Sewer projects are ramping up around Hall County, as the infrastructure is fueling growth and keeping the economy humming, officials said.
“There is almost 100% correlation between where existing industries are and sewer,” said Tim Evans, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of economic development, speaking at a chamber meeting Wednesday, Jan. 18.
Here are a few takeaways from the event:
Friendship Road sewer line in the works
About five miles of lines, including two miles uphill and a new lift station, will be built between Hog Mountain Road at Friendship Road/Ga. 347 and the Spout Springs Water Reclamation Facility at 6827 Spout Springs Road.
The $14 million Friendship Road Sewer Extension project is scheduled for completion in summer 2024, with funding coming from local sources and the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
When done, the line could carry up to 500,000 gallons per day of sewer, with treatment taking place at the Spout Springs plant.
“It is expected that as projects move forward, various residential developers and commercial tracts will begin to make applications for sewer availability,” Srikanth Yamala, Hall’s director of public works and utilities, said in an earlier interview about the project.
“The sewer line is expected to eventually generate approximately 2,000 new sewer users over the next 20 years.”
Sewer expansion moving toward Braselton
The Braselton side of South Hall also could be served by new lines.
Design work began in the fall of 2022 on a $7.3 million project that calls for 1.7 miles of force main lines, building a new lift station and removing a lift station at Reunion subdivision off Friendship Road.
The project will allow the Spout Springs plant to provide sewer to the Mulberry River basin, which includes the Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 and Union Church Road areas of South Hall.
Funding for the project will be covered by local sources, including the county’s special purpose local option sales tax.
Spout Springs plant set for capacity expansion
Design has started on an expansion of sewer at the Spout Springs plant.
Plans call for capacity to increase from 750,000 gallons per day to 1.6 million gallons per day, meeting projected flows through 2035.
The $17.8 million, which is expected to be finished in fall 2025, would be funded by local sources.
The plant site was already prepared for the expansion when it was built in 2007, said Bill Nash, assistant director of public works and utilities.
Work on Flowery Branch-Gainesville line could start in Jan.
Flowery Branch and Gainesville have signed an agreement that brings relief to Flowery Branch’s near-capacity sewer plant.
A 5-year agreement allows Flowery Branch to run a sewer line from an existing pump station to a connection point near Gainesville’s Flat Creek plant and the treatment of 400,000 gallons of wastewater a day.
Construction on the line could start by late January, Flowery Branch City Manager Tonya Parrish said.
“Through my rose-colored glasses, we’ll be able to open up for business by maybe March, maybe April,” Parrish said.
Flowery Branch City Council directed city officials to stop accepting sewer applications in August, after the low bid came in at $52 million for an expansion project budgeted at $23 million. At the time, the city was treating near its permitted 900,000 gallons per day.
The council voted in December to reject bids and pursue hiring a “construction manager at risk,” or a contractor who would “work very closely with the city and the city’s engineer” in a new design and construction of the project.
Flat Creek plant rebuild to take 20 years
Gainesville’s Flat Creek treatment plant at 2641 Old Flowery Branch Road is slated for a massive rebuild, said Linda MacGregor, director of Gainesville’s Department of Water Resources.
“It’s a workhouse plant … and it’s also old,” she said.
Upgrades are planned over the next 20 years.
MacGregor said that when the city rebuilt Linwood Water Treatment Plant at 500 Linwood Drive, “we went up the hill and built the new plant. And then we took the old plant offline and put the new plant online.
“We don’t have the luxury to do that here, so we’re going to build in the midst of operations, one unit at a time,” MacGregor said. “It’ll be good.”