Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority encourages ‘getting to know and love’ tap water during Drinking Water Week (May 7th – 13th).

Cherokee County, GA – Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority (CCWSA), the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and water professionals across North America are kicking off Drinking Water Week today with the theme “Your Water – To Know It Is To Love It”.

AWWA and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week for more than 35 years. CCWSA, AWWA and the water community will celebrate Drinking Water Week by recognizing the vital role water plays in daily lives. Focus will be placed on ways in which water consumers can take personal responsibility in caring for their tap water and water infrastructure at home and in the community.

To commemorate the week, water utilities, government entities, environmental advocates, schools and other stakeholders will celebrate drinking water through public presentations, staff events and community festivals and provide information on how water consumers can understand and appreciate their water.

CCWSA Community Events:

CCWSA Drinking Water Week Kids coloring contest -Eligible kids are currently in Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Coloring Sheets can be downloaded from here or picked up at the CCWSA main office and R.T. Jones Library (display in children’s area). Entries must have the kids name, grade, and parent/guardian contact information on the back.  All entries must be turned in at the CCWSA main office or at the library Drinking Water Week Display by May 13th. One lucky winner will get a $10 ice cream gift card!  Click here for the coloring contest sheet

Display at R.T.Jones Library – A Drinking Water Week display will be in the children’s area from May 6th through the 14th. Go by and check it out. Coloring contest sheets can be picked up and dropped off at the display table.

Water/Wastewater Process Enviroscape presentations –  Presentations will be at the CCWSA main office conference from off the main lobby on May 8th @ 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Contact Lori Forrester at 770-479-1813 Ext. 246 or to sign-up. Space is limited. Click here for the Enviroscape presentation flyer

“This year’s Drinking Water Week will motivate water consumers to be actively aware of how they personally connect with water,” said AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. “We should all know how to find and fix leaks, care for our home’s pipes and support our utility’s investment in water infrastructure.”

The Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority joins the American Water Works Association and water professionals across North America in encouraging homeowners to check and fix leaks inside and outside the home. Consumers are encouraged to quickly and efficiently fix leaks in and around their homes to prevent water waste. To test for leaks inside, customers should shut off everything connected to water and inspect the home’s flow indicator on the water meter. If the indicator continues to move, even with everything off, there’s a leak somewhere in the home. To check for a leaky toilet, customers can place a few drops of food coloring in the holding tank and wait five minutes without flushing. There’s a leak if coloring appears in the bowl. Dye tablets to check for leaks in a toilet are available free of charge at the CCWSA main office upon request. Also, customers should check all faucets and under the sinks for dripping. To check for leaks outside, customers should inspect the lawn for wet spots or pools of water around spray heads. Brown or muddy spots would also indicate there is a leak in the irrigation system. “We are each personally responsible to conserve water in and around our home,” said AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. “Checking for and fixing leaks is an easy way to do our part in preventing water waste.

The Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority joins the American Water Works Association and water professionals across North America in encouraging householders to care for their homes’ pipes. Many things can unnecessarily clog a home’s plumbing system, including “flushable” wipes, and fats, oils and grease. Each year, these clog pipes, back up systems and harm the environment when they aren’t disposed of properly. Specifically, flushable wipes, facial tissue, paper towels and medications should be thrown away in the trash and should not be flushed down the toilet. Also, fats, oil and grease should not be dumped down the drain. Instead, they should also be thrown away in the trash. “Caring for our pipes should be considered maintenance around the home and not just thought of when something goes wrong with them,” said AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. “We have to do our part not to clog up our already precarious water and wastewater systems.”

The CCWSA joins the American Water Works Association and water professionals across North America in encouraging households to identify and replace lead-based water pipes and plumbing. Lead presents health concerns for people of all ages, particularly pregnant women, infants and young children. In children, low exposure levels have been linked to learning disabilities, behavioral problems and other issues. Water leaving treatment plants and traveling through water mains is almost always lead-free. All the CCWSA drinking water leaves the water treatment plant and travels through lead-free water mains. However, lead is sometimes present in pipes connecting older homes to the water system or in fixtures and home plumbing. A licensed plumber can help to identify lead service lines and other materials such as lead fittings and solder. Households can find out more about their water quality by having it tested by a certified laboratory. Information on other sources of lead contamination in homes is available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Water utilities can adjust water chemistry to minimize the possibility of lead dissolving into tap water, but communities and households also play an important role in keeping drinking water safe,” said AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. “Together, let’s get the lead out.”

The Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority joins American Water Works Association and water professionals across North America are advocating for investment in the repair and replacement of local water infrastructure. It’s critical that water infrastructure is maintained properly given that public health, economic vitality, fire protection and quality of life rely on it. However, much of the water infrastructure in North America needs to be repaired and replaced because of the length of time water pipes have been underground, some have been buried for 75 to 100 years. Per an AWWA report, repairing and replacing drinking water infrastructure will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years. The potential costs of infrastructure replacement surpass what many water utilities can pay, which means utilities must work together with rate-payers, government officials and other stakeholders to invest in water systems. “Water infrastructure is crucial to our daily lives and to sustain our future generations,” said AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. “It’s essential that our local water utility and government work in harmony with customers to cover the cost of repairing and replacing our water infrastructure.”

Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority (CCWSA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 CCWSA photography contest. Shelby Rice, 5th grade student from Bascomb Elementary School, is the winner in the K – 6th grade category. Karla Guillen, 12th grade student from Cherokee High School, is the winner in the 7th through 12th grade category. The winning photographs beautifully depict plants and animals that use the Etowah River Watershed water supply for survival . Both students received a framed copy of their winning photograph and a check for fifty dollars. The photographs are displayed at the CCWSA main office, Environmental Affairs office, Rose Creek Water Reclamation Facility (WRF), Fitzgerald Creek WRF, Etowah River Water Treatment Facility, and H. Q. Lathem Reservoir. Thank you to all the students who participated in the photography contest!

Karla Guillen (with her winning photograph) and Lori Forrester, CCWSA Public Information Specialist, at Cherokee High School.

Shelby Rice (with her winning photograph) and Lori Forrester, CCWSA Public Information Specialist.












Winning photographs that are displayed – Karla 12th and Shelby 5th

Karla Guillen winning photo

Shelby Rice winning photo


Fix A Leak Week

Fix a Leak Week is celebrated in March of each year as a time to remind Americans to check their household fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.

Did you know that the average household wastes 10,000 gallons of water a year just through leaks and drips?  Collectively Americans waste 1 trillion gallons of water a year through household leaks! Even though you can turn your tap on and have water whenever you need it, we don’t have an endless supply of water.  Every drop of water counts in metro Atlanta!  One of the easiest ways to save water is by finding and fixing leaks. 

Grab a wrench or contact your favorite handy person, plumber, or WaterSense irrigation partner to address leaking toilets, faucets, showerheads, and irrigation systems around your home.  March 20–26, 2017 is Fix a Leak Week.  Sponsored by the U.S. EPA WaterSense program, Fix a Leak Week is an opportunity to improve water efficiency in your home by checking and fixing leaks.   All you need to do is check, twist and replace:

The Facts on Leaks:

  • The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.
  • Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.
  • Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
  • Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. All are easily correctable.
  • Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
  • Keep your home leak-free by repairing dripping faucets, toilet flappers, and showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts don’t require a major investment.
  • Most common leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances.

Leak Detection:

  • A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month.
  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
  • One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 10 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.

Faucets and Showerheads:

  • A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!
  • Leaky faucets can be fixed by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary. If you are replacing a faucet, look for the WaterSense label.
  • A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
  • Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench. If you are replacing a showerhead, look for one that has earned the WaterSense label.


  • If your toilet is leaking, the cause is often an old, faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It’s usually best to replace the whole rubber flapper—a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time.
  • If you do need to replace the entire toilet, look for a WaterSense labeled model. If the average family replaces its older, inefficient toilets with new WaterSense labeled ones, it could save 13,000 gallons per year. Retrofitting the house could save the family nearly $2,400 in water and wastewater bills over the lifetime of the toilets.


  • An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing.
  • An irrigation system that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • To ensure that your in-ground irrigation system is not leaking water, consult with a WaterSense irrigation partner who has passed a certification program focused on water efficiency; look for a WaterSense irrigation partner.
  • Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.

Once you find and find and fix your leaks go to to pledge your water saving, and learn more about water conservation and how your neighbors in metro Atlanta are saving water.

Further celebrate Fix a Leak Week by participating in the Metro Water District’s 5th Annual Water Drop Dash, a 5K race and family Water Festival Saturday, March 18, 2017. This event caps off Fix a Leak Week and takes place at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell. The course is fast and flat along the banks of the beautiful Chattahoochee River. The family Water Festival follows with a children’s fun run with mascots, prizes, activities, games, crafts and sponsors’ booths.  Race participants will receive a t-shirt and enjoy free admission to the Chattahoochee Nature Center all day on race day.  CCWSA representatives Lori Forrester and Jennifer Arp will be at this event with water conservation give-aways.

For more information or to register for the race visit


Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority (CCWSA) recognized six Cherokee County students during the on January 28th at South Forsyth High School. There were five projects recognized for their excellence in the environmental field. The projects recognized were “Making Saltwater Drinkable” from Ascher Shostak (E.T. Booth Middle School), “The Effects of Essential Oils on the Survival Rate of Brine Shrimp” from Rebecca Slaten and Darion Spencer (River Ridge High School), “Watershed Work” from Laney Cline (Teasley Middle School), “Carbon Nanoparticles for Aqueous Heavy Metal Remediation Yr3”  from Krystl Wood (Woodstock High School) and “Fertilizer Effects on the Growth of Algae in Lake Water” from Kora Hansen.The students received a certificate and $50 gift card. CCWSA applauds the efforts of all the Cherokee County students.

6th grader Laney Cline’s Science Fair Project “Watershed Work”

L to R – Laney Cline, Krystl Wood, Kora Hansen, Lori Forrester (CCWSA Public Information Specialist), Darion Spencer, Rebecca Slaten, and Ascher Shostak.

CCWSA is conducting a student photography contest in which the student takes a photograph that depicts  “Plants & Animals Dependent Upon Our Water Resources”. The contest is open to all Cherokee County students K-12 (including home school students).  Click here for more information.