Georgia Conservation Mandate Requires Price Hike for Water

27 08 2008

My Swainsboro

The City of Swainsboro, along with municipalities state-wide, is being directed by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to file a water conservation plan as part of its permit approval process. This plan requires revisions in the City’s current fee structure for water usage. Also, the EPD is requiring the enactment and implementation of a “water conservation” rate. The new plan encourages conservation by establishing a new chart for water bills based on ascending levels of consumption.

“Obviously, this new plan is meant to reward people who conserve water and to penalize those who don’t,” commented Mayor Charles Schwabe. “It is certainly not our desire to change water rates, but this new ruling by EPD has required it, and we have no choice but to abide by their regulations. The actual increases will be very small and, in many cases, you will see no change at all. But the bottom line is that water conservation is becoming more and more of a critical issue everywhere in this country, and these changes are going to affect us all.”

The City has filed its water conservation plan with the Georgia EPD and expects approval shortly. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is the ruling authority that issues permits and licenses for water and waste water operations for all city and county water systems in Georgia.


Issues with Dade County’s Code Enforcement Continue

27 08 2008

By SUMMER KELLEY (The Dade Sentinel)

Problems continue to arise at the new codes enforcement office.

It has not been that long since Steve Faircloth discovered that there were problems on the property where he was building a home and had to work with the Department of Natural Resources to get the issue resolved. Now another Dade County resident has run into more problems as she becomes one of the first to deal with the new office, ordinances and contractor requirements.
When Gail Hendrix began building a home in Dade County, she did not expect the problems that have plagued her property and home site.

In April of 2008, the house Hendrix and her husband built on a bluff in Marion County was completely destroyed in a fire. Hendrix’s husband had passed away a little over a year before and she lost nearly everything in the fire. It did not take long for Hendrix to decide that she would move to Sand Mountain in order to be closer to her church, and she purchased property that included seven and a half cleared acres on Scratch Ankle Road.

Hendrix said that she talked with Bruce Castleberry, the county code enforcement officer, and those in his office about permits that would be needed to build her new home.

She was informed that all that was needed was a PERK test for sewer and an electrical permit. A contractor was hired and a dirt pad was made for the home. The temporary electrical work was done and the rye grass was scraped off to make way for new grass to be planted.

When everything was ready, Hendrix went in to get her temporary electrical permit. She signed the receipt, asked again if there was anything else she needed, and then left.

Read on here.

Forsyth: Sewage Spills Into Big Creek

27 08 2008
By Jennifer Sami
Business Reporter

Between 1,000 and 1,500 gallons of raw sewage entered a tributary of Big Creek during a Friday sewer spill near Gatewater Circle.

Cumming Utilities Department Director Jon Heard said the spill likely was the result of a blockage caused by medicated, cleansing and baby wipes, along with personal hygiene products.

“We would recommend against flushing those wipes down the toilet,” he said. “The material we pulled out that formed the clog was from non-biodegradable wipes being sold in supermarkets.”

The impacted area has been cleaned and lime applied to help reduce the amount of bacteria entering Big Creek, which runs to the Chattahoochee River.

Sewage also affected Big Creek on July 4, when a similar incident occurred.

Though the wipes may be a convenient way to handle a dirty situation, Heard said, they could lead to more cleaning in the end.

“Manufacturers claim they are safe to flush down the commode into the sewer system, but we’re finding that’s not the case, as evidenced by the last sewage spill.”

Blockages also are caused by low-flow toilets, said Heard, who has noticed many of the recent blockages have been from homes built within the past few years.

Read on here.