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    MEADE FIELD LIFT STATION ACCOMMODATES NEW CUSTOMERS COMING ONLINE

    Sep 18, 2013 by Dr. Chris Wood

    Contractors from Willow Construction work toward the recent completion of the Meade Field Pump Station project, which included installation of 2,400 linear feet of 8-inch PVC gravity sewer line and more than 4,500 linear feet of 6-inch HDPE force main.

    Signs of quality growth, as tenuous as they may be in today’s economy, can come in the most unusual of places. In Peachtree City, the construction of an additional pump station within the sewer system’s service area is a sign that new customers from two residential development projects are coming online.

    The Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) recently completed its half-a-million-dollar Meade Field Regional Pump Station 36, which is fully operational following inspection and testing before coming online by Labor Day weekend. The construction project took a little longer than the anticipated 120 days for substantial completion, due to unusually rainy weather; but more importantly, the work was done within budget, says Stephen Hogan, PCWASA General Manager.

    Since the PCWASA Board of Directors awarded the low bid of $525,851 to Willow Construction during a special called meeting on March 20, the Authority and its contractor(s) had to overcome some unique challenges during the project, says Nathan Brooks, PCWASA Construction Manager. For starters, at the location of the pump station, crews found a high level of ground water while excavating, requiring a pump to withdraw the water from the site for the duration of this phase of construction. In addition, the work had to be coordinated with local athletic associations while the parking lot for the Jim Meade Memorial Athletic Fields was disrupted.

    The Meade Field project not only included construction of the regional pump station, but the installation of more than 4,500 linear feet of 6-inch high-density polyethylene (HDPE) force main and 2,400 linear feet of 8-inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) gravity sewer, as well as 12 sanitary sewer manholes.

    Hogan says the Meade Field Pump Station initially will serve customers of two new residential developments, while enhancing the availability of sewer, which is preferred over septic in the City.

    The first new development is a property of Southern Pines Plantation Commercial Group, LLC. “The Gates” is a planned 90 lot single-family residential subdivision, featuring a recreational area, open space, and cart paths. The development also includes two parcels for office/institutional development at the intersection of Highway 74 and Redwine Road.

    The second local development to be served by the Meade Field Pump Station is a senior living rental community envisioned by Dominion Senior Living of Peachtree City, LLC. Dominion, in a joint venture with Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, began construction on “Somerby at Peachtree City” in October of last year. This community is located at the intersection of Highway 74 and Rockaway Road and is designed to provide assisted living and memory care to senior citizens of Peachtree City and the surrounding communities within Fayette County.

    Hogan says the Meade Field Pump Station project is a case study of a “win-win” for private-public partnerships between developers, such as those backing The Gates and Somerby, and utilities, such as PCWASA. As evidence, he notes the parties are sharing the costs of bringing this critically important sewer infrastructure online, as outlined in the Development Agreement adopted by the Authority, which accompanied the award of the low bid at the PCWASA March called meeting.

    “The Authority and its customers will reap the benefits of the revenues from sewer services that will be coming from these two properties for many years to come,” says Hogan. “Not to mention, there could be additional customers coming on board in the future now that sewer is available in this area.”

    Officials also have noted that the newest PCWASA pump station will help garner additional revenues for Peachtree City, made possible by the Meade Fields recreational area now being more ideally suited to host athletic tournaments and special events.

    Media Contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu (email)
    chris@jwapr.com (email)

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    PCWASA ELECTS OFFICERS TO LEAD THE UTILITY THIS YEAR

    May 10, 2013 by Dr. Chris Wood

    Mike Harman (left) was elected by his fellow PCWASA Members to serve another term as Chairman of the Board.

    Mike Harman continues as Chairman, Phil Mahler selected as Vice Chairman and Terry Garlock as Secretary/Treasurer

    Following the recent appointments of three new board members and an alternate to the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) by the City Council, the Authority Board elected a new slate of officers to serve in their respective leadership capacities for the remainder of this year, unless the composition of the board changes prior to that time.

