The Macon Water Authority

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

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Crisis in Flint reminds us of the value of water quality

Jan 20, 2017 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.


The anniversary of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan reminds us of the importance of the value of water quality. MWA core values assure customers will not face a public health crisis such as the lead exposure that occurred in Flint.

It was just a year ago that the nation paused for one of those “oh no” moments. Officials from Flint, Michigan faced a water quality crisis – one of the most serious due to lead exposure for their customers – that brought national headlines, investigations, reprimand, and a raised awareness by the rest of us that clean, safe drinking water is not something to take for granted.

Meanwhile, 850 miles south the Macon Water Authority (MWA) staff was finishing an organizational management process to identify the Core Values, Vision and Mission of the utility. Little did our local water professionals know how salient and timely that exercise would be.

First, there are the MWA technical functions, which have garnered numerous industry awards for the water utility, to assure our customers the water treatment shortcuts and mistakes that occurred in Flint would never be duplicated here.

Those best practices include: continual compliance with regulatory oversight; exemplary performance on industry audits; outstanding source water quality and watershed protection of the Ocmulgee River and Javors Lucas Lake; protective coating for water lines for the prevention of corrosive water; additional monitoring of water to assure it is non-corrosive; and continual upgrades to the system and investments in quality infrastructure.

But the real story of water quality at the MWA can be found in the utility’s Core Values, Vision, and Mission. Operating according to these high standards, the MWA will never be in jeopardy of losing the integrity of its system – and hopefully the trust of its customers.

“Well before we were even aware of the crisis in Flint, our staff was composing a list of Core Values to enact every day, so we could share these with our customers to assure them that producing and delivering clean, safe drinking water was our number one priority,” says Tony Rojas, President and Executive Director of the MWA.

Those Core Values include: Service, Integrity, Stewardship, Professionalism, Innovation, and perhaps most relevant, Safety.

“There’s no way a utility that follows these Values can fail in its duty to provide quality water and sewer services, which is our Mission,” adds Rojas. “You won’t see an incident like the one in Flint occur here not only because we have the technical expertise and safeguards in place to prevent that, but because we operate as a utility according to Core Values that define who we are as water professionals.”

Media contact:
Chris Wood, Ph.D.
Phone: 770-757-1681
Email: or

Tagged: macon water authority core values, mwa core values, macon water authority, mwa, flint michigan water crisis

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