Cobb responds to local media coverage of spill into Lake Allatoona

Cobb County government building sign, a vertical rectangular sign with the words "Board of Commissioners," "County Clerk," "County Manager," "County Office," "Employment," and a wheelchair entrance icon

Cobb County posted an update about its announcement of a wastewater spill into Lake Allatoona that was below the state Environmental Protection Division’s standards. The update stated that the headlines in local media “caused misconceptions” about the spill.

Here is the update, posted to the Cobb County website:

Some recent headlines in local news organizations have caused misconceptions concerning a recent Environmental Protection Division (EPD) mandated advisory about a “spill” in Lake Allatoona.

Cobb Water System’s Northwest Water Reclamation Facility is permitted to treat 12 million gallons of wastewater daily.  Once treated, the water is released into Lake Allatoona, which is routinely tested.

On Thursday, our routine tests revealed that a component of the released water was out of specification, necessitating a public notice. Immediate action was taken, and the released wastewater, which was disinfected, poses no threat to our drinking water supplies. No cleanup or remediation is required.  

EPD regulations are strict, and the Cobb County Water System takes the appropriate action to comply with them. In addition to further lake testing, the system is investigating the cause of the readings, which may have resulted from a large amount of contaminate being introduced into the wastewater system.

The release of treated wastewater into Allatoona Lake is a routine, daily occurrence and part of the Water System’s permitted wastewater treatment system.

About the Northwest Water Reclamation Center

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

It treats 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 Center:

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.