    The new slate of officers was elected by unanimous vote, with Mike Harman asked to continue service as Chairman, while Phil Mahler takes the reins as Vice Chairman and newcomer Terry Garlock accepts the role of Secretary/Treasurer. Harman and Mahler have extensive experience on the PCWASA Board, as the two are the only holdovers from last year who are in the midst of their respective terms. Garlock, who fills the unexpired term of former PCWASA Member Vanessa Birrell, joins John Cheatham and John Harrell, who fills the unexpired term of former Board Member Luis Valencia, as newly appointed members joining the Authority in March, along with Alternate Board Member Bill Holland.

    The current PCWASA Board brings diversity in professional experience to this avenue of public service, which excites the Chairman, who actively encouraged fellow citizens to volunteer for those board seats that had been vacant since January.

    “I’m honored to be asked to continue service as Chairman of the Authority Board, and I will do my best to engage all board members in the critical policy decisions that we will face in the future,” says Harman. “I think we have a great group, and I look forward to working with each of them. I believe we have things headed in the right direction, evident in the projects we have underway to improve the system and enhance services for the citizens of Peachtree City. I hope we can continue the positive momentum we have developed in the community, especially since our 15th Anniversary last year.”

    Chairman Harman is the Manager of Municipal Sales for Biorem, a company that provides air pollution control technology and equipment for wastewater treatment processes and other industries. Thus, his professional experience within the wastewater industry is invaluable to his leadership role as Chairman of the PCWASA Board of Directors.

    PCWASA Vice-Chairman Phil Mahler has resided in Peachtree City since 2006, after his retirement as a federal agent who performed and supervised audits of businesses for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Secretary-Treasurer Terry Garlock has been a resident of Peachtree City for approximately 20 years, with professional experience as a Certified Financial Planner who has served businesses in a number of capacities, including consulting, auditing, as well as in regulatory, investigative, and executive capacities.

    The Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority meets on the first Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the utility’s headquarters office, located at 1127 Highway 74 in Peachtree City. Board meetings are open to public, as Board Members encourage and welcome citizens of Peachtree City to attend. For updates on board meetings and more, citizens can log onto the “Resource Center” and other pages of this Web site (www.pcwasa.org).

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu (email)

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    PCWASA CLEAN AUDIT RESULTS IN NO FINDINGS

    Apr 26, 2013 by Dr. Chris Wood

    Lynda Price, Business Manager for PCWASA, received praise from the Authority Board for her hard work during the annual independent audit, which resulted in no findings and a clean opinion of the utility’s financial statements.

    According to independent auditors who perused the financial statements of the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) in great detail to complete the arduous task that is an annual audit, the utility is in rare company. It’s one of only a small number of local authorities and governments that had no findings – errors or oversights by omission or commission – in its independent audit for fiscal year 2012.

    David Irwin, representing the Authority’s independent auditors at Mauldin & Jenkins, says his firm conducts approximately 180 audits for municipal government clients throughout the state, and PCWASA was among those rare 20 percent that had no findings in the audit of its books from this past year. Irwin presented the Mauldin & Jenkins independent annual audit of PCWASA at the April Authority Board Meeting.

    “The audit went very well this year, resulting in a clean opinion, and we didn’t have any audit findings,” said Irwin, during his presentation to the PCWASA Board. “That really is a reflection of the quality of work by the Authority and its staff. You are proactive and not reactive, wanting (financial statements) recorded right the first time, rather than seeking corrections during the auditing process.”

    The clean audit opinion from Mauldin & Jenkins reflects the firm’s professional assessment that the financial statements of PCWASA present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Authority, as a component unit of Peachtree City, Georgia, as of the end of this past fiscal year (FY 2012), which was September 30, 2012. Thus, the changes in financial position, and cash flows thereof for the year, ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.

    In lay terms, a clean audit opinion reflects that the auditors obtained reasonable assurance the financial statements of PCWASA are free of material misstatement.

    Highlighting specific details of the independent annual audit, Irwin noted the Authority’s operating income of a little more than $3.1 million, with a positive change in net assets of $1.75 million – results that were “quite impressive.”

