The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources has been highlighted in a new report by the Georgia Water Coalition for its efforts to turn byproducts from the cleaning of used water into something that can benefit the environment.
The Clean 13 report, which was released Thursday, highlights government agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses, industries and individuals who are working to make Georgia’s bodies of water cleaner.
“Georgia is faced with many water challenges involving problems that effect the health of our rivers and the availability of clean water for us and wildlife,” said Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman, executive director with the Rome-based Coosa River Basin Initiative, in a statement. “Those recognized in the Clean 13 report are on the front lines of meeting those challenges. From innovative wastewater treatment projects to important clean water education efforts, these entities are developing solutions to these challenges.”
The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources in particular was recognized for efforts at the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center in Buford. The facility cleans water that has been used by county residents before it is returned to Lake Lanier. County officials have often claimed the water goes back into the lake cleaner than it was when it came out of the lake due to the extensive cleaning process used at the center.
The facility also makes use of the waste and phosphorus left over after the cleaning process. The fact that the waste is used to make power for the center and that the phosphorus is converted into a fertilizer caught the Georgia Water Coalition’s eye.
The agency noted the fertilizer as an innovative approach to dealing with the phosphorus.
“The only project of its kind in Georgia, Gwinnett’s nutrient recovery system is now being adopted by other wastewater treatment facilities,” the coalition said in an announcement about the report.
“The innovation will help keep rivers and lakes clean and close the loop on an economically important mineral.”