Project Spotlight: The Macon Water Authority

The Macon Water Authority is a household name throughout Macon-Bibb County and beyond. We depend on them at home and at work for fresh, clean water every day. So as their equipment begins to age, it is a top priority to identify a proactive strategy to maintain/repair/replace said equipment without an interruption in service to their customers.

One of the many plants throughout Macon that helps our homes and businesses receive purified water is the Frank C. Amerson, Jr. Water Treatment Plant which was completed and fully operational in 2000. The Finished Water Pumps in this plant distribute purified water through 1,900 miles of pipe.  Because the demand for water continuously fluctuates, these pumps are controlled by Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) that change the speed of the motors rotating the pumps.

Having experienced several failures of these VFD’s over the past few years and considering both the advances in technology and the repercussions of a pump outage, the Macon Water Authority began engineering and procurement plans of replacement drives in 2013. With a team of seven specialty electrical/mechanical contractors and manufacturers, this project was completed and commissioned in December 2014 without interruption to our water supply.

After completion of the project, and considering the critical nature of these drives, Macon Water Authority and Hays Service explored efficient and reliable HVAC upgrades to the Amerson Treatment Plant where these drives are located.

Variable Frequency Drives are large electronic controllers that generate heat (as do the motors and Finished Water Pumps) and they must be in a temperature controlled environment to perform effectively without failure. Hays Service engineered and installed a solution that is more cost effective, more efficient and more reliable than their current system while giving Macon Water Authority the ability to monitor temperature and humidity from a remote location. In addition, security is a top priority so this system had to seamlessly tie into MWA’s internal SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.  The solution will provide significant energy savings for years to come by providing the use of outside air for “free cooling” in the Fall and Winter months.  Hays Service completed this project and commissioning in April this year.

We appreciate the Macon Water Authority’s trust in our expertise, experience and creativity to help them design and install a solution tailored to their specifications, time constraints and budget. It’s not every day that you get to be a part of a project that help distribute The Best Tasting Drinking Water in North America to our neighbors!