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Sewer pipe along Macon’s Ocmulgee River catches eye of Georgia water watchdog

The Macon Water Authority is being recognized for the 2016 project that replaced sewer pipes to protect the Ocmulgee River.
The Macon Water Authority is being recognized for the 2016 project that replaced sewer pipes to protect the Ocmulgee River. Telegraph file photo

For years, the Georgia Water Coalition has been tracking the state’s “Dirty Dozen,” the worst water quality issues in Georgia.

This year, the environmental watchdog also is praising the state’s “Clean 13” to recognize outstanding efforts to “green” Georgia by protecting water resources.

After taking nominations through March, the Georgia Water Coalition will be releasing information Wednesday on the entities being honored in this inaugural report.

Last year’s innovative sewer pipe restoration project along Macon’s Ocmulgee River is earning praise from the group that works to protect, preserve and restore the state’s bodies of water.

From spring to fall in 2016, the Macon Water Authority spent $2.2 million to rehabilitate major concrete sewer lines installed in the 1950s.

Concrete was found to be susceptible to sewer gas, which erodes the pipe.

Digging up the pipe could have allowed contaminants into the water, so the authority hired contractors to bypass the sewer line, clean it and line the old concrete pipes.

Insituform Technologies inserted Cured-In-Place Pipe, or resin-saturated cloth tubing that with added steam hardens into corrosion resistant pipe.

The authority’s vice president of operations, Ray Shell, said the restoration will protect the river for 50-100 years.

The Macon Water Authority is the only Middle Georgia entity included in the first “Clean 13” report.

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines

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