City of thomson Departments


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Water Restrictions
Water Reports

The Thomson-McDuffie Water & Sewer Utility is responsible for supplying water and sewer service to residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout the City and County. To that end, we operate and maintain two filter plants and distribution system components such as chlorination stations, water mains, and meters.

At the heart of our water system are two filter plants, treating raw surface water from both the Clarks Hill Lake in the northern part of the County and Usry’s Pond to the south. We are permitted by the Georgia EPD to withdraw and treat at the following capacities:

3.1 million gallons per day (MGD) from Clarks Hill Lake

1.5 million gallons per day (MGD) from Usry’s Pond

The following few paragraphs describe in very general terms the process steps our system uses for treating surface water.

Coagulation and Flocculation
Coagulation and flocculation are often the first steps in water treatment. Chemicals with a positive charge are added to the water. The positive charge of these chemicals neutralizes the negative charge of dirt and other dissolved particles in the water. When this occurs, the particles bind with the chemicals and form larger particles, called floc.

During sedimentation, floc settles to the bottom of the water supply, due to its weight. This settling process is called sedimentation.

Once the floc has settled to the bottom of the water supply, the clear water on top will pass through filters of varying compositions (sand, gravel, and charcoal) and pore sizes, in order to remove dissolved particles, such as dust, parasites, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals.

After the water has been filtered, a disinfectant (for example, chlorine) is added in order to kill any remaining parasites, bacteria, and viruses, and to protect the water from germs when it is piped to homes and businesses.

After treatment, water is pumped to the distribution system from each plant ensuring that all users have the supply of clean water required around the clock, seven days a week. 

Water Distribution
The water distribution system consists and estimated 290 miles of underground pipes or water mains in various sizes ranging from 4 inch to 20 inch, and 6 above ground water tanks with a capacity of 1.8 million gallons. The system was built over many decades and is spread throughout the City and the County.

Other System Facts and Figures concerning recent expansions and improvements

  • 2007 Major expansion at Big Creek Water Plant on Lincolnton Highway, doubling its capacity and assuring adequate water supply for our citizens for the foreseeable future. Cost of $5.5 million, 80% coming from SPLOST proceeds.
    • 55% increase in withdrawal rate approved and permitted by EPD. Daily production from 2 million gallons per day (MGD) to 3.1 MGD.
      • New daily capacity at both plants is a combined 4.6 MGD.
      • Current production and sales of an average of 2 MGD
  • Installation of pump station and connections to provide Harlem with another source of water.
  • Granular Activated Charcoal (GAC) filtration systems installed at Big Creek and Augusta Road, ensuring the quality of the water produced at both plants. Cost of $3 million, funded by SPLOST and low interest loans.
  • Expansion of the water distribution to South McDuffie County, with approximately 75 miles of new mains added. Cost of $ 9 million, with roughly ½ coming from grants.
  • Current SPLOST V spending plan includes $2.8 million of improvements and rehabilitation at Augusta Road Water Plant and the Usry Pond Watershed.
  • Have begun water system control modernization called SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) which includes computer monitoring of water tanks levels, intake pumps at both reservoirs, and Harlem pump station.

Allows optimization of reporting and saving costly labor to manually monitor the county wide system. These improvements are ongoing. 

Water Restrictions: It's The Law

Outdoor Watering

Due to significant rainfall and improved water supplies, Georgia’s rivers and streams have rebounded. Effective June 10, 2009, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issued a non-drought schedule for outdoor water use for the first time since June 2006. Under a non-drought schedule, outdoor water use is allowed three days a week on assigned days using the odd and even numbered address method. The mayor and council voted at the June 15, 2009 City Council meeting to change our drought condition water restrictions in order to conform with the State's. 


  • Odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
  • Even-numbered and unnumbered addresses are allowed to water on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
  • Water use may occur at any time of the day on the assigned days, but to be water efficient, landscape watering should not occur between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. The non-drought schedule is included in the rules for outdoor water use. No outdoor watering on Fridays is permitted.