Water and Sewer
Water and sanitary sewer service at most industrial sites in the Gadsden area is provided by the Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board.
The Board’s water filtration plant is a Grade IV surface water plant that utilizes the Coosa River as its source. The plant has a daily production capacity of 26 million gallons, with an average daily usage of 13 million gallons and a peak daily use of 18 million gallons. This leaves an excess, or freeboard, of 8 to 13 million gallons per day available for future industrial use.
Water is pumped from the plant to a distribution system that is comprised of more than 400 miles of mains ranging in size from 2” to 36”. Average system pressures are in the 80-pound range. The system has 17 reservoirs with a total storage capacity of 17.2 million gallons.
The Board also provides wholesale water to Rainbow City, Southside, Reece City, Highland, Tillison Bend, Whorton Bend, Northeast Etowah County and West Etowah County.
Attalla, Glencoe and Hokes Bluff operate their own water treatment facilities utilizing ground water as a source.
The Board owns and operates two wastewater treatment plants that have a combined capacity to treat and discharge 16.5 million gallons per day. These are NPDES-permitted Grade III trickle filter plants. The current combined treatment at these facilities is approximately 10 million gallons per day.
(Attalla, Glencoe, Southside and Rainbow City have sanitary sewer systems using lagoons as their treatment process; Hokes Bluff has a low-pressure pump system that discharges into and is treated by the Gadsden system.)
Prohibited discharges include:
- Waters not containing sewage.
- Any pollutant or wastewater which will interfere with the operation or performance of the treatment works.
- Liquids, solids or gases which by reason of their nature or quantity may be sufficient, either alone or by interaction with other substances, to cause fire or explosion or be injurious in any way. Such materials include, but are not limited to, gasoline, kerosene, naphtha, benzene, toluene, xylene, ethers, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, peroxides, chlorates, perchlorates, bromates, carbides, hydrides and sulfides
- Wastewater with a total suspended solids concentration greater than 250mg/l as a monthly average or a daily concentration of greater than 500mg/l as a maximum value.
- Solid or viscous substances which may cause obstruction to the flow in a sewer or other interference with the operation of the wastewater treatment facilities, such as grease, garbage with particles greater than one-half inch in any dimension, animal guts or tissues, paunch manure, bones, hair, hides or fleshings, entrails, whole blood, feathers, ashes, cinders, sand, spent lime, stone or marble dust, metal, glass, straw, shavings, grass clippings, rags, spent grains, spent hops, waste paper, wood, plastics, gas, tar, asphalt residues, residues from refining or processing of fuel or lubricating oil, mud, and glass grinding or polishing wastes.
- Wastewater having a pH less than 5.0 or having a pH higher than 9.5, or wastewater having any other corrosive property capable of causing damage or hazard to the Board’s structures, equipment and/or personnel.
- Toxic pollutants that include, but are not limited to, Nitrogen, either as ammonia nitrogen (not to exceed 15 mg/l) or total Kjeldahl nitrogen (not to exceed 30 mg/1), or any pollutant identified pursuant to section 307(a) of the Clean Water Act. Certain metals in sufficient concentration may also be deemed toxic. The concentration of metals will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
- Noxious or malodorous liquids, gases or solids which, either singly or by interaction with other wastes, are sufficient to create a public nuisance or hazard to life, or are sufficient to prevent entry into the sewers for maintenance and repair.
- Any substance which may cause the treatment work’s effluent or any other product, such as residues, sludges or scums, to be unsuitable for reclamation and reuse or interfere with the reclamation process.
- Any substance which will cause the Board to violate its NPDES permit or the receiving water quality standards.
- Any wastewater with objectionable color not removed in the treatment process, such as dye wastes and vegetable tanning solutions.
- Any wastewater having a temperature which will inhibit biological activity in the treatment plant.
- Any water or waste containing fats, wax, grease or oils, whether emulsified or not, in excess of one hundred 100 mg/l total, or containing substances which may solidify or become viscous at temperatures between 32 degrees Fahrenheit or zero degrees Celsius and 150 degrees Fahrenheit or 65 degrees Celsius.
- Any pollutants, including oxygen-demanding pollutants, released at a flow rate and/or pollutant concentration which a user knows, or has reason to know, will cause interference to the treatment works. The oxygen-demanding pollutant concentration shall not exceed 250 mg/1 as five-day BOD or 500 mg/l as COD as a monthly average, or 500 mg/l as five-day BOD or 1,000 mg/l as COD as a daily maximum. In no case shall a slug load have a flow rate or contain concentration or qualities of pollutants that exceed for any time period longer than 15 minutes more than four times the monthly average concentration limit.
- Any wastewater containing any radioactive wastes or isotopes of such half-life or concentration as may exceed limits established by the general manager in compliance with applicable state or federal regulations.
- Any wastewater which causes a hazard to human life or creates a public nuisance.