water Week in May with activities at its HQ Office and an Open House at its Terry R. Hicks Water Production Plant.
- A heavy rain event in early June caused major flooding causing dangerous road flooding, overloading our sanitary sewer system, wreaking havoc at plants and flooding the Newman Wetlands Center trail.
- In June, CCWA staff collected money for the family of a Macon Water Authority employee who died after a work-related incident to show their love and support for fellow water professionals.
- CCWA partnered with Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) to pilot a high school STEM Program. Two CCPS high school seniors participated in the pilot shadowing plant operators for two weeks at two water treatment plants.
- Assistant General Manager Keisha Thorpe received the 2019 William J. Greene Award for outstanding service to the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association during the GAWP Annual Conference in July.
- In August, Coty McDaniel was promoted to Water Production Director after serving in the department since 2007.
- The second phase of CCWA’s Security Management System implementation was completed including a complete hardware and software upgrade of video surveillance and access control at CCWA facilities.
- CCWA mourned the loss of employee Mike Hopper after his untimely death in October. Mike had been member of the CCWA family for 25 years and worked in the Distribution & Conveyance Department as a Utility Service Mechanic.
- Mid October brought the declaration of a Level 1 Drought Response for much of the state by Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD). Extreme heat and little rainfall during late summer led to a ‘flash drought’. Under Level 1, water utilities are required to educate customers on conservation methods and ask that customers only water when necessary and conserve when possible.
- CCWA hosted its annual Wetlands & Watershed Festival at the Newman Wetlands Center and Rivers Alive Stream Cleanup at Swint Elementary School in Jonesboro.
- CCWA hosts its second annual Model Water Tower Competition through a partnership with Clayton County Public Schools. The competition grew to include two schools, Rex Mill Middle School and Babb Middle School. More than 60 students formed teams to create 21 working water towers. students forming teams to create 22 model towers. Each group was then judged on structural efficiency, hydraulics efficiency, design ingenuity and an interview presentation.
- November brought a record number of retirements with 11 employees retiring with a combined total of 367 years of service.
- CCWA implemented a new water information management system for its water and wastewater operational and laboratory data.
- CCWA Ambassadors (staff who participate in outreach and public education) had a record year with 160 employees participating in 79 events reaching more than 21,000 community members.
- Staff earned several industry awards at the GAWP Fall Conference, including: Collection System Platinum Award and Water Distribution System Platinum Award. CCWA’s Senior Laboratory Analyst Jay Patel earned the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Analyst of Excellence Award.
- The year came to a close with GA EPD declaring an end to the ‘flash drought’ after fall rains brought an end to the drought conditions in the majority of the state.
- The year started off like any other year. Little did we know, a pandemic would totally turn things on its side in early spring. It also really brought home CCWA’s critical public health responsibility to provide water, sewer and stormwater services to our community.
- In January, a Warehouse and Inventory Management Improvement Project kicked off updating warehouse processes, improving inventory database management, and reorganizing the physical space where inventory is stored. A portion of CCWA property involving inventory will be lost with the widening of Battle Creek Road.
- General Manager H. Bernard Franks formed a COVID-19 Task Force in early March to stay on top of the rapidly changing pandemic. The Task Force met five days a week from March – July. It continued to meet weekly through the end of the year. Water disconnects were also put on hold for several months.
- CCWA participated in the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) 2020 Career Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center on March 12. It would be the last outreach event staff participated in other than two signature events in the fall.
- CCWA mourned the loss of employee Anthony Butler after his sudden death in March after a short illness. Anthony had been member of the CCWA family for close to 13 years and worked in the Distribution & Conveyance Department as Backflow Crew Leader.
- During the state’s shelter in place declaration beginning in early April, CCWA closed its customer service lobbies and drive-thrus, recreation areas and Newman Wetlands Center. Employees who could telework did so. Water production and water reclamation employees continued to staff the plants to ensure access to safe, clean drinking water and reliable sanitary sewer services. Field staff ensured meters were read, emergencies were responded to quickly and major projects stayed on course. We took every precaution to ensure the safety of our employees while providing these essential services to our community.
