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Wednesday, February 27, 2019
UAV PlantOur New Unmanned Aircraft System
Columbus Water Works (CWW) has recently launched a new program designed to improve efficiency, crew safety, and infrastructure maintenance.  This new UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) program will be used for leak detection, routine facility inspections, time-lapse photography and more. 

Over recent years, our industry has had dramatic advances in UAS technology.  CWW performed an evaluation of the benefits and requirements of this technology before joining the elite group of utilities across the country that are currently using UAS programs to improve their operations.

Step One
The first step was to determine the benefits.  Through this evaluation, we identified several beneficial applications for the UAS.  One example is facility and infrastructure inspections.  With the launch of the UAS program the need to climb tanks for routine inspections will be minimal.  One routine inspection that once took hours, now takes less than 30 minutes to accomplish, with no one ever leaving the ground. Minimizing staff exposure to potential risks is a large benefit to CWW.  Using a UAS for the inspection also provides a digital record of each inspection. Condition information from the inspections help prioritize repair and maintenance tasks.  After evaluating the benefits, we concluded that this is a valuable addition to our operations.

Step Two
The next step was to ensure we met all the requirements of using the UAS technology.  Companies with a UAS program are required to have certified pilots to fly the UAS and may need to acquire permission for various fly zones.  CWW identified two (2) staff members to complete the rigorous Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UASuav d pilot program and pass the FAA Part 107 pilot exam.  This process includes thorough understanding of FAA regulations, local and federal privacy laws and operation of the UAS.  In addition to the FAA requirements, CWW has implemented additional protocols within the program.

Now that the evaluation of program benefits and regulatory requirements has been completed, you may see our FAA certified UAS pilots around town working on projects.  Our employees will have their Photo ID badge and a copy of their certification paperwork with them.  If you have additional questions about this program, please email UAVP@cwwga.org.

For additional information about CWW’s UAS Program or if you have any comments or concerns, please contact Victoria Barrett at vbarrett@cwwga.org or 706-649-3476.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

flushing toiletDid you know that flushing the wrong things down your toilet or pouring them down your drain can be extremely costly and cause damage to your home, neighborhood, and city? Keep reading to find out how…

Flushing the wrong items
Every time you use your toilet, shower, washing machine, garbage disposal or dishwasher, wastewater leaves your home through pipes that connect to the Columbus Water Works’ sewer system. When the wrong items are flushed or poured down your drain, it can cause sewer backup in your home; sewer releases into the environment and damages the sewer system. This would have a major impact on many and cost us all a great deal of money to repair the damage.

How to keep your pipes clog-free
So, what can you do to help prevent this from happening? You can be mindful of what you flush down your toilet, pour down your drain and take responsibility with us to protect our sewer system. Below is a list of products that should not be flushed (nor poured), because they do not dissolve in your drains and clog pipes and pumps.

Items you should never flush

  • Paper Towels
  • Disinfecting Wipes/Baby Diapers
  • Hypodermic needles
  • Cigarettes
  • Disposable Wipes/Products
  • Animal Litter
  • Food Products
  • Mop Refills
  • Dental Floss
  • Feminine Hygiene products
  • Bandages

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Wednesday, February 06, 2019

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Having Access to Clean Drinking Water
The water cycle and the life cycle are one. Water is easy to forget living in the United States where it is readily available.  In the United States, the water is merely there. When you take a shower, wash dishes, or fill a glass- the water is available. With this convenience, we forget about how the water got there and use it. However, should a situation like a natural disaster impact the availability of drinking water, the previous convenience becomes well known. The availability of drinking water becomes a problem. For engineers, city managers, and farmers, water is a constant problem that needs solving; for others not so much.
drinking water glass

The Value of Water

To put the value of clean drinking water into perspective, a single bottle of water cost $1.78 on average. For the same price, you could also get 8,354 12-ounce glasses of water right from your tap. Should tap water ever be priced as equally as bottled the water the increase in cost for such a necessary resource would be significant.

Once factoring in the amount of water used in transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing the value of water becomes comparable. For transportation it takes almost 13 gallons of water to make a single gallon of gasoline, one slice of bread requires 11 gallons, and one ton of steel requires 62, 600 gallons of water.


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The costs of gasoline, bread, and steel are matchless when compared to the benefits of water. Water is the fuel behind economic development, public health, fire protection, and quality of life.


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