    In addition, Irwin pointed out that cash flows from operating activities, one of the most critical reflections of financial strength of an organization, were up approximately $762,000 from the previous fiscal year. Thus, the positive results of net increase in cash and cash equivalents of more than $1.4 million.

    “You should be proud of the strong and healthy cash position of the Authority,” said Irwin. “The Authority is in good shape financially, and in a good position moving forward.”

    PCWASA Chairman Mike Harman praised the work of the Authority staff in its day-to-day accounting, as well as the hard work that went into assisting Mauldin & Jenkins with the independent annual audit, mentioning the work of PCWASA Business Manager Lynda Price specifically.

    “We’re very fortunate to not have a finding this year, and to have had a clean audit opinion for the past five years or more,” said Harman. “I think this year’s audit is another indication of the sound business decisions we’ve made to assure the Authority maintains a strong financial position for the future, so we can provide the best possible services for our customers.”

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu

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    PCWASA SERIES 2013 BONDS TO SAVE APPROXIMATELY $3 MILLION

    Mar 28, 2013 by Dr. Chris Wood

    Todd Barnes, bond underwriter for the Authority from Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc., says the Authority’s Series 2013 bonds sold well because of the excellent credit ratings and the scarcity of other Georgia issues in the market at that time.

    Just as homeowners look to refinance mortgages to take advantage of historically low interest rates, so too does the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA), which has turned to the current bond market to refinance its long-term debt.

    PCWASA recently closed on its Series 2013 Bonds, rated “Aa1” by Moody’s and “AAA” by Standard & Poor’s thanks to the backing of the city of Peachtree City. The Authority has refinanced nearly $28 million – its entire outstanding long-term debt – which was the result of necessary construction and upgrades to the city’s sewer system during the past decade.

    The Series 2013 Bonds took advantage of a most favorable interest rate due primarily to the credit rating of Peachtree City Government. However, the Authority obtained its own favorable credit rating – the first time the utility had been rated in its 25-year history – a month prior to the closing. As a result of the City-Authority partnership in the issuance, PCWASA and its ratepayers will benefit from a total debt service savings of $3.06 million – which equates to a net present value savings of $2.86 million – over the course of the 14-year term of the bonds, for an average annual savings of $220,000 per year.

    In addition, another key benefit of the refinancing is that the Authority will be able to eliminate the requirement to maintain a debt service reserve fund for the bonds, which will enable PCWASA officials to “free up” approximately $1.15 million that had been restricted as a debt service reserve for the 2002 Bonds, says Stephen Hogan, PCWASA General Manager.

    The PCWASA Series 2013 Bond Issue includes a little more than $7.1 million in Refunding Revenue Bonds (Series 2013A) and approximately $20.8 million in Taxable Refunding Revenue Bonds (Series 2013B). The 2013A Bonds are refunding the Authority’s previously issued Series 2002 Bonds, while the 2013B Bonds likewise are refinancing the Series 2005 Bonds. As a result, the Authority’s entire outstanding debt is now consolidated through the Series 2013 Bonds.

    The Series 2013 Bond Resolution was passed by the PCWASA Board of Directors during a special called meeting on Jan. 30, with the City Council of Peachtree City approval coming that same day. The bond sales were immediate and successful, say Authority officials, with the bond closing on Feb. 27.

    “There was strong investor demand for the bonds due to the excellent credit ratings and the scarcity of other Georgia issues in the market at that time,” says Todd Barnes, bond underwriter for the Authority from Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc.

    Barnes adds that because of the good timing of the bond issue, the Authority yielded even better savings than originally projected. At the time PCWASA officials first began preparations for the bond issue last fall, the refinancing would have originally saved approximately $50,000 per year, rather than the $220,000 in actual savings from the closing at the end of February. The Authority was able to reduce the average interest rate on its debt from around 4.4% on the prior bonds to roughly 2.2% on the new bonds, notes Barnes.

    During the credit ratings process completed in January, PCWASA officials learned the good news that Standard & Poor’s had issued a credit rating of “AA-” to the Authority. Barnes says that this is a high investment grade rating, reflecting the “financial strength and economic vitality” of PCWASA.

