Water production is a point of pride for the Macon Water Authority, and our treatment plant is recognized as a leading production facility in Georgia and the United States.
The Amerson Water Treatment Plant History
The Frank C. Amerson, Jr. Water Treatment Plant opened on July 10, 2000, replacing the MWA’s Riverside Drive Water Treatment Plant, which was more than 100 years old.
The Riverside Drive Water Treatment Plant was heavily damaged in July 1994, when Macon was struck by one of the greatest flood disasters to ever hit the area. The effects of Tropical Storm Alberto produced nearly 20 inches of rain in Middle Georgia over the course of a few days. The Ocmulgee River flooded the city, including the Riverside Drive Water Treatment Plant.
Following the historic 1994 flood, the Authority decided to build a new drinking water production plant adjacent to its newly constructed Town Creek Reservoir (the Authority’s Javors J. Lucas Lake), rather than rebuild and expand the Riverside Drive facility.
The funding for the new Amerson Water Treatment Plant came from federal, state, and county sources. Only 24 percent of the $116 million project required MWA funding.
Award-Winning Water Operations
The Amerson Plant is a seven-time winner of the Best Operated Plant in the state, as awarded by judges of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals. This is remarkable for the Amerson Plant, since opening in 2000, to be voted best in the state on seven different occasions, especially when water treatment plants are not eligible for this award in consecutive years.
In addition, the Amerson Plant was recognized for producing the Best Tasting Drinking Water in North America in 2009, following victory in a Best of the Best Taste Test conducted at the annual conference of the American Water Works Association.
The Amerson Plant’s Water Production Capabilities
The Frank C. Amerson, Jr. Water Treatment Plant features a conventional design and enhanced drinking water production capacity of 60 million gallons per day (MGD). In addition, the current layout and design of the Amerson Plant can handle an expansion to 90 MGD of production capacity, if necessary.
Water from the MWA’s Javors J. Lucas Lake is pumped directly into the Amerson Water Treatment Plant for drinking water production.
An additional booster pumping station, however, is interconnected between the river intake on the Ocmulgee River and the Amerson Plant, bypassing Javors Lucas Lake. This alternative raw water pumping method provides the Authority with continuous operations during maintenance or in the event of an emergency.
The MWA’s Water Treatment Process
The MWA’s chemical treatment process during drinking water production includes:
- Chlorine dioxide
- Potassium permanganate
- Powdered activated carbon
All of these chemicals serve different purposes during the various stages of water production to assure the best possible water quality and safety.
Protecting Our Natural Resources
The water operations division also oversees 75 acres of wetlands, which provide a safe habitat for waterfowl and serve as an essential part of the cycle of water by protecting water quality. Wetlands mitigation and management ensure that natural resources are preserved and protected for generations to come.