MWA takes over county stormwater system maintenance
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Macon Water Authority will be in charge of the county’s stormwater system by the end of the month.
According to Mayor Robert Reichert, the lack of funding resulted in a lack of maintenance for the system.
MWA says the current infrastructure is aging and has exceeded its design life causing issues like pipe failure. According to MWA Chairman Samuel Hart, the agency is qualified to handle such tasks.
Hart says there are 400 miles of stormwater pipes, 8000 miles of ditches, and tens of thousands of stormwater structures that require cleaning, rehabilitation, or replacement.
“A lot of pipes in the area are coming of age at the same time. Some of these pipes were expected to be 40-50 years old, and have been there for even longer” said Hart.
Tony Rojas, Executive Director of MWA, says frequent sinkholes and clogging from pipe failure is an issue. This causes flooding and public safety issues.
“Our intersections you’ll notice a lot of debris and gravel. When you go to break your car at an intersection like that, you’ll slide rather than breaking quickly,” said Rojas.
Rojas says the water authority will focus on reforming ditches, replacing catch basin lids, clearing debris, and working on a street sweeping program.
Officials have estimated that the program’s budget is $5.2 million. This money will come from the customer’s monthly stormwater usage fee of $4.99.
$5.2 million will go into operation and $4 million will go into rehabilitating and improving the infrastructure.