    The Standard & Poor’s issuer credit rating (ICR) for PCWASA was based on several factors, including the utility’s system resources and ability to accommodate future growth, its strong liquidity (cash) position, and its strong coverage margins, which was 1.58x for the 2012 fiscal year. Bond covenants require a minimum coverage ratio of 1.10x, or 110%. Authority officials note the rate increase implemented in late 2010 was necessary in part to assure the minimum debt coverage ratios for PCWASA bonds complied with bond covenants.

    With the Series 2013 Bond Issue closed, PCWASA officials now can look to the future maintenance and improvements to its sewer system for the residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Peachtree City, says Hogan. According to the Ratings Analysis provided by Standard & Poor’s, the Authority’s financial future appears to be a bright one. The report noted that the stable future outlook of the Authority reflects the expectation that PCWASA will sustain a solid financial and operating profile, while formulating and managing its capital improvement plan for the future.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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    PCWASA HAS FREE REUSABLE GREASE CAN COVERS AVAILABLE FOR YOU

    Mar 4, 2013 by Dr. Chris Wood

    To receive a free reusable grease can cover, come by the Authority headquarters at 1127 Highway 74 South, or contact Xavier Davis, FOG Program Coordinator for PCWASA, at 770-487-7993 or at xavierd@pcwasa.org.

    Rather than pouring grease down the drain, PCWASA officials encourage Peachtree City residents and property owners to let grease cool, pour it into a can or container, and dispose of it in the trash. The Authority even has reusable grease can covers available at its headquarters for free, while supplies last, to aid PCWASA customers in this process.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that nearly half (47%) of all sewer spills and overflows are caused by fats, oils, and grease (FOG). For more information on environmental protection through proper grease disposal, contact the Authority’s Xavier Davis at 770-487-7993, or at xavierd@pcwasa.org.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu (email)

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    PCWASA RECEIVES AWARD OF EXCELLENCE FOR ITS FOG PROGRAM

    Feb 15, 2013 by Dr. Chris Wood

    (Left to Right) PCWASA Division Manager Keisha Lisbon Thorpe and FOG Program Coordinator Xavier Davis receive the statewide Award of Excellence for FOG (fats, oils, and grease) Programs from the Georgia F.O.G. Alliance’s President Doug White.

    In its Report to Congress on combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and sanitary sewer overflow (SSOs), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) noted that the most common cause is “grease from restaurants, homes, and industrial sources.” The conservative EPA estimate is that 47% of all sewer system blockages are caused by grease.

    To combat this nationwide environmental protection issue, the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) has a FOG (fats, oils and grease) Program in place and personnel on staff to implement strategies that target residential, commercial, and industrial customers to seek their assistance in preventing sewer line clogs within their properties and subsequent backups within the Authority’s sewer system. Sewer overflows from fats, oils, and grease also are potentially harmful to the environment, note Authority officials.

    As a result of the Authority’s efforts in this regard, the FOG Program at PCWASA has received high praise from the Georgia F.O.G. Alliance, who presented an Award of Excellence for one of the state’s most outstanding programs to the sewer utility during the January Authority Board Meeting.

    Doug White, President of the Georgia F.O.G. Alliance this year and himself a Construction Project Manager and FOG Inspector for the City of Griffin, presented the Award of Excellence in FOG programming to the Authority’s Xavier Davis, FOG Program Coordinator for PCWASA, and Keisha Lisbon Thorpe, PCWASA Division Manager of Technical Services, which is the Authority’s division that oversees its FOG Program.

    The purpose of the PCWASA fats, oils, and grease (FOG) Program is to assist in the prevention of sanitary sewer backups and overflows from occurring within the Authority’s wastewater collection system and treatment facilities by managing residential, commercial, and industrial generated FOG. Davis, as the Authority’s FOG Program Coordinator, implements those management strategies. He does so by following an industry approved process, which has now received recognition as a program of excellence, entailing plan review, installation approval, and inspection of grease traps and grease interceptors used by commercial and industrial clients.

