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Reservoir | Fishing Tournaments

Fishing tournaments will resume after Labor Day 2022.

Any person, group, organization, or club who wishes to hold or organize a fishing tournament at Lathem Reservoir needs to obtain a special event permit to do so.  If you need additional information, please contact the Reservoir office Monday – Friday during office hours at 770-894-4356.

Reservoir | Reservoir Map

Download a topographical map of the Hollis G. Lathem Reservoir

Reservoir | History

The Hollis Q. Lathem Reservoir is an important element in the water supply infrastructure for Cherokee County. By constructing the reservoir, the Cherokee County Water & Sewerage Authority has assured that the customers of CCWSA will have a reliable water supply for many years into the future.

A major reservoir is one of the most difficult projects for local government to undertake.  A reservoir creates a serious alteration of the natural environment and laws have been enacted that require such projects to undergo a federal permitting process. This process, which was enacted under section 404 of the 1972 Clean Water Act, is known as “404 Permitting”. The process is administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Applicants are required to perform environmental studies to determine that the proposed project is the least damaging alternative.  Applicants also must prove to the reviewing agencies that the project is necessary for the public good.

The Authority understood those requirements and performed a study of numerous sites that were acceptable for construction of the reservoir. The primary concern for reservoir projects was the loss of wetlands of all the sites analyzed. Biological surveys were performed to determine if any known endangered species existed in Yellow Creek and none were found. The Authority also performed a cultural resources survey to determine if any critical archeological sites were present in the area. After extensive studies and preparation of a wetlands mitigation plan, the Authority applied for the 404 permit in December 1989. By summer of 1990, concurrence letters had been received from the required state and federal agencies. It seemed that the permit would soon be issued.

However, in October 1990, the Authority received notification that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had found the endangered species Amber Darter in the Etowah River. The agency was now concerned that the reservoir could have an effect on water quality in the Etowah River and this could degrade the habitat of the Darter. In order to show that the Etowah River water quality would not be seriously affected by the reservoir, it was necessary to perform extensive testing of the existing water quality during different times of the year and run computer models to predict the changes that would occur. This would was not completed until July 1993.

Unfortunately, just as the Etowah River water quality study was being completed, scientists with the Fish and Wildlife Service discovered two new darter species and had them listed as threatened or endangered. One of these species, the Cherokee Darter, was found in Yellow Creek as well as most other creeks that flow into the Etowah River. Thus the Authority was not required to perform additional studies to come up with an acceptable mitigation plan for loss of the Cherokee Darter habitat in Yellow Creek. These studies were completed and the permit was finally issued for the project on September 23, 1994.

The permit contained conditions requiring the Authority to take steps to protect the Darters downstream of the reservoir and other locations in the County. The reservoir out-let structure had to be designed with intakes at multiple levels so that the temperature of the water leaving the reservoir could be kept within an acceptable range for the Darters living downstream.

The design of the dam was then completed and approved by the Georgia Safe Dams program. Because of the height of the dam, it was required to meet the most stringent design criteria. Spillways had to be designed to handle a flood event that would be created by 28 inches of rainfall occurring in a six-hour period. The dam uses an innovative “labyrinth” spillway that allows for higher flows with a given flood pool depth.

Construction of the project began in January 1997 and filling of the reservoir was begun in July 1999.

The reservoir is used for stream flow augmentation during drought conditions. Water is released from the reservoir during low flow conditions to make up for the withdrawals by the Authority’s water treatment plant on the Etowah River near Ball Ground. The reservoir got its first use during the summer of 2000 when water supply releases had to be made to supplement the low flows in the Etowah River. The reservoir first reached full pool in the spring of 2002.

Reservoir Statistics

Dam Height: 114 feet
Reservoir Area: 334 Acres
Reservoir Volume: 3.5 billion gallons
Water Supply Yield: 33 million gallons per day

Reservoir | Reservoir Rules

  • No flotation devices should be operated on Project Waters with an internal combustion engine or power plant.  (The engine or power plant must be removed from the watercraft.)  This is strictly enforced. 
  • Electric motors are permissible.
  • State regulations on boat registration, life jackets and fishing licenses apply.
  • Pass required for all vehicles ($5 each).
  • No alcohol is allowed.  This is strictly enforced.
  • Except as Authorized by O.C.G.A. § 16-11-104 the Discharge of Firearms is prohibited.  No Hunting or Trapping Allowed without prior approval from Management of the CCWSA.
  • All boats must be out of the water and loaded 15 minutes prior to the published closing time.
  • No swimming is permitted.
  • No littering!
  • Stay clear of tower and spillway at all times.
  • Please practice water safety.
  • The use of Blueback Herring (Alosa Aestivalis) for bait or the release of Blueback Herring into Lathem Reservoir is strictly prohibited. Individuals doing so can and will be prosecuted.

