The Macon Water Authority

790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600

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Volunteers keeping the Ocmulgee Alive!

Oct 9, 2018 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.


Employees from YKK USA were out in force as volunteers during the 2018 Ocmulgee Alive!

On Saturday Oct. 6, the Macon Water Authority (MWA) hosted the 14th Annual Ocmulgee Alive! A few hundred volunteers came out to take part in Macon’s Annual River Cleanup.

Those volunteers personified this year’s theme: “Clean Streets = Clean Streams = Clean Ocmulgee!” Indeed, most of the cleanup efforts concentrated on cleaning trash from area roadways, since this debris ends up in local streams that feed into the Ocmulgee.

“Whenever it rains, litter goes into storm drains and then into streams and eventually the Ocmulgee River,” says Mark Wyzalek, MWA Director of Laboratory/Environmental Compliance, who helped organize the event on behalf of the Authority and its sponsors. “Not only is litter unsightly, but it also can clog the flow of water into storm drains, causing flooding and additional problems with our infrastructure.”

This year’s event even welcomed a new sponsor in Irving Consumer Products, whose employees joined those from YKK USA and Graphic Packaging International as the corporate sponsors of 2018 Ocmulgee Alive! Irving’s participation comes approximately one year after the paper and tissue products manufacturer announced plans to locate their second U.S. production facility in Macon-Bibb County, at the Sofkee Industrial Park.

Assisting the MWA and its Macon Water Alliance in organizing the event were local partners that included the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, NewTown Macon, Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful, and Macon-Bibb Parks & Beautification.

Participating organizations in this year’s Ocmulgee Alive! included Mount de Sales Academy, Ocmulgee National Monument, Stratford Academy, Macon-Bibb County 4-H, Cub Scout Pack 170, Historic Riverside Cemetery Conservancy, Altamaha Riverkeeper, and the Mercer University Environmental Law Society.

Ocmulgee Alive! is one of the top 10 river cleanups affiliated with the statewide Rivers Alive Program, which was established by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division (EPD). The mission of Rivers Alive is to raise awareness of and participation in the protection of Georgia’s waterways.

The Ocmulgee River, in addition to being a popular site for outdoor recreation, serves as one of the primary sources – along with Javors Lucas Lake – for drinking water produced by the MWA at its Frank C. Amerson, Jr. Water Treatment Plant.

The Amerson Plant has been selected as the Plant of the Year in Georgia on five occasions. In addition, the tap water produced at the Amerson Plant was judged as the Best Tasting Drinking Water in North America by the American Water Works Association. Thus, protecting the Ocmulgee River is critical for the MWA to maintain those standards of excellent taste and quality in its drinking water.

A photo gallery of this year’s event is available on this website via the “Learn More” link below. Thanks to all sponsors, organizers, and participants in a very successful 14th Annual Ocmulgee Alive!

Media contact:
Chris Wood, Ph.D.
P: 770.757.1681

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