Tuesday, January 15, 2008


The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners on Tuesday awarded the final contract for building a 72-inch diameter pipeline that next year will start returning as much as 40 million gallons per day of reclaimed water back to Lake Lanier.

The pipeline and diffuser, about 1.4 miles long, will be mostly underwater. Land portions of the overall 8.4 mile pipeline from the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center are either finished or under construction. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the underwater construction and necessary easements last October.

Oscar Renda Contracting received the $25.1 million contract. The official “notice to proceed” is expected around the end of February with scheduled construction time of 510 days, or about 17 months. Total cost of the entire reuse pipeline construction will be about $63 million.

“Especially during this severe drought, we know the importance of returning our highly treated reclaimed water to Lake Lanier,” said Board Chairman Charles Bannister. “When I came into office, this project was stalled over permit limits acceptable to the Lake Lanier Association. State Rep. John Heard and I worked out a compromise that allowed the project go ahead.”

Lynn Smarr, Acting Director of Water Resources, said, “This pipeline will also provide opportunities for developments along its route to use highly treated wastewater for irrigation.” A map of the route is available online at www.gwinnettcounty.com, then Departments, then Water Resources, then “Reuse Line to Lake Lanier.”

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