    Through these efforts, Davis and the Authority assure that commercial and industrial PCWASA customers such as restaurants, schools, hair salons, pet grooming salons, and others, have grease traps and/or grease interceptors that are in compliance with the Authority’s Sewer Use Ordinance, which is in place to prevent FOG from negatively impacting the conveyance or treatment of sanitary sewer.

    As for involving PCWASA residential customers in FOG prevention, Davis and the Authority continually educate this target audience on methods and practices for properly disposing of fats, oils, and grease within residences, and thus reducing or preventing them from entering the PCWASA wastewater collection system.

    Rather than pouring grease down the drain, PCWASA officials encourage Peachtree City residents and property owners to let grease cool, pour it into a can or container, and dispose of it in the trash. The Authority even has reusable grease can covers available at its headquarters for free to aid PCWASA customers in this process.

    For more information, citizens can contact the Authority’s Xavier Davis at 770-487-7993, or at xavierd@pcwasa.org.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu (email)

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    PCWASA UTILIZES ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY INNOVATION TO REHAB SEWER LINES

    Jan 14, 2013 by Dr. Chris Wood

    PCWASA contractors begin the pipe lining process for a sewer line at the Planterra Ridge Golf Course by inserting the Cured In Place Pipe (CIPP) into a manhole at the head end of the line. In the distance is the next manhole where the CIPP is headed.

    As portions of the Peachtree Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) system are being evaluated to determine their structural integrity, other portions are being rehabilitated. Such is the hectic process and schedule of sewer system capital improvements.

    But how do you rehab a sewer line within an exclusive golf course community without disturbing the landscape, layout, or membership?

    An example of such a capital project took place recently within the Planterra Ridge Golf Course in Peachtree City, where PCWASA utilized a modern marvel to rehabilitate aging sewer lines within one of the more highly visible areas of the system. And the Authority did so with minimal inconveniences to customers or disturbances to the environment.

    PCWASA contractors from Brent Scarbrough and Company completed the Planterra Ridge sewer rehab project by installing Cured In Place Pipe (CIPP) on lines that were in close proximity of the new Lake McIntosh. The CIPP process improves the consistency of these sewer lines to reduce the risk of any problems at the site of the reservoir impoundment in the future.

    The use of CIPP seals off leaks caused by cracks, fractures, misaligned joints, roots, or other problems that are evident and common in every sewer system. The new CIPP adds structural integrity to the existing pipe, extending its useful life span. But in addition to using the strongest materials available, CIPP is an environmentally friendly process for sewer line rehab, while providing a cost effective return on investments in capital improvements.

    In the case of rehabilitating the PCWASA sewer lines running throughout the Planterra Ridge Golf Course, Authority officials surmised that CIPP Installation was the most appropriate methodology for sewer pipe rehab in this instance. As a result, when PCWASA contractors were busy re-lining sewer pipes at Planterra Ridge with CIPP Installation, those playing golf around the scheduled work were hard pressed to know the crews were even there.

    “With pipe lining technology, sewer line rehab doesn’t require trenches to be dug or dirt to be excavated, as would be the case for open cut repairs,” says Hogan. “From one manhole to another, a sewer line can be completely re-lined to a condition good as new, without the mess or stress to the property or landscape – in this case the golf course at Planterra Ridge. We completed this project without incident, and it was a great success.”

    As for other rehab work, when RedZone Robotics finishes collecting data on the status of PCWASA infrastructure, the Authority will locate additional areas in need of rehab attention, prioritizing projects much like the one recently completed at Planterra Ridge. RedZone is the PCWASA contractor assisting the Authority with a conditional assessment of all sewer lines within the system, as the innovative CIPP pipe lining process and other methods of sewer line rehabilitation will follow as necessary, says Hogan.

    “We will continue with other lining projects as we discover needs and as our budget allows,” adds Hogan. “This work will be included in our master planning and future budgets. The lining process is just one of the methods in our toolbox that allows us to maintain and extend the life of the system.”

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu (email)

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    AUTHORITY REACHES MILESTONE IN THE ASSESSMENT OF ITS SEWER SYSTEM

    Dec 28, 2012 by Dr. Chris Wood

    A RedZone Solo Unmanned Robot inspects a PCWASA sewer line. RedZone has completed the assessment of all smaller sewer lines within the PCWASA system, as robots now move to review the condition of larger sewer mains and manholes.

