Cobb County reports wastewater spill into Lake Allatoona

A map of the area of Lake Allatoona where the Northwest Water Reclamation Facility

Cobb County reported that a spill into Lake Allatoona occurred last week on Tuesday, May 21, and Wednesday, May 22.

According to the county’s alert, “Cobb County Water System’s Northwest Water Reclamation Facility released treated wastewater that did not fully meet the facility’s standards.”

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) considers any release of wastewater that doesn’t meet its standards as a spill.

The recent spill was discovered yesterday, Tuesday, May 28, when the facility received routine compliance sampling results.

According to the news release, the Cobb County Water System is investigating the spill, but at this point, the plant is operating normally.

According to the county:

The effluent flow from the facility into Lake Allatoona was 6.46 million gallons on May 21, 2024, and 5.70 million gallons on May 22, 2024. The effluent was disinfected and will not impact drinking water supplies.

CCWS employees followed EPD protocols by promptly reporting the sampling results and have begun water quality testing upstream and downstream of the effluent discharge location in Lake Allatoona.

About the Northwest Water Reclamation Facility

The Cobb County Water System’s Northwest Water Reclamation Facility is located at 3740 Highway 293 in Kennesaw, in the northwest corner of the county near Proctor Creek.

It treats wastewater from the northwest quadrant of unincorporated Cobb County, the cities of Acworth and Kennesaw, and portions of Bartow, Cherokee, and Paulding counties.  

According to the Cobb County Water System web page for the Northwest Water Reclamation Facility:

The facility reclaims wastewater, producing reuse-quality water that is either discharged to Lake Allatoona through an underwater diffuser or provided to several urban reuse customers for irrigation purposes.  

Originally built in 1987, the plant was sized to treat 2 million gallons per day (mgd), then upsized to 4 mgd in 1988.  In 1997, the plant capacity was doubled, to a capacity of 8 mgd.  The facility was again expanded in 2008, with an expanded capacity of 12 mgd.