The primary function of the Gwinnett County sewer collection system is to move wastewater from homes and businesses to one of the County’s water reclamation facilities (WRF). Wastewater comes from everyday activities we all do, such as washing dishes, taking a shower, running the washing machine, and of course, flushing the toilet. Anything that goes down a drain enters the collection system.
A pipe known as a sewer lateral connects the drains from homes and businesses on private property to the collection system. The property owner is responsible for the maintenance of the sewer lateral, including clogs and overflows, but most people do not give it too much thought unless a problem occurs.
Because the County has various high and low spots, a number of pump stations are used to help get the wastewater to the WRF. Once the wastewater is treated, the now clean water (also known as effluent) is returned to County streams, rivers, and lakes. Gwinnett treats its wastewater to a high level using some of the most technologically advanced processes and equipment in the country, returning the water cleaner than it was removed originally.
Industrial users, such as metal finishers, electroplaters, photo processors, food processors, and dairy processors also generate wastewater, but by law these manufacturers must have pre-treatment processes in place before the flow enters the collection system.