Water Treatment

Producing clean, safe drinking water for HCWA customers

The HCWA owns two drinking water treatment facilities, the Tussahaw and Towaliga Plants.

The Tussahaw Water Treatment Plant has a production capacity of 13 million gallons per day (MGD), with infrastructure in place to expand capacity another 13 MGD if necessary in the future.

In fact, the Authority has already designed the Phase II expansion of the Tussahaw Plant, so plans for construction are in place when such additional production capacity is needed. Phase II expansion at Tussahaw also features plans for the construction of a solids handling facility at the plant, which will improve the means of de-watering sediments (by-products) produced in the treatment of finished drinking water.

The Towaliga Water Treatment Facility has a rated capacity for treatment of 24 MGD, and a (treated) water pumping rated capacity of 30 MGD.

Once raw water is treated at either the Tussahaw or Towaliga Plants, the finished drinking water is pumped to storage facilities and then distributed throughout the water distribution network, into the homes and businesses of more than 50,000 HCWA customers.


Drinking Water Storage

The network of elevated and ground storage tanks

The HCWA owns four ground storage tanks with an aggregate storage capacity for treated water of 11.3 million gallons. The Authority also owns nine elevated storage tanks with an aggregate storage capacity for treated water of 6.7 million gallons. In addition, the HCWA has 6.0 million gallons of water storage at the clear well of its Tussahaw Plant, and  another 5.5 million gallons of total clear well water storage capacity at the Towaliga Facility.

Summary of Storage Tank Capacity:

Tank Type


4 ground tanks

11.3 Million

9 elevated tanks

6.7 Million

Tussahaw Clear Well

6.0 Million

Towaliga Clear Well

5.5 Million


29.5 Million



Drinking Water Distribution

The vast underground water mains and lines of the HCWA system

The HCWA's water distribution network consists of approximately 1,300 miles of pipelines, ranging in size from 6 inches to 48 inches in diameter. Most of the transmission and distribution system pipelines are made of ductile iron. Approximately 25% of the pipelines have been in service for nearly 20 years, with the oldest pipelines installed more than 30 years ago.

Water Quality Lab

Assuring safe, clean drinking water for HCWA customers

The HCWA Tussahaw and Towaliga Water Treatment Plants are operational 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year, by trained and state-certified plant operators. In addition, the Authority's Tussahaw Water Treatment Plant houses the HCWA Water Quality Lab, which features the latest technology in monitoring equipment, to assure customers that their water has been treated to the highest standards for quality and safety in the industry.

Maintaining the HCWA drinking water distribution system involves routine sampling, flushing of water lines, and ongoing maintenance of water storage tanks. The Authority staff takes a minimum of 120 samples per month from throughout the distribution system, which in turn are tested in the state-certified, bacteriological Water Quality Lab.

The HCWA Water Quality Lab was runner-up in 2008 for the Water Lab of the Year Award, as presented by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP).

Capital Improvements

Planned upgrades to the award-winning HCWA system

Over the last few years, the HCWA has implemented several capital improvements according to the master plan of its water system. Some of those highlights include:

  • Designing the Phase II expansion of the Tussahaw Water Treatment Plant.
  • Upgrading the Towaliga Water Treatment Plant, through renovation of 7 basins and flocculators.
  • Completing approximately 50 miles of water distribution line extensions.
  • Addressing approximately 12 projects of water main and water line rehabilitation.
  • Monitoring both chemical and biological constituents and parameters of water bodies, as part of the Watershed Assessment and Stormwater Phase II project.
  • Constructing additional boat ramps at the Tussahaw and Cole (Upper Towaliga) Reservoirs for public access.
  • Construction additional water storage tanks to increase system storage capacity.

Finally, the HCWA celebrated a watershed event on May 13, 2008, when the Tussahaw Reservoir reached full pool for the first time since construction was completed in August of 2005.

An Award-Winning Water System

HCWA recognized as a water industry leader

Over the last few years, the HCWA has been recognized by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) and others as an award winning system. Some of those industry awards and accolades include:

  • The 2008 Southeast Region "Award of Merit" for HCWA General Manager Lindy Farmer, as presented by the Association of State Dams Safety Officials (ASDSO).
  • The GAWP 2008 Water Distribution System of the Year Award in the state of Georgia, for the "large system" category.
  • The GAWP 2008 Runner-up for Wastewater Collection System of the Year Award in the state of Georgia, for the "large system" category.
  • The GAWP 2008 Runner-up for Water Lab of the Year Award in the state of Georgia, for the "large system" category.
  • The GAWP 2007 Public Education Program of the Year Award in the state of Georgia, for the "large system" category.
  • The GAWP Gold Awards for 100% Permit Compliance at both the Towaliga and Tussahaw Water Treatment Facilities.
  • The GAWP "Golden Wrench Award" for Joe Wisniski, which rated him as the best mechanic in the water industry in Georgia.
  • The GAWP "Top Op" Award, both in District 3 and the entire state, for Andy Young, which rated him as the best water plant operator in Georgia.
  • The "Honor Award" from the Georgia Engineering Alliance for the design and construction of the Tussahaw Water Treatment Plant.

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Henry County Water Authority | 1695 Highway 20 West | McDonough, GA 30253 | Phone (770) 957-6659 | Fax (678) 583-2466