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No recent movement on sewage plant permit

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POSTED: September 6, 2010 10:34 a.m.
The Liberty County Development Authority has not recently made any significant decisions regarding a proposed wastewater treatment plant at Tradeport East.
Currently, the completed parts of the project include planning and engineering, site work, and construction of the operations building and a portion of the underground infrastructure, said Anna Chafin, LCDA director of marketing and research.
In May, the authority submitted a modified permit request to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to begin work on the plant. Under that request, the plant would be “phased,” with the first phase being 250,000 gallons of wastewater treatment, LCDA CEO Ron Tolley said in May.
Once the final phase is completed, the facility would be able to treat up to 3 million gallons per day for the entire service delivery area in the eastern part of the county.
According to Scott Southwick, an environmental engineer with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in Savannah, research and studies of the effects of remnants of filtered and treated wastewater have shown there will not be damage to the river. 
Southwick said he knows that with the level of concern and controversy surrounding the project, it likely will take the LCDA some time to secure a permit.
“The question remains: What level of treatment is needed to protect the river?” Southwick said, which could be why the permit has not yet been approved.
He also wants residents to understand that once the plant is fully operational, it will run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, treating water that first will be used for irrigation.
The water would not be re-filtered and used for drinking water or for shower use, the engineer said.
“They (county officials) are anticipating that they will have enough people who want to use sprinklers and the discharge (that otherwise would go into the river) will be minimal,” Southwick said.
He also said most water treatment facilities are situated on rivers and waterfronts, and there has never been an instance of wildlife dying in an area because treated wastewater was discharged into bodies of water.
 

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