State’s Largest Wastewater Reuse Program

In 2001, Dalton Utilities partnered with Duke Energy by leasing property on its Land Application System (LAS) to Duke for a 1240 megawatt (MW) combined-cycle power generation facility. The plant is now owned by Oglethorpe Power Corporation. In this combined cycle power plant, natural gas powers turbines, and the heat from these turbines creates steam which is used to produce additional power.

Why was the LAS such a great location for this plant? First of all, the LAS location provides dual feeds to high-voltage transmission lines from both TVA and the Georgia Integrated Transmission System (GA ITS), but most importantly, the LAS (and the wastewater treatment plants located on it) provides a unique water source.

Power plants hold some of the largest water permits in the State of Georgia. Getting such a water permit for the millions of gallons of water needed each day would have been impossible for a power plant in that location. The solution? Use treated wastewater!

The power plant uses up to 13 MGD of treated wastewater as cooling water and returns 2 MGD back to the wastewater treatment plants. The advantages of this water reuse partnership are numerous:

  • No water withdrawal permit or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit was required for the facility.
  • We are extending the life of our Land Application System by redirecting up tp 13 MGD of wastewater each day to another purpose;
  • We have increased electrical capacity and interface; and
  • We have provided the Dalton community with a new natural gas supply.
  • The power plant was designed to meet the more stringent State of California Air Quality requirements.