Georgia's Cherokee County dedicates recently expanded drinking water plant

May 25, 2007
Like all counties in the metropolitan Atlanta area, Cherokee County has experienced significant population growth in recent years, requiring major investments in its drinking water infrastructure. At a dedication held May 16 to mark the expansion and upgrade of its Etowah River Water Treatment Facility (WTF), the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority (CCWSA) highlighted its recent success in meeting the county's long-term drinking water needs without disrupting service...

• Facility's treatment capacity more than doubled without interrupting service

CANTON, GA May 24, 2007 -- Like all counties in the metropolitan Atlanta area, Cherokee County has experienced significant population growth in recent years, requiring major investments in its drinking water infrastructure. At a dedication held May 16 to mark the expansion and upgrade of its Etowah River Water Treatment Facility (WTF), the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority (CCWSA) highlighted its recent success in meeting the county's long-term drinking water needs without disrupting service to its more than 100,000 customers.

Located along the Etowah River in northeastern Cherokee County, the original WTF was constructed in 1986 and expanded in the mid-1990s to be able to treat as much as 18 million gallons per day (mgd). Faced with growing demand, the CCWSA in 2004 again began expanding the facility, which is the county's sole source of treated drinking water. Working with PBS&J, the Authority pursued an innovative two-track approach that involved constructing a new 20-mgd facility next to the existing plant, which subsequently was taken offline and completely refurbished with state-of-the-art equipment. Substantially completed in April at a cost of approximately $31.4 million, the new and revamped facilities feature a highly automated, dependable treatment process capable of producing up to 38 mgd of drinking water.

"Although Cherokee County appears poised to maintain its rapid growth, the county's citizens can continue to depend on a reliable, high-quality source of drinking water well into the foreseeable future," said Clint Blackwell, the manager of the Etowah River WTF.

To ensure that the WTF could continue to meet customer demands during the expansion and upgrade, the CCWSA and PBS&J -- which designed the improvements and administered the construction contract for the Authority -- had to schedule the construction process carefully. Therefore, the new facility came online in June 2006, just in time to cope with summer's increased demand. Last October, the existing plant then was removed from service and upgraded, a process that had to be completed by this summer. Construction was conducted by 3D Enterprises Contracting Corporation, of Lexington, Kentucky.

Along with increasing treatment capacity, the CCWSA sought to reduce hazards associated with the use of gaseous chlorine. "We have taken considerable steps to increase safety in and around the treatment plant," Blackwell said. For this reason, the CCWSA chose to discontinue the use of gaseous chlorine to disinfect drinking water. Instead, the WTF has been outfitted with an innovative system for generating sodium hypochlorite, or liquid bleach, that is significantly safer to store and can be used instead for disinfection. By generating and storing the disinfectant onsite, the system eliminates the need to transport gaseous chlorine to the facility by truck or train.

Although sodium hypochlorite is all that is currently needed in terms of disinfection, the design for the upgraded facility includes provisions to enable the use of ultraviolet (UV) light for disinfection in the future if necessary. In this way, the CCWSA will be able to respond rapidly to new regulatory requirements or changing water quality conditions without having to modify or reconfigure the WTF.

Along with the improvements to the facility's treatment processes, the WTF also has benefited from the addition of pumps in the plant's raw water pumping station as well as a new high-service pumping facility.

PBS&J is an employee-owned firm that provides infrastructure planning, engineering, construction management, architecture, and program management services to public and private clients. The firm is ranked 25th by Engineering News-Record among the nation's top consulting firms. PBS&J has 3,900 employees and more than 75 offices located throughout the United States and abroad.

###

Sponsored Recommendations

SmartSights WIN-911 Alarm Notification Software Enables Faster Response

March 15, 2024
Alarm notification software enables faster response for customers, keeping production on track

Automated Fresh Water Treatment

March 15, 2024
SCADA, Automation and Control for Efficient and Compliant Operations

Digital Transformation Enables Smart Water

March 15, 2024
During this webinar we will discuss factors driving the transformation to digital water, water industry trends, followed by a summary of solutions (products & services) available...

Automation for Water Treatment and Distribution Systems

Jan. 31, 2024
Dependable, Flexible Control Solutions to Maximize Productivity