Gwinnett to spend $125M to bring sewer to Rowen project area

Credit: Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta J

Credit: Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta J

Gwinnett County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to spend $125 million to expand sewer service to the eastern part of the county, where a planned research community is being built.

The plan will bring sewer to Rowen, the 2,000-acre “knowledge community” that county commissioners announced last year. The research and innovation development, funded with $67.7 million in bonds, will focus on agriculture, medicine and the environment.

The sewer project expands access along Ga. 316 and at the Barrow County line, outside of Dacula. It will allow for commercial and industrial development in the area that would not otherwise have been possible using septic systems.

County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson said in a statement that the expansion will “allow us to plan and grow in a smart and balanced way” as Gwinnett’s population continues to increase.

Included in the plan is a new regional pump station that is expected to move 14 million gallons of water a day, as well as six miles of gravity sewer and two parallel seven-mile force mains. Five miles of water mains will also be expanded.

The new project is expected to allow for 11 smaller pump stations to be shut down.

And the county intends to build five miles of trails along the Apalachee River as part of the project, as well. Commissioner Jasper Watkins said in a statement that the project will “promote environmental stewardship and innovation.”

Construction will start later this year, and is expected to finish in 2024. It’s expected to bring sewer service to 13,000 acres, the majority of which doesn’t have it.

Additionally, the Rowen Foundation this week announced it will be working with the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design to analyze the property’s vegetation, topography and archaeological sites. That process, intended to preserve and optimize the land’s features as planning for Rowen begins, is supposed to be completed in June.