Our Water | Salacoa Water System Consumer Confidence Report

Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority is proud of the fine drinking water it provides.  This annual water quality report for the Salacoa Area Water System shows the sources of our water and lists the results of standard testing.

We are proud to report that the water provided by Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority meets or exceeds established water quality standards.

Click on the link below to view a copy of the Salacoa Water System Confidence Consumer Report.

202120202019201820172016

Our Water | CCWSA Consumer Confidence Report

Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority is proud of the fine drinking water it provides.  Our annual consumer confidence report shows the sources of our water and lists the results of standard testing.

We are proud to report that the water provided by Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority meets or exceeds established water quality standards.

Click on the links below to view a copy of CCWSA’s Consumer Confidence Report.

2021202020192018

If you need Consumer Confidence Reports prior to these years shown, please contact CCWSA.

Our Water | Source Water Assessment

Freese and Nichols, Inc. was contracted by Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority in 2017 to update the Source Water Assessment Plan that was created by Atlanta Regional Commission in 2001. The plan itemized potential sources of surface water pollution to your drinking water supply.  Your drinking water is supplied from the Etowah River.  A Source Water Assessment is a study and report that provides the following information:

  • Identifies the area of land that contributes to the raw water used for drinking water.
  • Identifies potential sources of contamination to the drinking water supply.
  • Provides an understanding of the drinking water supply’s susceptibility to contamination.

The source data identifies the rankings selected for each source based on risk and release potential. Using this data, the individual sources were plotted in the susceptibility matrix provided.

The susceptibility matrix was color coordinated to better indicate the categories shown within the matrix.

The colors correspond with the potential of pollution where:

  • Green boxes (1-3) represent low pollution potential
  • Yellow boxes (4-6) represent medium pollution potential
  • Red boxes (7-9) represent high pollution potential

With the individual sources plotted on the prioritization matrix, the watershed’s overall susceptibility to pollution was evaluated based on the Georgia EPD criteria shown in the table to the right.

For the CCWSA’s Etowah River Intakes, the following results were obtained for the 342 individual sources identified:

  • 2% have high susceptibility to pollution
  • 60% have medium susceptibility to pollution
  • 38% have low susceptibility to pollution

Based on these results, individual sources were determined to have an overall medium susceptibility to pollution of the watershed (less than 20% with high susceptibility and more than 40% medium susceptibility). A field review of select individual sources from the inventory was conducted to assess the reliability of the data. Based on the field review, some differences in the inventory were observed. However, the overall susceptibility rating remained at medium.

Summary
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division Source Water Assessment Implementation Plan provides a methodology to determine a source watershed’s susceptibility to pollution by individual and non-point sources. Based on this methodology, the following results were obtained:

  • Individual sources were determined to have an overall medium susceptibility to pollution of the watershed (less than 20% with high susceptibility and more than 40% medium susceptibility), with 60% of the sources identified as being medium susceptibility.
  • The susceptibility of the watershed to pollution by non-point sources is low, since the total impervious area was determined to be less than 10%. In addition, more than 69% of the watershed was determined to be agricultural or open/forested land use, which has the lowest impervious area of all categories considered.
  • Additional sources were determined to have a low susceptibility to pollution of the watershed, with no reported spills in the last 10 years, no railroads immediately within the assessment area, and only three major road crossings within the inner management zone.

Considering the ranking of each potential source, an overall susceptibility rating of the CCWSA’s Etowah River Intakes has been determined to be medium.

For comparison, the source water assessment plan (SWAP) completed by the Atlanta Regional Commission in 2000 also rated the watershed with a medium susceptibility ranking. The 2000 assessment included a total of 210 individual sources compared to 342 with this SWAP. The increase in individual sources may be linked to general population growth and development in the watershed since 2000, with the largest increases in individual sources being fuel facilities (17 in 2000 to 63 in 2017), large industries (increasing from 4 to 36), and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit holders (increasing from 9 to 105). In contrast, the number of agricultural facilities has decreased from 85 to 8 since 2000. The total impervious area has also increased since 2000 from 3.2% to 9.7% in 2017. Though the overall analysis of the watershed provides a susceptibility ranking of medium potential to pollution, CCWSA’s treatment efforts for drinking water are sufficient given that there are no violations per the 2020 Water Quality Report. A copy of the current report is available at this link.

Our Water | Flouride/Hardness

Hard Water is a term used to describe water having a high concentration of calcium and magnesium ions. Hard water is undesirable due to the fact that it takes more soap to create lather. Water with hardness greater than 100 mg/l as calcium carbonate is defined as “hard water”.  Cherokee County’s water is very soft, 16 mg/l as calcium carbonate.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in all water supplies and when adjusted to optimal levels, is effective in reducing tooth decay.  In most of Georgia, including Cherokee County, the State Environmental Protection Division mandates fluoride levels of 0.8 milligrams per liter in drinking water.

