Thursday, July 28, 2016

Expansion Of Calls Creek Sewer Plant To 1.5 MGD Will Serve Needs Until 2025, Oconee County Tells EPD

Need 5 MGD In 2050

Expansion of the Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant to 1.5 million gallons per day from its current .667 million gallons per day of capacity should serve county needs until 2025, according to forecasts the county provided to the state Environmental Protection Division on Monday.

Expansion of the Calls Creek Plant to 3 million gallons per day would allow the county to meet needs through 2035, the county said.

By 2050, however, the county expects it will need nearly 5 million gallons per day of sewage treatment capability, and it is asking the state to reserve that capacity for the county.

The county provided the projections to the EPD to support its request that it be allowed to discharge 1.5 million gallons per day of treated wastewater into Calls Creek from its existing plant on that stream off North Main Street on the northern edge of Watkinsville.

The county also is asking EPD to consider allowing it to discharge a total of 3 million gallons per day of treated wastewater into Calls Creek by 2020, thereby eliminating the need at least through 2035 for a sewer line down Calls Creek.

Wastewater Flow Forecasts

The wastewater flow forecasts were generated by Engineered Horizons of Duluth in association with Carter and Sloope, a consulting firm based just outside Butler’s Crossing.

Population Projections
(Click To Enlarge)

The county has contracted with Carter and Sloope for help with development of an updated wastewater master plan. Work on that plan is ongoing.

Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie turned to Carter and Sloope for help when the EPD asked for additional information in support of the county’s request in March for an increase in the waste load allocation for Calls Creek.

Haynie told me on July 15 he expected a pretty quick response from the EPD on that request once it has had a chance to process the data the county was to provide.

Population Projections

Engineered Horizons used population projections for the county that are much lower than those used by the county in the past.

Using estimates developed by the Georgia Office of Planning and Budget, the firm projects the county’s population to grow from its current 35,965 (as estimated by the U.S. Bureau of the Census) to 38,483 in 2020 and 62,289 in 2050.

Growth rates are expected to be in the range of 1.5 percent per year to 1.9 percent over that time period.

At present, the county has only 2,202 sewage customers, with 1,720 of those residential users and 480 commercial and institutional customers. The county has two industrial users, AmeriPride in Watkinsville and Benson’s Bakery in Bogart.

Athens-Clarke County treats the sewage from the Caterpillar plant, which straddles the border of the two counties on the eastern side of Bogart.

Two Facilities

The county has two sewage treatment facilities, one on Rocky Branch Road in the west of the county and the other at Calls Creek.

At present, the Rocky Branch facility is a Land Application System and has a capacity of 0.4 million gallons per day.

The county also holds a permit to discharge 1.0 million gallons per day of treated sewage to Barber Creek from an unbuilt plant on that site.

The Calls Creek plant is permitted at .667 million gallons per day, and the county has a permit to upgrade that plant to 1 million gallons per day.

The Calls Creek permit, as well as the one at Barber Creek, were issued for membrane filtration designs, which the county wants to abandon because of the cost of operation.

Existing Commitments

The county has approximately 0.8 million gallons per day of paid for, but unused, wastewater treatment capacity commitments, according to the Engineered Horizons study.

The firm included those commitments in the projections of flow for the 2020 to 2025 period.

At present, only 13 percent of the population currently has access to sewer service, the report states.

That figure is expected to grow to 25 percent in 2050.

Document Attached

The report by Engineered Horizons is called a Technical Memorandum on Wasterwaer Flow Forecasts through Year 2050 and was attached to a letter Haynie sent to Benoit Causse, program manager at EPD on Monday.

That letter and full report were provided to me by Haynie today (Thursday) and are available for download HERE from my Box.net site.

The report the county sent to the EPD said that the county will have options for expansion of its facilities in the future.

One option is continued expansion at the Calls Creek site, requiring “an effluent sewer line” down Calls Creek to discharge into the Middle Oconee River. That pipeline has met with strong opposition from residents along the creek.

Another is a new facility on the Middle Oconee River.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

MACORTS Seeking Public Comment On Plans To Add Interchange Of Oconee Connector and SR 316 To Planning Document

Tuesday Night Meeting

The regional transportation planning body for Oconee County will be seeking public comment from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Community Center in Veterans Park on a proposal to move forward funding for improvements to the intersection of SR 316 and the Oconee Connector.

The Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS), the cooperative transportation planning body for the urbanized area, including northern Oconee County, is seeking citizen reaction to its proposed amendment to its Long Range Transportation Plan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Oconee County Commissioners Decide To Discuss Referenda On Sunday Sales Of Alcohol At Next Meeting

Aug. 10 Deadline

Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis’ efforts to get alcohol referenda on the ballot in November got a slight push-back from two of his Commission colleagues last (Tuesday) night.

Commissioner Jim Luke said the county needed to do more to warn the citizens that the referenda were under consideration by the Board, and Commissioner Mark Saxon agreed.

Oconee County Ready To Move Forward With Feasibility Study of Animal Shelter, Administrative Officer Said

RFP This Month

Oconee County Administrative Officer Jeff Benko told members of the county’s Animal Control Advisory Board last week that he expects to advertise this month for a feasibility study of improvements to or replacement of the county’s Animal Shelter.

Benko said he expected the county to open bids responding to the request for proposals in August and that the Board of Commissioners likely would award a contract at its meeting on Sept. 6.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Oconee County Expects To Have Data Needed For Response To EPD On Calls Creek Discharge This Week

Waste Load Allocation Request

Oconee County Utility Department Director Wayne Haynie said last week that he expects to be able to provide to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division this week the information it has sought in response to the county's request for a new waste load allocation for Calls Creek.

Haynie said he expects to get the information he needs from consultant Carter and Sloope Inc., 1031 Stonebridge Parkway, just outside Butler’s Crossing, on projected county water discharges and to be able to send that to the EPD.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Oconee County Planning Commission Votes Against A Recreational Day Camp On Colham Ferry Road

Neighbors Opposed

The Oconee County Planning Commission voted 8 to 1 tonight (Monday) against a request by High Point Land Holdings LLC for special use of 35 acres on Colham Ferry Road for a residential day camp in an agricultural district.

Nine people from areas around the existing horse boarding and training facility spoke against the request, saying the addition of a residential day camp would create traffic and noise problems and is inconsistent with the Agricultural Preservation designation of the area on the county’s future development map.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Oconee County Election Superintendent Issues Call For Special Election For Board Of Commissioners Vacancy

Qualifying Aug. 1-3

Oconee County Election Superintendent Pat Hayes has issued a call for a special election to fill the vacancy in the Board of Commissioners created when John Daniell resigned Post 2 to run for Board chair.

The election to fill out Daniell’s four year term ending in 2018 will be held on Nov. 8 in conjunction with the general election.