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Useful facts for preventing sewage backup
How does grease get into the sewer system?
What can you do to prevent sewer overflows caused by grease?
Other things you can do to prevent sewer blockages
Wastewater System Facts and Figures
Downloadable Documents

The Thomson-McDuffie Water & Sewer Utility is responsible for providing sewer service to residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout the City and County. To that end, we operate and maintain one treatment plant, and two Land Application Systems (LAS) along with distribution system components pump stations and sewer mains and manholes.

Our treatment facility is located off of Central Road, in the southwest area of the City. Its permitted capacity is 2.5 million gallons per day (MGD). The treatment process uses microorganisms to remove solids from the wastewater and chemicals (such as chlorine) to kill bacteria. The chlorine is neutralized prior to returning the treated water to the effluent stream.  A detailed description of this process can be found here.

We operate two LAS systems in addition to the treatment plant:

  • Our Mattox Creek Land Application System is located on Stagecoach Road, just north of the Belle Meade area. Its permitted capacity is 200,000 gallons per day.
  • The Dearing LAS is just east of Dearing along Highway 278, and its permitted capacity is 120,000 gallons per day. 

Land Application Systems allow solids to collect and deteriorate is a settling ponds and then make use of the surrounding soil and plant matrix to provide filtration of water sprayed at prescribed flows 365 days per year.

Some of the key challenges faced by wastewater treatment professionals today include

  • Many of the wastewater treatment and collection facilities are now old and worn, and require further improvement, repair or replacement to maintain their useful life
  • The character and quantity of contaminants presenting problems today are far more complex than those that presented challenges in the past
  • Population growth is taxing many existing wastewater treatment systems and creating a need for new plants
  • Farm runoff and increasing urbanization provide additional sources of pollution not controlled by wastewater treatment
  • One third of new development is served by decentralized systems (e.g., septic systems) as population migrates further from metropolitan areas.

Useful facts for preventing sewage backup 
Grease and water don't mix….especially in a sewer system!! Having a sewer back-up in your home or business can be a troublesome event! How can customers prevent these from happening? Take care to properly dispose of cooking grease. Grease is the number #1 cause of sewer blockages in homes. 

How does grease get into the sewer system?
From household drains as well as from poorly maintained grease traps in restaurants and other businesses.

What can you do to prevent sewer overflows caused by grease?

  • Never pour grease down sink drains or into toilets. (Home garbage disposals do not keep grease out of plumbing systems. Products, such as detergents, that claim to dissolve grease may cause problems for someone else down the line.)
  • Scrape grease and food scraps into a can, disposable container, or ziplock bag and dispose of it with the garbage.
  • Insert baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids and empty them into the trash.

Other things you can do to prevent sewer blockages:

  • Don't put solids down the toilet or drain. Don't flush rags or cloth/disposable diapers. These items are commonly found in sewer blockages.
  • A manhole is not a trashcan! Never lift a manhole cover! Dalton Utilities crews often find items like buckets, cinder blocks, limbs, construction materials and other large pieces of garbage that have been disposed of in manholes. These items can very quickly cause blockages, which can result in the sewer backing up in your home or your neighbor's home!

If you see someone putting improper materials in the sewage system or down manholes, please call 706-595-1781. The next sewer backup could be in YOUR home or business!

 Wastewater System Facts and Figures

  • Expansion of Sewer Distribution system to include Belle Meade, the Dallas Drive area, and the Cobham Road/I-20 interchange.  Cost of $7.5 million, with $3.9 million in grants and the balance in loans and SPLOST proceeds
  • Rebuild of all older sewer system lift stations throughout the County. SPLOST funded. Our system has 19 lift stations, scattered throughout the collection areas.
  • Rehab work of existing sewer mains in downtown area. $1 million, SPLOST.
  • Engineering study of existing wastewater treatment plant with rehab action plan developed.
  • Current SPLOST V spending plan includes $1 million of improvements and rehabilitation at Central Road Wastewater Plant.
  • Have begun water system modernization called SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) which includes computer monitoring of equipment at the wastewater plant. Upon completion, SCADA systems allow optimization of reporting and saving costly labor to manually monitor the sewer plant and distribution system.  These improvements are ongoing.