Multiple studies over the years done in several countries and the United States show that fluoridation can reduce tooth decay by 60% in baby teeth and up to 35% in adult teeth.  When fluoride was discontinued, there were large increases in the incidence of tooth decay, especially in children.

Fluoridation of community drinking water is a major factor responsible for the decline in dental caries (tooth decay) during the second half of the 20th century.  By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation has been shown to save money both for families and the US Health Care System.

The history of water fluoridation is a classic example of clinical observation leading to epidemiologic investigation and community-based public health intervention. Although other fluoride-containing products are available, water fluoridation remains the most equitable and cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all members of most communities, regardless of age, educational attainment, or income level.  For additional information visit the CDC.gov website.

Our Water | Drought – Watering Guidelines

Current Watering Guidelines For Cherokee County

CCWSA customers are required to abide by Georgia state law O.C.G.A 12-5-7 non-drought outdoor water use schedule which allows outdoor watering for the purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants only between the hours of 4 P.M. and 10:00 A.M.; provided, however, that this limitation shall not create any limitation upon the following outdoor activities:

(A) Commercial raising, harvesting or storing of crops; feeding, breeding, or managing livestock or poultry; the commercial production or storing of feed for use in the production of livestock, including, but not limited to, cattle, calves, swine, hogs, goats, sheep, and rabbits, or for use in the production of poultry, including, but not limited to, chickens, hens, ratites, and turkeys; producing plants, trees, fowl, or animals; or for commercial production of aquacultural, horticultural, dairy, livestock, poultry, eggs, and apiarian or as otherwise defined in O.C.G.A. 1-3-3;

(B) Capture and reuse of cooling system condensate or stormwater in compliance with applicable local ordinances and state guidelines;

(C) Reuse of gray water in compliance with O.C.G.A. 31-3-5.2 and applicable local board of health regulations;

(D) Use of reclaimed wastewater by a designated user from a system permitted by the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to provide reclaimed wastewater;

(E) Watering personal food gardens;

(F) Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed, or turf in landscapes, golf courses, or sports turf fields during installation and for a period of 30 days immediately following the date of installation;

(G) Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses;

(H) Hand watering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container;

(I) Use of water withdrawn from private water wells or surface water by an owner or operator of property if such well or surface water is on said property;

(J) Watering horticultural crops held for sale, resale, or installation;

(K) Watering athletic fields, golf courses, or public turf grass recreational areas;

(L) Installation, maintenance, or calibration of irrigation systems; or

(M) Hydroseeding

Georgia Rules And Regulations

Our Water | Treatment Plant

Cherokee County’s drinking water plant is located on the Etowah River in the Northeast corner of the county.  The plant is approximately 70 miles downstream from the headwaters of the Etowah River and about 22 miles upstream of Lake Allatoona.

In December 1986, Cherokee County’s Water plant went into service.  At that time, the plant was capable of treating 6 million gallons of water per day.

During the plant’s first month of operation, the average daily flow rate was less than one million gallons per day.  On August 11, 2007, the plant reached its highest production rate to date – 27.7 million gallons in a 24 hour period.

Plant Expansions

CCWSA’s Water Treatment Plant has undergone two major expansions since it was originally constructed.  The first expansion was completed in February 1996 and enabled the plant to produce as much as 18 million gallons per day.  The second and last expansion was completed in March 2007 and made the plant capable of producing 38 million gallons per day.

Cherokee County’s Water Plant supplies drinking water to the majority of the County’s citizens and also supplements neighboring water systems such as Bartow County, Pickens County, City of Canton, and City of Woodstock.

The Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) presented The Etowah River Water Treatment Plant with a Platinum Award in recognition of complete and consistent SDWA permit compliance during the calendar year of 2020.  The Platinum Award recognizes National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit 100% compliance. Congratulations to the Etowah River Water Treatment Plant Staff for achieving this award.

The Georgia Section of American Water Works Association (GAWWA) presented The Etowah River Water Treatment Plant with a Best Operated Water Plant of the Year Award In the category of Surface Water  25 to 49.99 MGD. Congratulations to the Etowah River Water Treatment Plant Staff for achieving this award.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) presented The Etowah River Water Treatment Plant with a Water Fluoridation Quality Award for the calendar year of 2020.  This Award commends CCWSA for providing high-quality water fluoridation for 12 consecutive months representing a high level of operator care and accomplishment. Fluoridation is safe and effective for promoting good oral health.  Thank you for helping keep our teeth strong and healthy!

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