- CCWA staff earned top awards during the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) Spring Conference in April, which went virtual. The Northeast Water Reclamation Facility in Rex was named the 2020 Wastewater Plant of the Year for the Advanced Treatment 6-9.9 Million Gallons Per Day (MGD) Category for its performance during 2019. W.B. Casey Pelletizing Facility Chief Operator Jordan Cole was named the District 3 Top Wastewater Operator. General Service Lead Maintenance Technician Mike Harp was named the GAWP Top Maintenance Technician for 2020.
- Four of CCWA facilities earned Platinum Awards for 100 percent compliance in 2019 Northeast WRF – 11 years Platinum; W.B. Casey Water Resource Recovery – 15 years Platinum; J.W. Smith WPP – 11 years Platinum; and W.J. Hooper WPP – 22 years Platinum
- CCWA published its Community Report highlighting activities in 2019.
- CCWA adopted its 2020 Strategic Master Plan. This 10-year road map of capital improvements addresses the changing regulatory environment, aging infrastructure, customer growth and advances in technology. The $665 million plan includes 146 projects across all CCWA departments. When the plan was put together right before the pandemic hit the U.S., it was determined that a 10% water and sewer base and usage rate adjustment was needed. The Board of Directors decided to readdress the rate adjustment in late summer.
- CCWA’s COVID-19 Task Force implemented COVID-19 screening procedures for all employees when they report to work. This also applies to visitors/contractors entering any CCWA facility. The task force also implements new precautions for customers/visitors in Customer Service lobbies. These include wearing face mask/coverings, maintaining a distance of six feet, and reducing the number of visitor allowed in the HQ lobby and Forest Park lobby.
- Tommy Higginbotham was hired as CCWA’s new Information Technology Director after the retirement of Director Dan Holverson.
- Following other public utilities, water disconnects resumed with a higher disconnect threshold.
- CCWA’s Board of Directors approved a 10 percent rate adjustment for water and sewer base and usage charges. The adjustment’s effective date is pushed out to January 1, 2021. An average water and sewer customer using 4,000 gallons a month will see their bill go up $4.75 ($.16 a day). This is the first rate adjustment since 2016. Even with this rate adjustment, CCWA’s rates remain some of the lowest in the metro area.
- CCWA’s Communications staff began a rate adjustment awareness campaign.
- CCWA’s new Cayenta customer information system and Invoice Cloud payment platforms went live September 1. The system is used for everything involving customers including customer service, meter services, billing requests and cash receipts for more than 82,000 accounts. The new system simplifies internal business processes, provides more accurate information, and allows for better customer service.
- CCWA Finance staff earned its 32nd Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).
- CCWA hosted its postponed annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day in September. Residents turned out in force with 502 vehicles serviced.
- Newman Wetlands Center staff took a new approach to the annual Wetlands & Watershed Festival in October. Instead of one big event, 13 small events were hosted with a combination of virtual and in person events for small groups. They included a Guided Night Hike, Constructed Treatment Wetlands Tour, Turtle Catch, and Macroinvertebrate Mayhem. 209 guests were able to learn more about the environment and the importance of protecting wetlands.
- Anquilla Henderson was hired as the new Human Resources Director after the retirement of Ed Durham.
- Staff earned several industry awards at the virtual GAWP Fall Conference, including: Best Consumer Confidence Report Award for Large Systems, Lab QA/QC Award for Municipal Wastewater Systems of greater than 20 million gallons per day, Collection System Platinum Award, Water Distribution System Platinum Award and Gold Award.
- The year closed with one constant that remained throughout the challenges. CCWA employees adapted as needed to ensure that we provided our customers and community with essential water, sewer and stormwater services. We could not be prouder of the dedication and team effort.