MWA judged Best Tasting Tap Water in GA
Nearly 14 years after being selected as the Best Tasting Drinking Water in North America by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the Macon Water Authority is back in the winner’s circle after being honored as this year’s Best Tasting Drinking Water in Georgia.
The statewide tap water taste test competition, which is put on annually by the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA), took place last week at the Spring Conference of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) in Columbus.
MWA tap water won the honor of best tasting tap water in Georgia’s District 5 during a morning competition, prior to besting the other regional taste test winners in the afternoon to bring home the honor of 2023 Best Tasting Drinking Water in Georgia. To qualify for these competitions, the Authority could not have any permit violations at its Frank C. Amerson, Jr. Water Treatment Plant for the past year – an achievement the MWA has reached for a decade.
As the GAWWA taste test winner, the MWA will compete for the titles of “People’s Choice” and “Best of the Best” Drinking Water in North America during the AWWA’s annual ACE 23 Conference in Toronto in June. The Best Tasting Drinking Water in North America will come from those sectional winners from within the United States and Canada.
In addition to winning the honor for Best Tasting Drinking Water in Georgia, the MWA also received other accolades during the GAWP Spring Conference. Those honors include:
• The Authority’s Chuck Mixon and Daniel Smith were inducted into the GAWP Golden Hydrant Society, which is an award society organized through GAWWA for the recognition of outstanding professionals in the drinking water industry.
• Michael Elliott won the District 5 Wastewater Top Operator Award.
• The Amerson Water Treatment Plant was recognized with the Best Operated Water Treatment Plant Certificate of Achievement in the category of Surface Water Facilities with a production capacity between 75-100 million gallons per day (MGD). To receive a Certificate of Achievement, which is an honorable mention in the Plant of the Year Award competition, a facility must score higher than 95% on its evaluation. The Amerson Plant scored 97% and was a runner-up for Plant of the Year by the narrowest of margins.
• The Amerson Plant also won the GAWP Platinum Award for 100% permit compliance for 10 consecutive years.
• Finally, the MWA Lower Poplar Water Reclamation Facility received a GAWP Gold Award for achieving 100% permit compliance – no permit violations – the previous year.
Following the Georgia Taste Test victory, MWA Director of Water Treatment Gary McCoy shared some insights on why MWA tap water continues to be ranked among the best tasting in Georgia and North America.
“Not only do we have some of the best, most experienced water professionals overseeing the treatment process as operators at the Amerson Plant, but the raw water we withdraw from Javors Lucas Lake, our 5.8-billion-gallon reservoir for drinking water production, is among the highest quality possible,” says McCoy. “We also benefit from having the top-of-the-line filter media in Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) at the Amerson Plant, and we’re permitted to withdraw raw water as needed from the Ocmulgee River into Javors Lucas Lake. Thus, the raw water sediments in the reservoir have time to settle out prior to production, so we’re starting with a much cleaner source water than most other utilities.”
MWA tap water first received national recognition when it won the “Best of the Best” taste test at the AWWA annual conference in 2009 – a competition the utility now returns to compete in this summer.
Media Contact: Chris Wood, Ph.D.
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