    Gather the intel and rehab the infrastructure. It’s a two-step process that keeps contractors and crews from the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) busy taking care of the community’s sewer system.

    This necessary work in the field is made easier, more efficient and more cost-effective thanks to technologies and innovations utilized by PCWASA in both the condition assessment and rehabilitation phases of its capital improvement plan.

    To get an idea of “how big is big and how bad is bad,” in the words of PCWASA General Manager Stephen Hogan, the Authority contracted with RedZone Robotics, headquartered in the robotics hotbed of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to implement the vendor’s Y.E.S. (Your Entire System) Program. This complete system review includes data gathering, software, and inspection services that will aid in the Authority’s prioritization and execution of an aggressive rehabilitation and capital improvement plan.

    According to Keisha Lisbon-Thorpe, PCWASA Division Manager of Technical Services, RedZone crews have completed all of the condition assessment of the smaller sewer lines of the utility’s system – those pipes between 8 inches and 12 inches in diameter. These smaller lines were inspected using the RedZone Solo Unmanned Inspection Robots, which are lightweight systems with onboard intelligence and full coverage tracking, capable of moving upstream or downstream at the touch of a control.

    As a result, the Solo Robots are able to collect data at a quicker pace than what would be possible with any other method or innovation available in the industry. Authority officials estimate that it would take 15 years to inspect, via conventional methods, what RedZone Robots can do in 15 months, which happens to be the extent of the company’s professional services contract with PCWASA. In fact, RedZone is ahead of schedule and within budget since this condition assessment work kicked off in April, notes Lisbon-Thorpe.

    Now that the review of all of the smaller sewer lines within the PCWASA system has been completed, RedZone has moved on to condition assessment of the utility’s manholes and larger sewer mains. The Authority has approximately 4,000 manholes as well as 171 miles of gravity sewer mains and 15 miles of force mains to assess. Approximately 56 percent of the manholes and 60 percent of the larger diameter sewer lines have been reviewed to date, says Lisbon-Thorpe.

    Once the condition of the Authority’s infrastructure has been evaluated, with the help of RedZone Robots, work can begin on rehabilitation, when and where necessary. An example of a recent sewer system rehab/capital project took place at the Planterra Ridge Golf Course in Peachtree City, where PCWASA contractors utilized Cured In Place Pipe (CIPP) Installation to repair aging sewer lines in an environmentally friendly and cost effective manner.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu (email)

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    PCWASA SUPPORTS FIRST ANNUAL MODEL WATER TOWER STUDENT COMPETITION

    Dec 17, 2012 by Dr. Chris Wood

     

    PCWASA General Manager Stephen Hogan advises a student on the design of a water tower during the first annual Georgia Model Water Tower Competition.

    The Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) and the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA) sponsored the first state Model Water Tower Competition for students during this past fall term, with the help of the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) and fellow industry leaders.

    The Model Water Tower Competition was organized by a steering committee led by Keisha Lisbon Thorpe, PCWASA Division Manager of Technical Services, and Andy Patceg, an engineer with Brown and Caldwell. In addition, PCWASA General Manager Stephen Hogan was among 25 additional volunteers who worked the day of the event as advisors or judges of the competition.

    The water towers constructed and submitted by the middle school students contestants from metro Atlanta were judged according to their structural efficiency, cost efficiency, hydraulic functionality, and design ingenuity. The event featured entries from 40 students from the 7th and 8th grades who gathered at Woodland Middle School in Stockbridge for the competition.

    This first annual event provided an opportunity for middle school students to design and build a water tower out of household items. The goal of the friendly competition is to educate students about the water treatment process and the importance of properly designed and operated infrastructure, with the water tower serving as an example. Event organizers hope the success of this year’s event will facilitate growth in the number of students and schools wanting to participate in future competitions.

    “This is a fun way to educate students about our industry and its role in their community, while challenging them to think about the importance of water and sewer as public services, in addition to encouraging them to consider a career in the profession,” says Jack Dozier, Executive Director of GAWP.

