Rockdale to build new wastewater treatment plant

CONYERS — Rockdale County commissioners on Tuesday approved a $24.9 million bid from Lakeshore Engineering LLC of Atlanta for construction of a wastewater treatment plant.

The new plant will replace the outdated Snapping Shoals Treatment Plant. The new facility will add 2.55 million gallons per day (MGD) of treatment capacity to the county’s wastewater treatment system, bringing the total capacity to 11.95 MGD.

Rockdale Water Resources Director Dr. Terrell Gibbs said the additional capacity will enhance the county’s potential for recruiting business and industry.

“It’s going to definitely put Rockdale County on par with some of our more progressive neighbors in letting industry and businesses know that Rockdale County is open for business,” said Gibbs.

Gibbs said this new plant is part of an overall strategy to recruit economic development, which includes adding 1 MGD in capacity to the Quigg Treatment Plant. Gibbs said the expansion at Quigg has been completed.

In the long term, Gibbs said RWR will decommission the Scott Creek and Honey Creek plants, which are package plants, and replace them with lift stations. The timeline for decommissioning those plants is five to 10 years.

Rockdale County has been awarded a $27 million Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority in order to fund construction of the new plant. Last year the BOC approved an increase in water usage fees by 6 percent a year over the next five years, starting in 2018, with the additional revenue to be used to pay the loan. The county will pay 1.89 percent interest on the loan.

“With this loan, Rockdale is better positioned to satisfy the wastewater treatment needs of its current residents and business owners as well as be perfectly positioned to accommodate the wastewater treatment needs of future residents and businesses in the community,” said Rockdale Board of Commissioners Chairman Oz Nesbitt Sr. “This sets us up for better economic growth by being able to further improve Rockdale County’s award-winning stewardship of its water resources.”

Gibbs said construction on the new plant is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2019 and take about 24 months to complete.

“We are really excited,” said Gibbs. “I’m excited about it because this generation of kids now, they aren’t staying put … when you give kids a place to not only play and get an education and also work, that helps the wheels of Rockdale to continue to spin for progress. We don’t want to be behind the times.”

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I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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