Water Authority speaks on local water issues, quality

Water Authority speaks on local water issues, quality

Tony Rojas, Executive Director for the Macon Water Authority, presented the “What about our water?” seminar on Feb. 2. The presentation was sponsored by the Environmental Studies and Policy Seminar Series

Brian Rood, director of the program, is responsible for assembling these seminars and chose the topic of water because it is a critical component of natural and human environments.

“The Macon Water Authority as a utility has demonstrated itself to be remarkably successful in its quality of service and its fiscal responsibility, proving to be successful even during these difficult economic times,” Rood said.

Rojas was selected as a prominent local speaker who could discuss the water supply industry, thoughts about water issues and career opportunities for students. Rojas has been with the Macon Water Authority since November 2002.

In the state of Georgia water issues are a growing concern. With the help of Rojas, the Macon Water Authority has displayed an effective management of the water resources and a practical approach relating to the handling of natural catastrophes and service crises.

The most recent work was done to stop an raw sewage leak of 18 million gallons per day near the Ocmulgee Riverwalk. The amount was equivalent to a third of the wastewater produced by the city of Macon each day.

In addition to handling this disaster the Macon Water Authority has received numerous awards, including one for “Best Tasting Drinking Water”.

Despite the incident of sewage leak, the Ocmulgee River supplies Macon with an ample supply of water. This river, combined with the Javors Lucas Lake, puts Macon in the envious position of having plenty of water for the customers of the Macon Water Authority even during the summer droughts Georgia often experiences.

From an economic standpoint, the reliable source of water helps Macon attract and retain businesses, and the waste and water infrastructure will support these businesses.

The way people can help the environment and the Macon Water Authority is to not waste water and to use only what is needed.

A common issue for the water authority is people pouring cooking grease down the drain. The grease eventually clogs sewer mains, resulting in spills like the sewage leak Macon recently experienced.

Improper disposal of motor oil, pesticides and insecticides also negatively impact the environment and, more directly, the water supply. Dumping these products in ditches or streams leads to long-term issues.