Water Quality Report
A Refreshing Tomorrow
Our Water Quality Report for 2021
For 2021, we’re proud to report that Newton County’s Cornish Creek WTP has won another Gold and Platinum award from the Georgia Association of Water Professionals!
Since 1970, the Newton County Water & Sewerage Authority has provided clean, safe drinking water throughout the unincorporated areas of Newton County. We purchase treated water for drinking and potable uses from the Newton County Board of Commissioners, who own and operate Cornish Creek WTP/Lake Varner Water Supply System including an 820-acre drinking water and recreational reservoir containing approximately 4 Billion Gallons. The Alcovy River is the source water for Newton County. Raw water is diverted from the river and pumped to Lake Varner and one smaller reservoir. Located on the Lake Varner Reservoir site, the award-winning Cornish Creek WTP filters and disinfects up to 25 Million Gallons per Day, transforming the source water into clean, safe drinking water for
nearly 110,000 citizens in Newton County.
As a customer of the NCWSA system, feel confident that Newton County is drought-ready, having the ability to stretch our water supply at Lake Varner from 6 to 8 months under record drought conditions.
Contaminants and potential pollution sources tributary to the Alcovy River and the Reservoirs are identified in a Source Water Assessment Plan (SWAP) completed in May 2000. From the SWAP, we find that the overall susceptibility of the source water was rated medium. The greatest potential threat to our
source water quality is agricultural waste ponds, secondary paved roads, and sediment-laden runoff. Recommendations for Alcovy watershed protection contained in the Assessment help to ensure that our customers will be provided with the best quality water in the future. The Source Water Assessment
will be updated in 2021.
About Our Drinking Water
Newton County’s Cornish Creek WTP has won the State of Georgia’s Best Operated Water Treatment Facility for 2021. In Georgia, sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As rain, storm water runoff, and groundwater flows over land or under ground on its way to our streams and rivers, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water include:
• Microbial contaminants, bacteria, viruses, including Cryptosporidium, which may pass through or leave and municipal or industrial wastewater spills, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife areas
• Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals which can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, and farming
• Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses
• Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are
by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems
• Turbidity, a measure of the water’s clarity, has no known health effects. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and headaches.
• Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring, or be the result of oil and gas production
and mining activities.
• Elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young
children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. NCWSA is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When water taps have been closed for several hours, minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing the tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using the water for drinking or cooking. Concerned about lead in water? You may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline, or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead
To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribes regulations which limit the number and type of contaminants present in treated water provided by U.S.
water systems. Federal Food and Drug Administration Agency regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protections for consumers.
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain low levels of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.
Certain individuals may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Elderly persons and infants are more vulnerable along with immuno-compromised persons, those undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplant recipients, those with HIV/AIDS, or other immune system disorders can be particularly at risk for infections. At-risk persons should seek advice from their health care providers about drinking water. The EPA and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) maintain guidelines on the appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by microbial contaminants. More information is available from Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.
11325 Brown Bridge Road
Covington, GA 30016
770.787.1375 • 770.786.4536