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.

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! 

To subscribe to WaterWays, sign-up for the Utility Services Division e-newsletter.

Aug 02

Get Smart About Outdoor Watering

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 7:33 AM by Saja Aures

July is Smart Irrigation Month! Just try and control your excitement: in this blog we’re going to talk all about outdoor watering...

July is Smart Irrigation Month

First off, what we really should be talking about is xeriscaping, which is a style of landscaping that ditches the traditional water-hungry turfgrass lawn in favor of native, low-water or drought-tolerant plants. Added bonus: native grasses and groundcover plants often require little to no fertilizer, so you don’t have to worry about those potential pollutants running off your lawn and ultimately back into our waterways. 

If you’re interested in xeriscaping, there are a ton of great resources online. Here’s a few to get you started:

If you’re absolutely married to your turfgrass lawn and can’t bear to part with it, just know that keeping it lush and green can be awfully spendy and water wasteful. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, as much as 50% of the water we use outdoors is lost due to wind, evaporation, and runoff caused by inefficient watering methods and systems. Fifty percent, y’all! A broken or missing sprinkler head can waste as much as 25,000 gallons of water over a six-month irrigation season. That’s enough water to fill a 25’x25’ swimming pool to a depth of five feet. *screams in water bill*

So, what can you do? In addition to regular maintenance to prevent or repair any leaks, you can follow these tips to reduce your irrigation system’s water waste:

If water is applied too quickly, it can cause the water to run off of the landscape and into the street.

Ensure that sprinkler heads are properly placed and set-up so you’re not watering your driveway or the street.

Use drip irrigation, micro-sprinklers, or bubbler irrigation for planting beds and narrow strips of vegetation.

A rain sensor detects rain and shuts off an irrigation system to conserve water.

Outdoor Watering Schedule
One more tip that’s super important: follow the outdoor watering schedule! 

State-wide, the law (Georgia Water Steward Act) says you can’t water outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Additionally, Savannah's local drinking water permit limits our water customers (residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial) to a three day outdoor water-use schedule.

Outdoor watering schedule for Savannah:

  • NO watering on Fridays
  • NO watering between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., AND
    --Even-numbered properties may water Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays
    --Odd-numbered properties may water Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays

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! 

To subscribe to WaterWays, sign-up for the Utility Services Division e-newsletter.