Copyright 2021 by Forsyth County, Georgia

Water-Intake

Water Intake Facility

 Forsyth County Water Intake

 For the first time in our history, Forsyth County will enjoy water independence. A decades-long, multi-state federal lawsuit forced Forsyth County to rely upon a single water intake facility at Lake Lanier owned by the City of Cumming to supply water to the entire County. 

A recent favorable ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court has given Forsyth County the ability to construct our own water intake facility at Lake Lanier and take control of our water future. The new Forsyth County Water Intake will allow the County to meet the water needs of residents, farmers, businesses and others in our community. It is a pivotal milestone for our County, decades in the making. Most importantly, it will ensure Forsyth County has a safe, reliable, high quality water supply for future generations to prosper.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Forsyth County constructing a water intake facility?

Forsyth County and the City of Cumming water systems draw raw water from a single intake on Lake Lanier to serve the customers of both utilities.  Other water systems which use Lake Lanier as a raw water source, such as the city of Gainesville and Gwinnett County, enjoy the reliability of each having two independent intakes on Lake Lanier.

The Forsyth County Water Intake will allow Forsyth County to withdraw raw water directly from Lake Lanier through a new intake structure to serve a growing population of 250,000+. The new intake will increase reliability, improve water quality and provide cost reduction to the County. Additionally, the residents of the City of Cumming will gain increased water reliability through an emergency interconnection between the City of Cumming and Forsyth County water systems.

Where will the facility be located?

A wet well shaft approximately 180-feet deep will be constructed on property currently owned by Forsyth County adjacent to Tidwell Park. The wet well will connect to a 2,000-foot, 72-inch diameter tunnel underneath Forsyth County property, Tidwell Park and the Lake Lanier lake bottom, dug using a Micro Tunnel Boring Machine. The tunnel will connect on the other side to the intake structure and screens in the lake.  Please see the video for more information.

A new pump station will bring the raw lake water to the surface and will convey it through a new transmission main to the Forsyth County Antioch Water Treatment Plant where it will be treated to drinking water standards and distributed to Forsyth County water customers. This site will also house an electrical building and standby generator. The pumps will be located underground to mitigate noise and the standby generator will be located behind sound attenuating walls.

Will construction of the completed intake facility impact boat traffic?

The project will not impede boat traffic or access to the Tidwell Park boat launch. The dock and boat ramp will be in use throughout the intake project and boat traffic in the cove will be open. 

Forsyth County has designed the project to be low-impact. It will be primarily underground and out of sight. The choice of project location and the use of microtunneling techniques means minimal construction impact on Lake Lanier.

What are the benefits of the Forsyth County Water Intake?

The new intake facility will: 

  • Improve water supply reliability for the County and City of Cumming in emergency conditions by providing a back-up facility to both communities
  • Increase water resiliency by adding a primary water withdrawal 
  • Improve water quality through a better intake location 
  • Supply affordable, high-quality water to a growing population
  • Reduce water supply costs for Forsyth County

Will this increase Forsyth County withdrawals from Lake Lanier?

The new Forsyth County Water Intake will not increase Lake Lanier withdrawals, but it will add reliability to the overall Forsyth‐Cumming water system.

What is the timeline for the project?

The new water intake facility project will be completed in five to six years.

How much will it cost?

The project will cost $85 million with a return on investment in just 25 years.