Improvements at the Middle Oconee Wastewater Treatment plant are nearing completion.

When demand for wastewater service due to residential, commercial and industrial growth throughout the county began to stress the system to its  capacity a couple of years ago, the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority approved an upgrade to its plant.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division recently approved changes to the permit to allow discharge of 800,000 gallons of waste per day. After one year with successful sampling and analysis, the permit will be upgraded to allow discharge of 1.25 million gallons per day.

During a meeting of the authority's board held May 14, authority Manager Eric Klerk said he expects construction at the wastewater treatment plant to be completed by July 22.

In other business, the authority:

• approved a request for refund of a water connection fee. Richard Minish had planned to begin construction of a home on Primrose Lane in April. As required by the county planning department, an applicant must purchase a water tap before obtaining a building permit. A few days before outbreak of COVID 19, Minish purchased the water tap, but did not obtain a building permit. Minish has since decided to postpone construction of his home and requested a refund of his water connection fee. Authority regulations do not allow for a refund, but due to extenuating circumstances of the coronavirus epidemic and since a building permit has not been issued, the board approved the refund.

• heard Klerk report construction of the Highway 124 water tower is complete and the tank will be put into use once it has been painted and passes inspection.

• heard that the new JCWSA website was launched on May 18. Customers will also soon be able to view public relation informational items such as boiled water notices and legal requirement notices on Facebook.

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