Lake Lanier water quality
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Lake Lanier is a multi-purpose lake in Northeast Georgia which provides for flood protection, power generation, water supply, navigation, recreation, and fish and wildlife management. Additionally, it supports a $5.5 billion economy. Lake Lanier’s waters are currently degraded from non point source pollution as well as point source pollution from forty seven existing sewage treatment plants. Twenty one years ago, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division enforced a moratorium on additional discharges in Lake Lanier. In November 2000 Gwinnett County requested and was granted by EPD a NPDES permit to discharge forty million gallons a day (MGD) of treated sewage into Lake Lanier. The Lake Lanier Association and others challenged this permit in December 2000 because the discharge would degrade the Lanier’s high quality waters. After four years in the courts, the Georgia Supreme Court denied the permit as illegal in November 2004. The issuance of this permit would nullify the moratorium and open the doors for additional NPDES permits from the other six counties surrounding Lake Lanier. The association is a proponent of alternative solutions to lake discharges to include diverse re-use strategies.