Federal stimulus money will help build a wastewater reuse system in north Paulding for residential irrigation and discharge diversion.
Paulding is one of seven state applicants awarded environmental infrastructure project loans by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Administration board of directors in November. Financed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment [stimulus] Act, the state’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund is providing $990,000 of the $1,785,000 “green” project.
The Paulding County Renewal and Extension Fund will provide $135,000, and the county will pay 3 percent interest for 20 years on the GEFA loan of $666,000.
Purple water reuse lines are already in the ground, predominantly in the Seven Hills community, and the new funding will install a reuse water main, construct a pump station and chlorinator and convert a concrete tank to a reuse water storage tank.
The Paulding project originally was included on the “fundable priority list” but was eliminated, and County Administrator Mike Jones drily said then that “all projects weren’t all priorities and weren’t all funded.” Intercession by county residents House Speaker Glenn Richardson and former commission chairman and now Department of Natural Resources Chairman Bill Carruth “didn’t hurt” and helped get Paulding’s project restored as a fundable priority, said Jones.
As projects still on the list approached closing, minds changed, local matches weren’t forthcoming and other priorities arose, Jones said.
The Paulding project is already designed and the county will close on the project with GEFA in the next 30-45 days, he said. “When you can get 65 percent of the bill paid by someone else, it’s a great deal,” he added.
Reuse water has been available for golf courses near the Pumpkinvine plant in the north end of the county and The Georgian in south Paulding, but reuse water will be available for residential irrigation for the first time near the end of the 2010 watering season, said Jones.
Purple pipes that will carry reuse water were installed along the Cedarcrest Road corridor during construction at Seven Hills and several other new subdivisions, “but Bentwater was built before this became an option,” said the county administrator. “Seven Hills has had piping for seven or eight years, and we’re just now going to be able to tie in.
“We have a lot of homes in the area that have purple lines, and this will be the first time we’ll be able to connect to residences here,” he said.
Residents wanting to tap on to the reuse water system will pay an as-yet-undetermined amount for connection and a monthly fee for unlimited use of the water. The system will reduce the amount of treated water discharged into waterways during the summer months, potentially increasing plant discharge capacity that will bolster commercial growth.
“It allows us not put the treated water in a creek and, as the county develops, provide for more commercial development,” Jones said. “Now, the plant is limited by what we can put in the creek. This will almost completely recycle the water during the summer, and in the winter months we’ll go back to the creek.
“This will help us move the program forward and access more homes.”
The Upper Sweetwater treatment plant near The Georgian doesn’t treat enough water yet to make residential irrigation there viable, he added.
He said the reuse water will have salt content higher than normal, so the water is to be used only for irrigation and not for washing cars and other uses. “It could damage paint,” he said.
While monthly fees haven’t been determined, Jones expects the cost to be “much, much lower than they’re paying to irrigate with drinking water. I think residences with access will see a huge monetary benefit over normal spending on irrigation.
“It’ll take a few months to get the system balanced with demand and what is available,” said Jones. “Our goal is to go to bid and start construction the first week of January. Construction will take several months, and then we’ll tie homes on and begin irrigating at the back end of the 2010 watering season.”