October 3, 2016

Oconee Can't Dump More Sewage Into Calls Creek


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Photo Credit: Lee Becker

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division has denied Oconee County’s request for a 3 million gallons per day waste load allocation for Calls Creek, saying the stream is too small to handle the treated effluent.

The denial means that the county will have to change its plans to upgrade its Calls Creek wastewater treatment plant on the outskirts of Watkinsville, run a sewer line down Calls Creek, or find another way to discharge treated sewer water from an expanded Calls Creek plant into the Middle Oconee River.

Residents along Calls Creek have voiced strong and persistent opposition to construction of a sewer line down the creek, with many saying they will force the county to take condemnation action against them to get easements for the sewer line.

The state EPD did tentatively grant the county a waste load allocation of 1.5 million gallons per day, which will allow the county to expand its Calls Creek plant from its current 0.667 million gallons per day to the 1.5 million level.

It remains unclear if Oconee County will have enough sewer capacity for Phase II of Epps Bridge Centre, despite issuing land-disturbance permits last week.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.