Caterpillar has decided to send its sewage from its plant under construction near Bogart to Athens-Clarke County for treatment, rather than to Oconee County, as had been planned.
Oconee County Utility Department Director Chris Thomas told me on Monday that Caterpillar made the decision after looking at the limits that would be imposed on it in Oconee County, where the amount of metals that can be handled is quite low because of the size of the county’s treatment plants.
It would be “almost impossible” for Caterpillar to meet the limits, Thomas said, and the manufacturer was “very worried at taking the chance of being out of compliance.”
Oconee County has agreed to handle the "domestic" sewage, that is, nonindustrial effluent, for the first six months to a year, Thomas said.
If Caterpillar starts manufacturing and produces any sewage from that process during that period, Thomas said, it will do the required pretreatment and then haul that waste to another site for final treatment.
For further details on the plan to handle waste from Caterpillar, go to Oconee County Observations.