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Return Flow System To Convey Treated Water Back To Lake Lanier

Forsyth County will soon begin work on a Return Flow System that will convey highly treated water from the Fowler Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) to Lake Lanier. Updated details on the system including funding, plans, a map and project timeline can be found by clicking here or by visiting

The Return Flow System will fulfill provisions in Forsyth County’s water management agreements with the State of Georgia and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maintain the County’s planned water intake from Lake Lanier by conveying highly treated water from the Fowler WRF back to Lake Lanier.

“We are pleased to start taking steps forward on this project of regional significance that is critical to the success of the water supply plan for the Metropolitan Atlanta region and the entire State of Georgia," said Director of Water & Sewer Barry Lucas.

Once complete, the Return Flow System will consist of a pipeline, pump station and diffuser. Each will be developed in separate phases with the first phase being the construction of an approximately eight-mile return flow pipeline from the Fowler WRF to the vicinity of Lake Lanier. A return flow pump station at the Fowler WRF and diffuser at Lake Lanier will be constructed in later phases.

Funding for the system will come in-part from a Feb. 2022 grant received by the County from Gov. Brian Kemp in the amount of $32.6 million for future water and sewer infrastructure projects. More information on the grant can be found by clicking here.

Although Georgia EPD requires the return of treated water to Lake Lanier by the year 2040, the County projects that the Return Flow System will be needed earlier, between the years 2030-2036, due to projected population growth and capacity limitations of existing infrastructure.

“Reliable and sustainable water infrastructure is a necessity to support the residents and businesses of Forsyth County, and this project will help ensure that Forsyth County has a secure water source in the future,” said Lucas. 

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