The Macon Water Authority

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


The Amerson Water Treatment Plant

The history of MWA drinking water facilities

The Frank C. Amerson, Jr. Water Treatment Plant opened July 10, 2000, replacing the Authority's Riverside Drive Water Treatment Plant, which was more than 100 years old when it was decommissioned shortly after the new plant came on line.

The Riverside Drive Water Treatment Plant was heavily damaged in July of 1994, when Macon was struck by one of the greatest natural disasters to ever hit the area.  The effects of Tropical Storm Alberto resulted in nearly 20 inches of rainfall falling in Middle Georgia over the course of a few days.  The rise in water level of the Ocmulgee River then spilled over its banks to flood many portions of the city, including the Riverside Drive Water Treatment Plant.

Following the 1994 flood, and after extensive study and planning, the Authority decided to build a completely 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 this new Amerson Water Treatment Plant came from federal, state, and county sources.  Only 24 percent of the $116 million project required MWA funding, which reflects strongly on the Authority's ability to bring state and federal tax dollars back home to Macon and Bibb County for this major capital improvement.

The Amerson Plant's capabilities

The MWA's 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 is equipped to handle an expansion to 90 MGD of production capacity, if necessary in the future.

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 and the Amerson Plant, bypassing Javors Lucas Lake.  This alternative raw water pumping method can provide the Authority with continuous operations during maintenance, or in the event of an emergency, which might affect withdrawal from Lucas Lake or other stages of pre-production.

The chemical treatment process during drinking water production includes lime, chlorine dioxide, alum, potassium permanganate, powdered activated carbon, chlorine, fluoride, and phosphate, all serving different purposes during the various stages of water production to assure the best possible water quality and safety.

The division of water operations at the Macon Water Authority also oversees 75 acres of wetlands, which provide a safe habitat for waterfowl, as well as serving as an essential link for the cycle of water quality.  Wetlands mitigation and management ensures that natural (water) resources are preserved and protected for generations to come.

As an indication of its outstanding operation, the Amerson Plant is a four-time winner of the Best Operated Plant in the state, as awarded by professional judges of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals, most recently in the spring of 2012.  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.


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

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