The Cobb Water System and its water supply partner, the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, were able to withstand a historic drought period in fall 2016 with little difficulty. This was due, in large part, to the ongoing success of the water system’s Water Efficiency Program in reducing demand for potable water and thereby stretching limited water supplies.
The program was recognized again in 2016 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the national WaterSense large Utility Partner of the Year. This was the fifth year of the last seven that our program was honored.
Another recognition achieved in 2016 was the Water Supply and Water Conservation Award for the Green Cities Program. This honor was received from the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District’s Water Supply and Water Conservation Program of Excellence STREAM Awards.
The System Maintenance Division also earned a platinum award for outstanding operation in the “Large Utility” category, and all four of the county’s wastewater treatment facilities were recognized with awards for operational effectiveness.
Because of the water system staff’s foresight in developing facilities and success in reducing per capita water demand, available treatment to handle projected flows through at least 2035 is now in place. As a result, focus is now on renewal of aging distribution, collection and stormwater piping.
About 125,000 linear feet of deteriorating water piping was replaced during 2016 with limited service disruption. Several upgrades to wastewater treatment plants are also in progress, including solids handling systems at South Cobb, chemical feed systems at Noonday and warehousing at Northwest.
The South Cobb Tunnel is now fully operation, although work continues on the pump station at its downstream end to improve operational efficiency. As a result, the Nickajack pump station is now totally off-line and the Sweetwater pump station will also be deactivated in the near future.
An agreement is currently being negotiated to facilitate the purchase of capacity by the Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority in the South Cobb plant, in accordance with regional plans.
While most of the organization’s focus has been on construction, significant progress has also been made in essential systems and programs. A robust asset management system remains an ongoing priority. Consulting services are currently in process to assist with upgrade and inclusion in the asset management system of the treatment plants and their warehouses.
The water system’s geographic information system continues to grow and provide increased capabilities in conjunction with county efforts. The Maximo Work Order System provides for efficient management and retrieval of work orders.
An additional significant accomplishment of 2016 involves the management transition required by the retirement of several key managers. The water system has been able to move forward effectively, through a combination of responsibility reassignment and outsourcing.
It is anticipated that, given the required resources, the Cobb Water System will continue to meet the needs of its customers in an exemplary manner.