Bartow County officially received its WaterFirst designation on March 11, 2020, during a public meeting with County Commissioner Steve Taylor.
WaterFirst Communities are committed to excellence in watershed assessment, stormwater master planning, wastewater treatment and management, water supply planning and protection, water conservation, water reclamation and reuse, educational outreach, and regional planning.
Receiving this designation demonstrates Bartow County’s commitment to the stewardship of water resources for environmental and economic benefits. Bartow County’s notable accomplishments include:
- Having a robust water quality monitoring plan,
- Acquiring 215 acres of greenspace to help protect the watershed,
- Creating an exhibit at the Euharlee Welcome Center highlighting the county’s water system to educate the community on the behind-the-scenes work of the water utility, and
- Planning for a new wastewater treatment plant, which will replace some septic systems with sewer connections.
WaterFirst Communities are eligible for financial and other benefits from the state, including a 1% interest rate reduction on Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) loans, annual eligibility for water-related Community Development Block Grants administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and priority status for the 319 Grant Program administered by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
Bartow County is the 36th community to receive the WaterFirst designation.