The loan will come from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority for the new Dallas north treatment plant, which will have the capability to treat 1.5 million gallons per day.
Dallas has two older treatment plants, the north plant and the west plant. Both will be closed down and turned into pumping stations to bring the water to the new plant, said City Manager Kendall Smith.
Dan Abrams, environmental engineer for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said the plants are between 30 and 35 years old and — between the two — have the capacity of 1.4 million gallons per day.
Smith said, “It [the new plant] will be a more efficient plant.”
The older plants are at the end of their usefulness and efficiency, and it would cost more to update them than build the new plant, he said.
The city also needs the new plant because of its expected population growth, he said. The 2010 Census predicted Dallas will grow from its current 14,000 residents to 37,100 by 2035. With the increase the city has planned for the new plant to be easily expandable to 3 million gallons per day.
“It is being built with growth in mind,” Smith said.
Dallas hopes to start construction on the project in about 18 months at the site off Old Cartersville Road, adjacent to the north treatment plant.
“Once it gets started it will be a 24-month construction period,” he said.
Funding for the project will come from the loan at a 1.4 percent interest rate. To pay back the loan residents have seen increases on their water bills.
Starting in July 2012 rates went up by 15 percent for minimum bills — residents who use less than 2,000 gallons per month — and 25 percent for those who use more. The next raise came in January at the same percentages, and will go up again in January 2014. The 2014 increase is scheduled to be the last increase for paying back the loan, said Smith.
The city council opted to build the plant in about 2003, he said.
According to a notice from the state, “All interested agencies, groups and persons supporting or disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit written comments, within 30 days of the issuance date [April 16].”
Those comments can be sent to Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division Watershed Protection Branch, 4220 International Parkway Suite 101 Atlanta, Ga 30354.