Water and Sewer
The department is responsible for water treatment, storage, and the distribution system; and the wastewater collection, pumping, and treatment system. The City’s water is pumped from deep groundwater wells, treated, pumped to elevated storage tanks, and distributed throughout the City and parts of the County. Wastewater is collected in the sewer lines, pumped where gravity flow is not possible, then treated at a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant before discharging to Bird’s Pond.
The City must meet stringent US Environmental Protection Agency standards for the treatment of drinking water, and the treatment before discharge of wastewater. Both of these functions are critical to public health, and require certified operators and laboratory personnel.
In order to keep rates low, some SPLOST funds are used for major projects.
The City charges fees for service based upon actual consumption. Prices are set to cover the cost of personnel, operations, equipment and improvements and extensions of the systems. Unlike private utility companies, the City does not have to pay property or income taxes, and there are no distributions to shareholders, since the City is tax-exempt and non-profit. Therefore, all net income is either put back into the system, or transferred to the General Fund in order to reduce the need for property taxes to support other City operations. Either way, our citizens and customers are the beneficiaries.