    The Model Water Tower Competition was started by the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association in 2004. Since that time, a number of states have sponsored similar competitions, with the Georgia section of AWWA and GAWP joining the ranks in 2012.

    “We were excited about the opportunity to help organize the first statewide Model Water Tower Competition in Georgia, because we saw this as an opportunity to educate our young people about what we do and its importance to their everyday lives,” says Stephen Hogan, PCWASA General Manager. “If we also can help them gain an appreciation for science and the water and sewer industry, they’ll be prepared to oversee the community’s infrastructure when that time comes in their future.”

    Check out the photo gallery from the student Model Water Tower Competition on the “Learn More” link below.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu

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    PCWASA RECOGNIZED FOR 25 YEARS OF SERVICE

    Nov 5, 2012 by Dr. Chris Wood

    Jack Dozier (right), Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals, presents a proclamation to PCWASA Chairman Mike Harman (left) and General Manager Stephen Hogan (center), recognizing the Authority for 25 years of service.

    The work of the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA), its board and staff, received high praise from the state’s leading industry association during the utility’s 25th Anniversary celebration, held recently to coincide with an open house at the Authority’s headquarters and Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Plant.

    Executive Director Jack Dozier and Deputy Director Pam Burnett, of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP), were featured guests at the PCWASA anniversary luncheon, presenting a proclamation to the utility’s board and staff for 25 years of service to Peachtree City and the water/wastewater industry. During the presentation of the proclamation, Dozier noted that PCWASA has supported the health and economy of the Peachtree City community by providing efficient and cost-effective wastewater management facilities to serve the public and to protect the environment.

    “Most people in our country take for granted the availability of safe drinking water and wastewater services, but approximately 2 million deaths occur annually across the world as a result of unsafe or unattainable water or wastewater services,” says Dozier. “(PCWASA) does an outstanding job in sewer collection and treatment, so your customers don’t have to worry about the quality of your system. This (PCWASA) staff is recognized by fellow professionals as being among the best in the state.”

    As noted in the proclamation, Dozier praised PCWASA for providing professional services in five specific areas that warranted acclaim: (1) Environmental stewardship through superior practices of wastewater treatment, reuse, and recycling; (2) Fiscally sound operations through economic ups and downs; (3) Continuous enhancement of services, facilities, and performance; (4) Leadership in public education and use of technology; and (5) Exemplary cooperation with other water management agencies.

    In addition to hosting an employee luncheon to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of PCWASA, the utility also opened its doors to an open house at its headquarters and Rockaway Wastewater Treatment Facility, located at 1127 Highway 74 South in Peachtree City. Customers attending the open house were able to tour the Rockaway Plant, meet the Authority’s staff, and learn more about the Authority’s projects and processes that are being advanced on their behalf, to improve the PCWASA system.

    Among the vendors participating in the Authority’s 25th Anniversary open house were professionals from RedZone Robotics, who demonstrated the use of the Solo robot to inspect the Authority’s sewer lines, manholes, and collection system. In addition, officials from AGL Energy Services were on hand to explain how biosolids are removed and recycled following the wastewater treatment processes at PCWASA, prior to being packaged and marketed to customers as Class A (pathogen-free and safe for public use) biosolids that are ideal for use as a soil amendment of fertilizer for yards or gardens. Finally, PCWASA contractors at Brent Scarbrough & Company and Ca-Jenn provided a cured-in-place pipe lining demonstration.

    “We were very excited and pleased by the turnout and level of participation from the public, our customers, our employees and board, as well as vendors and fellow water industry professionals, during our anniversary event,” says Stephen Hogan, PCWASA General Manager. “This was a significant milestone in the history of the Authority, and we wanted to recognize how far we’ve come as a utility in 25 years.”

    PCWASA was originally created as the “Peachtree City Water, Sewerage, and Recreational Authority” in 1973 by an Act of the Georgia General Assembly. However, today the Authority operates according to the revised enabling legislation that went into effect on March 31, 1987, following the passage of House Bill 1132, Act 411, which established PCWASA as a legal, public corporation of the state.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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