Land Application System (LAS)
Dalton Utilities operates one of the nation’s largest (and Georgia’s largest) forested land application systems (LAS), which distributes treated wastewater over its 9,600 acre site. In addition to treating wastewater, the LAS is a wildlife habitat. Each year, birdwatchers and environmentalists from around the state come to see the many hawks, wild turkey, rare birds, ducks, deer and coyote that populate the LAS’s 9,600 acres.
The Dalton Utilities LAS is recognized as being a pioneer in this innovative technology that allows treated wastewater to be recycled through natural means rather than discharged directly into surface waters. The facility, located in South Whitfield county and a portion of southern Murray County, sprays treated wastewater over plant life and soils for further treatment and cleansing as opposed to traditional wastewater treatment, which releases treated wastewater back to surface waters. The LAS is beneficial to the environment because wastewater is being filtered through the soil and plant matrix.
The LAS was built in 1986 when land application was an innovative approach to wastewater management. In 1997, a redesign and expansion of the Dalton Utilities LAS was undertaken. The project cost $26 million and took less than two years to complete. The redesign of the LAS included new piping, sprayheads and pumping system to the sprayfields. Additionally, the entire layout of the LAS was redesigned with topography in mind for optimal utilization of the available land.
Dalton Utilities’ redesigned and improved land application system is considered a ‘model’ facility and is often toured by other wastewater treatment operations.
A Wastewater Treatment Facility AND a Wildlife Habitat!
Each year, birdwatchers and environmentalists from around the state come to see the many hawks, wild turkey, rare birds, deer and coyote that populate the LAS. In fact, the local chapter of the Audubon Society holds a Christmas Bird Count on the LAS each winter.
Dalton Utilities holds deer quota hunts and turkey hunts each year on the LAS. In 2011, Dalton Utilities partnered with the Dalton Chapter of Ducks Unlimited to sponsor Youth Duck Hunts.