This report has been contributed by Connor Cable, a student from Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.
If you feel that Macon has unusually great tasting and clean drinking water compared to the rest of the state -- and most of the country for that matter -- you are not alone.
We were 'Just Curious' about what goes into making Macon's water the 'best tasting drinking water' in America .
“First, it’s the source,” said director of water treatment, Gary McCoy. “We’ve got a 5.8 billion gallon lake, on 581 acres. When [you] pump water from the Ocmulgee River, you really don’t know what water you are going to be treating, but we have the luxury of having a lake to where the water can actually settle for months, and a lot of the sediments can settle out. We are dealing with a great source.”
That lake is Javors Lucas Lake, and it's the lake that supplies the water to all of Macon-Bibb County.
The Macon Water Authority’s water treatment facility is a 60 million gallon plant sitting on over 3,200 acres of land that was opened in June 2000.
The entire facility is actually bigger than some cities in Georgia.
A benefit of this size is that there is almost no chance of industrial contaminants, such as gasoline from cars or sediments from construction materials.
“In the years I have been here, we have never had a water quality issue. Most systems have complaints of taste, odor, and brown water, but in the 15 years I have been here, we have not had that because of the great source and treatment techniques we use,” said McCoy.
The Javors Lucas Lake facility pumps water to all of Macon-Bibb County and to some of Jones County as well.
The facility has full time staff that is watching over the plant, testing the water, watching the chemicals, and making sure that the water that goes out to their customers is safe and great tasting.
Macon’s water has been awarded numerous times for all of their efforts.
In 2009, the Macon Water Authority won “Best of the Best” award in a water taste test of the American Water Works Association and also routinely wins awards for the best tasting water in all of Georgia.