Paulding County Secures the Future of Water for Residents

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Creating safe, cost-effective and consistent water supplies is becoming increasingly important as population centers continue to grow throughout the southeastern United States. One such program is the Richland Creek Water Supply Program currently underway in Paulding County, Georgia. This project, 17 years in planning, is the largest water project ever undertaken in Paulding County.

PC Construction is serving as the Construction Manager at-risk (CMAR) for a portion of the project. The Paulding County Board of Commissioners recently approved an $86.8 million guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for that portion. This GMP encompasses a new 18-mgd water treatment plant, raw water intake and pump station on the Etowah River and reservoir intake and pump station. All the facilities will be provisioned for a future expansion to 36 mgd and are expected to meet the County’s water supply needs through 2060.

A raw water intake and pump station will be used to draw water from the Etowah River during periods of high flow to support the 305-acre Richland Creek Reservoir. The pump station will utilize four 16-mgd, 1500 HP vertical turbine pumps. The pump station has been designed so that it does not affect river wildlife and to minimize the impact on downstream users. The intake will have very small openings, making it impossible for fish to enter the intake. Additionally, there will be very low entrance velocities so that fish and wildlife are not impacted by the presence of the screens.

Once completed, the Richland Creek Reservoir will provide approximately three billion gallons of raw water storage. The reservoir is designed to yield 35 mgd, which will support the future needs of Paulding County as population and industry continue to grow.

A state-of-the-art 18-mgd water treatment plant will be constructed at the reservoir site. A water intake and pump station will deliver water from the reservoir to the treatment plant. The pump station will utilize three 9-mgd, 400 HP vertical turbine pumps with provisions for three additional pumps to be added in the future. The treatment plant will utilize dissolved air flotation (DAF) equipment, sand filters and granular activated carbon (GAC) filters to treat the water.  The finished water will then flow into a 6.3-million-gallon clearwell for storage. Once the treatment process is complete, water will be pumped from the clearwell to end users through a finished water transmission line.

Paulding is the only county in greater Atlanta area without its own water supply. Currently, the County is a wholesale customer of the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority. As a customer of another water authority the County is vulnerable to rate increases and subject to water availability. This project will secure Paulding County resident’s water needs with a stable source regardless of weather conditions or other user’s needs.