Gwinnett County is an industry leader in water-related research, and we partner with local universities, national research organizations, and international experts to tackle projects of all scopes and sizes. When our findings are published and presented nationally, other municipalities learn from our work and apply this knowledge to their own communities, extending our influence far beyond the geographic boundaries of the county.
This research informs our current processes and provides a forward-thinking perspective that will allow us to proactively address challenges as water becomes an increasingly valuable resource.
Our research projects generally fall into three areas of focus:
- Monitoring and protecting source water
- Optimizing treatment facilities, processes, and distribution assets
- Implementing stormwater and green infrastructure
Together, findings from these projects can be applied to protect the environment, save our customers money, and improve system quality and reliability.
For more information on any of the projects you see here or our research program, contact us.
Monitoring and Protecting Source Water
Septic System Impact Study for Lake Lanier
DWR is working with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Georgia, and Cornell University to study the impact of septic systems on Lake Lanier. The study involves installing monitoring wells to intercept underground septic system waste water that is draining toward the lake. We will also begin lake monitoring and general surface stormwater runoff monitoring in the area.
While Gwinnett only has a very small drainage area that drains to Lake Lanier, it is almost exclusively served by septic systems. Gaining a better understanding of the impacts of these septic systems on the lake is a significant part of developing a better understanding of how nutrients are affecting the lake. It is hoped that data obtained will assist us in making decisions on the cost/benefit of various nutrient management strategies and also assist in protecting the area of the lake we use for withdrawing water for treatment at the Lanier and Shoal Creek water treatment plants.
Key Partners: Georgia Tech, UGA, and Cornell University
Expected End Date: 2021
Optimizing Facilities, Processes, and Assets
Tertiary Treatment Pilot
There is almost always a better way to do things in the future, thanks to continuous advancements in science and technology. At F. Wayne Hill WRC, we are building and testing a Tertiary Treatment Pilot that will include chemical treatment for phosphorous removal, as well as membrane filtration that mimics what we have in full-scale. The goal of this study is to be able to test and optimize various chemicals used for both coagulation and membrane cleaning and to identify the best type of membranes for our application.
Key Partners: DRW, Georgia Tech, Jacobs Engineering
Expected End Date: 2021
FWH Optimization – Biological Phosphorous Removal
In early 2016, F. Wayne Hill WRC was experiencing frequent upsets that affected nutrient removal, mainly phosphorous. A project undertaken by DWR to optimize biological treatment entailed a comprehensive evaluation of both main and side stream processes and optimizing recycle loads going back to head of the plant.
In the event there is an upset in some other part of the plant, even when not directly associated with biological treatment, it could potentially have a significant effect on the bacteria, leading to increased phosphorous leaving the reactors. The project was successfully completed in 2017 and the recommendations from the study were implemented in full-scale. Ever since, the plant has faced little to no upsets.
Key Partners: DWR, F. Wayne Hill plant staff, Hazen & Sawyer
End Date: 2017, with published results below
Ram Mohan, G., Lan, JC., Lynch, M., Latimer, R., and Pitt, P. Nutrient Recovery performance and the Optimization of Biological Phosphorus Removal at the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center. WEF Nutrient Removal and Recovery Conference, 2018.
Garmon, J., Lynch, M., Ram Mohan, G., Lan, JC., Latimer, R., and Pitt, P. Optimization of Biological Phosphorus Removal at the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center. Georgia Association of Water Professionals Annual Conference, 2018.
Stormwater and Green Infrastructure
No projects listed at this time.