FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. – A regional wastewater lift station and force main on McGinnis Ferry Road that is projected to save the Forsyth County Water and Sewer Department nearly $1 million per year in operational costs has been completed.
The project, known as the Lower Big Creek Lift Station and Force Main, is sized to handle flows generated by future development projected for the South Forsyth area.
The project includes a concrete diversion structure which diverts wastewater that previously flowed to a Fulton County treatment facility to the new lift station.
The lift station then pumps the wastewater more than six miles through a 20-inch pipe to Forsyth County’s Fowler Wastewater Reclamation Facility for treatment and disposal.
“By diverting the wastewater to this new lift station, rather than sending it to a facility in Fulton County as we did previously, the county will realize cost savings,” Director of Water and Sewer Tim Perkins said. “It is more efficient and economical for us to treat this wastewater at our own facility. In fact, it is projected that in approximately seven years, the project will essentially pay for itself thanks to the savings we will see.”
In addition to enhanced efficiency, the new lift station and force main will save the county ongoing maintenance costs associated with rehabilitating an older lift station.
The new lift station and force main will also allow the county to generate more reuse water at the Fowler wastewater facility.
The county already has an active reuse water program that serves numerous parks, schools, golf courses and contractors in the southern portion of Forsyth County.
“This project is a benefit to the county on so many fronts, not the least of which is the increased generation of reuse water,” Forsyth County Commissioner Todd Levent said. “By having additional reuse water available, it reduces the use of potable water by those parks, schools and others who can instead use the reuse water. Anytime we can enhance efficiency of our operations and also conserve potable water, it’s a win-win situation.”
The new lift station, which began operating in late November, is currently serving average flows of approximately 1 million gallons per day (mgd), and has an initial pumping capacity of approximately 4 mgd. With the county’s future growth in mind, it was constructed with provisions for an eventual capacity of more than 6 mgd.
The project was constructed with funds from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA). Forsyth County received a Clean Water State Revolving Fund low-interest loan of $7.8 million from GEFA, which included $750,000 in principal forgiveness funding. The project came in approximately $200,000 under budget, so the county will not have to borrow the full amount of the loan.
The engineering firms Atkins North America Inc., and Hayes|James designed the project. Reeves Contracting Company and Gary’s Grading and Pipeline constructed the project, which took about 18 months to complete.