Wastewater is not just treated, it’s reclaimed.
Once you send water down the drain, it needs to be cleaned and recycled - this historically has been described as wastewater treatment. Now, because of the large advances in treatment technologies and regulations in the federal Clean Water Act, we reclaim, refresh, and return the water you have used.
The process is called water reclamation, because "reclaiming" means to bring the water back to its usable condition. The high-quality water produced by our reclamation facilities can be used in irrigation and safely returned to our waterways. We reuse it within our water reclamation facilities for daily operations, cleaning of facility equipment, and irrigation on the property, which reduces costs and conserves water.
Water reclamation meets all required permit limits and is superior to that produced at a traditional wastewater treatment plant. With this advanced process, we are safeguarding and replenishing the rivers that our community enjoys and the water source communities downstream rely on.
The Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department provides collection and treatment service to 75% of the population. The county has a system that includes three water reclamation facilities:
- Cedar Creek
- Middle Oconee
- North Oconee
For the remainder of the population, wastewater is treated in either a private septic tank or another private system.
Take a Tour of a Water Reclamation Facilities
Learn more about the new facilities with a tour of our Water Reclamation Facilities.