Wastewater in Our Region and Plan
The effective infrastructure and wastewater treatment planning by the Metro Water District supports the return of safe, high-quality water to our reservoirs.
While the region’s total treatment capacity of 697 million gallons per day is sufficient to meet the 2050 capacity needs of 667 million gallons per day, wastewater treatment availability varies on a local basis and requires thoughtful local master planning.
Delivering wastewater to the treatment facilities are approximately 16,000 miles of sewers and more than 450,000 manholes within the Metro Water District, all ranging in age from new to more than 100 years old.
Additionally, one-tenth of all wastewater generated in the Metro Water District is currently treated by septic systems. Septic use is declining as more sewer service is made available. Because septic system failures are expensive to correct and harmful to the environment, the District works in coordination with County Boards of Health to implement solutions to help better manage onsite systems.
Wastewater planning and public education are crucial in protecting water quality.
The Wastewater Management Plan outlines requirements and framework to meet future wastewater treatment demands while maintaining water quality standards within the Metro Water District.
The strategies outlined in the Wastewater Management Plan include wastewater collection system inspection and maintenance, management of septic systems and decentralized systems and local wastewater planning. Specific tasks and milestones for implementing these recommendations are included for local governments as well as regional and state agencies.
Local wastewater providers, key stakeholders and the Metro Water District have made significant progress in implementing specific wastewater management strategies, including:
- Construction of new wastewater treatment facilities and decommissioning of less efficient facilities
- Completion of operational changes at Georgia Power’s McDonough Plant and Yates Plant to reduce the heat load to the Chattahoochee River
- Construction of Gwinnett County’s F. Wayne Hill water reclamation facility which discharges high-quality effluent into Lake Lanier
- Conversion of a land application system (LAS) to constructed treatment wetlands in Clayton County that augment drinking water supplies
- Substantial completion of the City of Atlanta’s Clean Water Atlanta Initiative combined sewer separation projects and sewer treatment projects, improving water quality in the Chattahoochee and Ocmulgee basins