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.
The county is requesting the increased waste load so it can expand the Calls Creek sewage treatment plant beyond 1.5 million gallons per day without having to build a sewer pipeline down Calls Creek.
Request In March
The county sent to the EPD on March 14 a letter asking it to “model constituent parameters for a future discharge of 3.0 MGD to Calls Creek” from the current plant.
|Haynie At DRC Meeting|
The county said such a decision would extend the life of the Calls Creek facility by 10 to 15 years “according to our estimates.”
If the EPD does not allow the increased discharge into Calls Creek, the county wrote in its letter, the county will go forward with expansion plans for the Calls Creek plant, and it will discharge effluent from that expanded plant into the Middle Oconee River via the proposed pipeline down Calls Creek.
Residents along the creek have protested loudly and consistently against those plans, with Cindy Mitchell McGarvey, one of the organizers of the group Friends of Calls Creek, telling the Board of Commissioners again tonight (Tuesday) that it wants the county to continue to study alternatives.
The EPD is waiting on additional information from the county on flows from its plants into the Middle Oconee River, Elizabeth Booth, Watershed Planning and Monitoring Program manager, said in an email message she sent to Gigi Steele, EPD municipal permitting manager, on May 25.
Booth said that she was told the future flow for Oconee County facilities into the Middle Oconee River and its tributaries would be 5 million gallons per day, Booth said. Calls Creek is a tributary to the Middle Oconee River.
But the waste load allocations she has total more than that amount, she wrote.
The EPD currently is working on standards for nutrients in Lake Oconee, which is on the Oconee River downstream from where the North Oconee and Middle Oconee merge, and Booth said “I need to make sure I don’t over allocate nutrients to the lake.”
“It would be helpful if I could get the correct flows for the Oconee County Calls Creek and Middle Oconee facilities,” she wrote.
No Middle Oconee Facility
Oconee County does not have a facility on the Middle Oconee, though one has been in the county’s plans since at least 2004.
Booth and Steele provided copies of the email exchange to Chris Manganiello, policy director for the Georgia River Network.
In late May, Manganiello wrote to the EPD, saying the Georgia River Network had “serious concerns about EPD revisiting” its decision about Calls Creek’s waste load allocation for treated sewage because of the current "impaired" status of the creek.
Manganiello shared the email message from Booth to Steele with me.
Carter and Sloope
On April 26 the county signed a $50,190 consulting agreement with Carter and Sloope so the firm could provide data the county needs for an updated water and wastewater master plan.
Carter and Sloope agreed to provide to the county forecasts of population growth, economic development, water demands and wastewater flow.
It also agreed to identify water supply and treatment options and make recommendations on those options.
The firm also is to provide a water transmission and distribution plan for the county.
It also is to provide a wastewater treatment capacity plan.
Finally, Carter and Sloope is to provide the county recommendations and a capital improvements plan for the entire water and wastewater system.
Haynie told me after the meeting of the county’s Development Review Committee on Friday that he expects to have the needed data from Carter and Sloope this week to be able to respond to the EPD’s request for additional information on the waste load allocation request.
A crucial component is the forecasts of population growth and wastewater flow.
Haynie represents the Utility Department on the Development Review Committee.