Lula is wrapping up construction on its new wastewater treatment plant, which likely will be up and running by January.
"Everything is looking good and on budget at this time," Lula Mayor Milton Turner said. "We're waiting on about three more pumps to come in to go into our wet well, and as far as I know that's all the equipment we are lacking."
Turner said the next step will be completing the electrical work - installing wiring for all of the plant's motors and sensors.
A test run is scheduled for Jan. 15, Turner said. The city will run 750,000 gallons of potable water through the plant to make sure everything is running properly.
"It's working out any bugs you have before you actually run sewer into the plant," Turner said. "This week, we're getting water lines and everything set up to be able to get water to the plant."
City Manager Dennis Bergin said following the test run, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division will inspect the plant for certification.
"We're really at the nuts and bolts stage," Bergin said.
Bergin said the plant will serve an eight-mile area near Ga. 365. It is expected to spur development in the lightly populated eastern corridor of the county.
"We've had some inquiries from retail," Bergin said.
"We're encouraged, especially with the slow economy. We're pleased with the progress."
For years, Lula has unsuccessfully tried to attract a supermarket to the area. Turner suspects the new sewer plant will help those efforts.
"I am excited to see it finished up and to see something this state of the art happening on this end of the county," Turner said.
The plant, which was funded in part by a $6 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be a top-notch, environmentally friendly facility.
The plant will clean and treat sewage and release it into nearby Hagen Creek. The city has a permit to discharge 385,000 gallons per day.
The area around Lula is expected to grow rapidly in the near future, due in part to the creation of the additional sewer capacity. Development is planned on the nearby Ga. 365 corridor, and two large communities - Hagen Creek and Cane Creek - are slated to be built nearby.