The Macon Water Authority

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

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MWA Water Efficiency Program coming to fruition

Nov 21, 2011 by Dr. Chris Wood

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A crew from the MWA and Cavanaugh & Associates performs a field inspection of an existing bulk customer meter, to verify meter condition and configuration of piping connections.

Beginning in August, the Macon Water Authority (MWA) commissioned Cavanaugh & Associates to conduct a “Top Down” Water Audit of its system, under IWA/AWWA industry standards, with the intent to develop a subsequent Water Efficiency Program as a result. The MWA and staff from Cavanaugh & Associates are in the final phase of that three-part process.

Water Audits are essential for public water utilities such as the MWA to quantify their system efficiencies and water resources, while better understanding their operational and financial implications. Water Efficiency Programming is helpful in the ongoing effective management of water loss and non-revenue water, as well as being recognized globally as best practices for utility management.

The first phase of the project gathered available financial and operational data to develop a Water Balance for the audit year. The volume of non-revenue water for this benchmark was calculated and categorized as either water loss or authorized-but-unbilled consumption, such as fire-fighting and system flushing.

The second phase of the Water Audit process included an in-depth analysis and staff interviews pertaining to the Authority’s billing accounts and methods, customer metering database and methods, distribution system management, and SCADA system capabilities. Recommendations were developed from the analysis and interview process that will serve as the framework for the ongoing Water Efficiency Program.

The third phase of the project, initiated in November, represents the implementation of the Water Efficiency Program (Program), manifested in part through a series of monthly Water Efficiency Team meetings. The Team will serve as the engine for the Program, prioritizing, executing and evaluating the improvement measures identified in phase two. Additionally, the Team will be responsible for developing new improvement measures for advanced Water Loss Control, as those from phase two of this project are successfully completed.

The Water Efficiency Program will provide the MWA with the means to show measured improvement of its system’s water efficiency to its rate-payers, governing board, and regulatory agencies.

As a result of the Water Efficiency Program, the MWA ultimately will enjoy improved efficiencies in its delivery of treated water to customers, improved reliability in its data, increased knowledge of the distribution system’s performance, increased knowledge of its customer metering and billing systems, and enhanced stewardship and protection of available water resources.

Media contact:
Chris Wood, Ph.D.
P: 770-757-1681
E: jcwood@uga.edu

Tagged: mwa water audit, mwa water efficiency program, mwa water efficiency team

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