WaterWays shares stories about City of Savannah water, from how we invest in infrastructure, to the unique ways our community uses water. Brought to you by the Utility Services Division.

Oct 04

Imagine a Day Without Water

Posted on October 4, 2019 at 8:01 AM by Saja Aures

Imagine a Day Without Water logo

Imagine a Day Without Water, scheduled for October 23 this year, is an annual nationwide day of education and advocacy about the value of water. Imagine a Day Without Water is meant to encourage each of us to consider life without ready and easy access to safe drinking water and waste water systems.

Ecnomy Infographic
Safe, reliable water access is a major foundation element in our public health, our economy, and our overall quality of life. Take a moment and think of all the activities you engage in on a daily basis which require water. Your morning coffee and shower…flushing toilets…preparing meals for your family…hydrating after a work-out…keeping a garden. You turn on the tap, and clean, fresh water flows out. You flush the toilet, and dirty water is whisked away.

Now picture your day without access to safe water infrastructure. Beyond your day, how would our community function? Our country? How would we fight fires? Keep hospitals sanitary? Grow crops or care for livestock? Run manufacturing plants? Operate restaurants, hotels, and countless local businesses? A single nationwide day without water service would put $43.5 billion in economic activity at risk.

From the small daily tasks of an individual, to the very stability of our community, water is integral. Water infrastructure is so vital and yet it’s easily taken for granted, even forgotten about entirely. 

Take some time this October 23 to reflect on water. Perhaps renew your family’s commitment to water conservation, to help protect and sustain this precious resource. Maybe take a look at your water quality report, so you’re better informed about your water systems. Consider the high value of safe water access, and the life-and-death importance of maintaining crucial infrastructure. Imagine a day without water, and then do all you can to ensure future access for generations to come.
Sep 09

Big Bon Bodega

Posted on September 9, 2019 at 10:08 AM by Saja Aures

Bagels are deceptively simple. Flour, water, yeast, honey, salt…there’s not much to your basic bagel recipe, so it all comes down to the quality of each ingredient and the level of skillful technique possessed by the baker putting it all together. It’s part science, part artisty. I sat down with local baker and Big Bon co-founder Kay Heritage to learn more about creating the best bagel.

Big Bon bagel sandwich“Food is my love language,” Kay explained as we settled on stools at a counter inside the bright and cheery Big Bon Bodega on Bull Street. The Big Bon venture started up in 2016, as a food truck serving wood-fired pizza. Just a few months ago, Kay and co-founder Anna, who also happens to be her daughter, opened the Bodega, a neighborhood shop and eatery, which serves up a variety of tasty handmade bagels with a host of fixings and smears.

“I thought it would be fun to try bagels, but they definitely have a steep learning curve,” Kay said. The Big Bon team spent countless hours working on their recipes and baking technique, encouraged along the way by a supportive Savannah culinary community.

For a batch of 240 bagels, Big Bon bakers use 1.3 kg of City tap water. In addition to being a key ingredient that goes inside the bagel, water also has an important role to play on the outside of a bagel too. Before baking in a wood-fired oven, Big Bon boils their bagels in water lightly sweetened with local honey. Boiling sets the crust and helps create the signature chewiness of a great bagel. The longer a bagel boils, the more dense the interior and chewy the texture.

Kay said of Savannah water, “For us, the water is the best it could be. For baking, for brewing our coffee…we thought about taking extra steps to filter the water, but we haven’t had a reason.”

Check-out Big Bon

Big Bon Bodega
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: 2011 Bull Street, Savannah GA 31401
Contact: bigbonfamily.com | hello@bigbonfamily.com | 912.349.4847

Do you know of a local business we should feature that uses City of Savannah tap water in their products or services? Drop a line to Saja Aures at saures@savannahga.gov to share your tip!

Aug 02

Diving Into Water Quality Reports

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 7:42 AM by Saja Aures

Water ReportWater quality is an important issue to all of us, and here at the City of Savannah we want you to know where your drinking water comes from and how it’s monitored to ensure your safety. August also happens to be National Water Quality Month, so it’s a great time to learn a little about the annual water quality reports issued by the City. These reports, known officially as Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs), are federally mandated and must include specific information about the source, monitoring, testing, and treatment of your drinking water.

The first CCRs were issued in 1999, as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act’s public right-to-know provisions, in an effort to improve transparency and accountability. The EPA requires the reports be made available each year by July 1st.

From a CCR, you should be able to find out:

  • Water system contact information
  • Source of your water
  • Definitions of key terms used in the CCR
  • Any regulated contaminants detected and the corresponding level of detection in your water system
  • For any regulated contaminant in violation of maximum contaminant levels, a brief statement in plain language regarding the contaminant health concerns
  • Information on unregulated contaminants for which monitoring is required

To access the 2018 City of Savannah reports, please visit www.savannahga.gov/waterqualityreport. In 2018, the City of Savannah Water Laboratory performed more than 123,000 tests and procedures, on over 160 water quality parameters. The reports summarize the key findings of our intensive monitoring processes. We’ve done our best to make our CCRs clear and easy to read, with the goal of informing and educating our customers, while also meeting the federal requirements of the reports. We’re proud to say our CCRs have won accolades from the Georgia Association of Water Professionals, including Best CCR in the entire state.

If you take away anything from reviewing your CCR, we hope you’re assured that your drinking water is safe and well managed by the City of Savannah. We hope you also ponder the importance of a safe water supply and your role in supporting the sustainable availability of clean drinking water. You should also consider how water conservation and environmental stewardship, as well as building and maintaining well-functioning water infrastructure, is at the very core of public health and safety.

Do you have a great idea for our next WaterWays feature? We're always looking for interesting stories about Savannah water and our local community. Email Saja Aures at saures@savannahga.gov to share your tip! 

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