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We’ve talked about the role wetlands play in maintaining a successful Water Authority. Now I want to introduce another major hero at the authority, our reservoirs. CCWA has a surface water system that utilizes five raw water reservoirs and without them, the Water Authority’s job would be a lot harder. As a surface water system, the authority relies on rainfall and pulling some water from the Flint River to fill them. One of my favorites is the J.W. Smith Reservoir. During March-October, we allow visitors to come fishing, canoeing, and even come out for picnics, which everybody enjoys because the scenery is outstanding.

For the best view of the 250 acres of land, I recommend anywhere near the J.W. Smith Community Use Building (CUB.) It is the perfect location to see the lake and all the trees. Especially in the fall when the leaves start changing colors and falling. The CUB has the look of a rustic cabin you would see in the mountains, When I was there, I felt like I was in a scene of a movie. The sun was shining right onto the cabin and was glistening on the water. It’s a simple pleasure I’ll hold onto for a while.

This blog entry isn’t to promote the CUB, but it is extremely nice. So, if you wanted, you could rent it out for an event up to 50 people. It is available any day of the week between 8 a.m.- 10 p.m. all year long. For specifics, visit our website at

Now enough with the fanboying. The J.W. Smith reservoir is more than a pretty face. The J.W. Smith Water Production facility pulls water from here to begin the process of turning raw water into drinking water – cleaning and disinfecting it for proper consumption. This plant has the ability to produce up to 12 million gallons of “potable” water per day. Potable, which rhymes with floatable, means it is safe to drink. (Working here for so long you start to speak the same language as everybody else. But don’t feel bad, I didn’t know what most of this stuff meant when I first got here.)

The amount of science and tediousness that goes into ensuring that we have potable water is something as residents we take for granted. Plant Operators constantly monitor screens, equipment, and test samples of the water at the facility and at the reservoirs, because anything can affect water quality. For more specifics on the process, stay tuned for our tap water video “Tap vs Bottled” coming soon. Seeing it as it is being explained is eye-opening. Big super special shout out to Plant Operator Rocky Autrey (he showed me around and taught me most of this stuff) and all the plant operators we have at the J.W. Smith and our two other Water Production facilities. They work around the clock in the rain, sleet, snow, and even on holidays. So when you are eating your nice and juicy turkey, add another thing to be thankful for this season – our plant operators who make sure we all have clean, safe drinkable water!