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When Effluent Meets Affluence: The Communications Challenges of Siting a Treatment Facility in a High End Community

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Siting a new water reclamation facility can be trying for a utility. Protests and challenges to the location can come from almost anywhere – the community, environmental groups, businesses, etc. And locating a plant near an established neighborhood always presents a particular challenge, especially if it's next to a neighborhood of multimillion dollar homes. Residents in such communities tend to be more vocal, more active, and more politically connected. This is the situation the Fulton County (GA) Department of Public Works (DPW) found itself in when it came time to construct a new facility, called the Johns Creek Environmental Campus. Additionally the site is near the Chattahoochee River, metro Atlanta's main water source and a popular recreation site; and even though it is a county project, it is wholly within the city limits of Roswell and adjacent to a city park. So a number of stakeholders had a great interest in this project. This paper will examine steps the project team took to get the facility from idea to reality while actively engaging an affluent City and community that had definite ideas about what it wanted. It will also highlight steps DPW took to build relationships within the greater community in looking to the future when the facility would be operational.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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