The Macon Water Authority

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

How Water Is Treated

The Macon Water Authority is a surface water treatment system, which means the raw water collected and used for drinking water production comes from surface water runoff.  The raw water used in drinking water production at the MWA Frank C. Amerson, Jr. Water Treatment Plant is gathered from rain water that flows into the Ocmulgee River and/or Javors Lucas Lake -- the Authority's raw water storage facilities.

From the MWA reservoir -- Javors Lucas Lake -- or in some cases directly or indirectly from the Ocmulgee River, the Authority pumps raw water into the Amerson Plant, where the drinking water treatment process then begins.

The conventional drinking water production/treatment process at the Amerson Plant involves stages that include: coagulation or flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, and finally storage.  Those stages of the drinking water process are outlined below:

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Coagulation is an initial stage in the treatment process, recognizing that natural particles in water, with negative charges, repel other materials, thereby keeping them in suspension.  Thus, positively charged chemicals (alum, in most cases) can be added to the water to destabilize these negative charges, and to allow the particles to accumulate and be removed by physical precesses such as sedimentation and filtration.

Flocculation is the second stage of water treatment, which involves gentle stirring to bring suspended particles together so they will form larger clumps called "floc" that will more easily settle out for removal during the next phase(s) of treatment.

Sedimentation occurs when the heavy particles (floc) settle to the bottom of basins, so the clear water can move on to filtration.

Filtration takes place when water passes through filters, some made of layers of sand, gravel, charcoal, or other substance, which helps remove even smaller particles from the water.

Disinfection is the final stage of the drinking water treatment process that requires a small amount of chlorine or similar disinfection method to kill any bacteria or micro-organisms that may be in the water.

Following this treatment process, finished drinking water is stored in a closed tank, either on the plant site (clearwells) or within the Authority's distribution system (ground and elevated storage tanks) for eventual safe delivery to MWA customers.

The following diagram provides an overview of the drinking water treatment process:



Macon Water Authority
790 Second St.
P.O. Box 108
Macon, GA 31202-0108
(478) 464-5600
(478) 741-9146

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