Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-5:30 PM
ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECT OF LAND USE PROTECTION, BUFFERS AND SEPTIC TANK MAINTENANCE AND REPLACEMENT ON WATER QUALITY OF THE LITTLE TALLAPOOSA RIVER IN CARROLL COUNTY, GEORGIA
The Little Tallapoosa watershed in Carroll County, Georgia is a diverse watershed with cities and towns, forests, farmland and rural homes. The largest city is Carrollton, the home of the 12,000 student University of West Georgia and Southwire Company, the largest manufacturer of wire and cable in North America. Carrollton gets its drinking water supply from the Little Tallapoosa River. Downstream of Carrollton the river is in violation of state standards of fecal coliform in recreation waters. The Rolling Hills R.C. & D. Council is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to improve the quality of life in the west Georgia area by protecting and improving our natural resources. Rolling Hills is working on a project to address water quality issues in the Little Tallapoosa watershed. There are two major parts to this project. The first is to update septic tanks in the region by pumping them out, repairing, and/or replacing them. This should reduce the fecal coliform and E-coli in the river. The second part of this project is aimed at agriculture and livestock. Its goal is to reduce waste from farm animals reaching the water. This part of the project includes composting, diversion of farm drainage, land use protection, nutrient management, buffer zones, waste storage, and keeping livestock from wandering into the streams. The project has a funding of $821,580 from EPD, and includes cost-sharing with home owners and farmers. For septic tank work the grant will pay 50% of the cost and some owners may qualify for an additional $200 towards ongoing septic tank maintenance, such as regular pumping. Farm owners can qualify for 60% of the cost of updating their farms drainage and installation of fences and barriers to keep animal waste from the water.
UWG has been monitoring water quality in the area since 2001, so data is available for years prior to the Rolling Hills project and for the projects’ duration. Years with similar rainfall and temperature patterns are used for the best comparison pre- and post-project.