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Clayton County lies in the southern portion of the rapidly growing metro Atlanta area. The world's busiest airport, Hartsfield International Airport lies in the northern end of the County. Clayton County's population exceeded 236,000 in the 2000 census. Clayton County continues to grow along with the remainder of the metro Atlanta area. Additional raw water withdrawals and increased wastewater discharges are more and more difficult to obtain in the Atlanta area because of limited supplies and tri-state water conflicts between Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

Clayton County Water Authority's (CCWA) 2000 Master Plan identified constructed wetlands for water reclamation and indirect potable reuse as the preferred method of managing our limited water resources in the future. This alternative will provide additional wastewater treatment capacity, improve the quality of our reclaimed water and reduce the maintenance and operations burden of spray irrigation land application. Constructed wetlands provide the advantages of requiring less land for treatment, greatly reduced operations and maintenance costs, and continued reliance on natural systems for high quality water reclamation. CCWA will expand and upgrade all four of our water reclamation facilities and add constructed wetlands at two locations that will discharge to existing drinking water reservoirs. Advanced disinfection will also be added to each of CCWA's water production plants (WPPs) to insure the safety of our water supplies.

CCWA has a 20 year history of indirect potable reuse in connection with one of the country's first large forested land application systems for treated wastewater disposal. Over 2,500 acres of forested land have been irrigated with treated wastewater since 1980 in the upstream portion of one of CCWA's drinking water reservoirs. This activity significantly increased the yield of this watershed and supplemented raw water supplies during periods of drought.

The Water Authority's approach to developing a plan for indirect potable reuse included the following steps:

Identifying appropriate water reclamation technologies for indirect potable reuse;

Review of plans by independent industry experts and regulatory agencies;

Enhancing drinking water treatment facilities;

Developing plans to protect existing raw water supplies through watershed protection;

Developing and implementing appropriate water quality monitoring programs;

Developing and implementing public relations and educational programs.

This paper will describe how CCWA worked through these 6 steps and the results of our implementation of these programs at this time
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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