The Barrow County Water and Sewerage Authority was created in 1987 to serve the Northwest portion of Barrow County with water supplied by Gwinnett County. Today the Authority has three (3) service areas that are supplied from the Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority project located on Bear Creek in Jackson County. The Bear Creek Reservoir is a 504 acre lake holding more than 50 billion gallons of water at full pool. As of 2009 limited fishing is allowed on several days of the week. For more information as to fees and days of fishing, please contact the Jackson County Recreation Department.
In 1994 and 1996, major water line expansion projects were undertaken to construct water lines and install fire hydrants to provide water service that covers over 99% of our service areas. Also, in 1996 there were two 300,000 gallon water storage tanks constructed to provide consistent system pressures. In 2003, additional projects included an expansion of a water line from Cosby Road to Pleasant Hill Church Road to improve connectivity between the Northeastern and Southeastern service areas.
In 2000, customer accounts were approximately 1,600. In January of 2010, this number has increased to 5,044 accounts. This equates to 13,200 residents being served by the Water Department’s retail water system. Presently we have our system divided into three service areas. The Northwest Region has 1,386 accounts, the Northeast Region has 2,174 accounts and the Southeast Region has 1,484 accounts.
Projects in FY2010 include relocating our office and maintenance shop to 625 Highway 211 NE; two additional water lines totaling 3,300 feet and land acquisition next to our new location to build a new water storage tank that will serve our Northeast Region.
The Water Department personnel operate the Barrow County Transmission line from the Bear Creek Reservoir to the wholesale customers in Barrow County among which are: Barrow County Water Authority, City of Winder, City of Auburn, Town of Braselton and the City of Statham. Transmission line water usage has reached approximately 1.9 million gallons per day, which is 23.8% of the County’s available capacity in the Bear Creek Reservoir.
There are currently eight (8) people working in the Water Department. Three (3) people work in the office, four (4) in the distribution network and a Department Director. All four (4) of the distribution personnel and the Director have earned State of Georgia issued Water Distribution Licenses. Forty (40) hours of classroom time and passing a State of Georgia test is required to obtain a Distribution License.
Water bills are sent out to all customer accounts near the end of each month. All water meters are read on the 20th of each month unless the 20th falls on a weekend in which case the meters will be read on the Friday before the 20th. Each customer has until the 15th of the month to pay the account in full except when the 15th falls on a weekend in which case the due date is the Monday following the 15th. On all accounts not paid by the due date, a 10% late fee is added to the account. When reviewing the current water bill, please read your bill carefully. The due date for the current charges is due the 15th of the current month. All past due amounts shown on a bill can and will likely result in an interruption of service until the past due amount is paid---the water will be cut off for past due amounts not paid! In addition, a $25.00 reconnection charge will be added to your account if the water is cut off for non-payment of accounts. Other charges include a $30.00 fee for a NSF check. If a customer has any questions concerning charges or due dates, please call the Water Department office at 770-307-3014 to avoid disconnection and/or additional charges. If a customer is unable to pay the amount due, please call the Water Department office to make payment arrangements to avoid additional charges and disconnection of service. If disconnection of service is a result of non-payment for past due amounts, customers must pay in either cash, money order, debit card or credit card.
We currently accept cash, checks, money orders, Visa and Mastercard on current amounts. If using debit or credit cards for payment, a 3% service charge is added to the amount due at the time of payment. For over the phone credit or debit card payments, these can be accepted from 8:00AM to 4:30PM Monday thru Friday. The credit card machine does close down at 4:30 PM each day. We hope to add internet payments and payments of checks over the phone sometime in the future—but we do not have an estimated date for this to happen. If you do pay your bills over the internet, be aware that we can’t accept these at this time on our system. When using the internet to pay a water bill, please be aware that it takes at least five (5) working days for the check your bank writes to reach us for posting. If you wait until the 15th of each month, your payment will be late and a late fee will be applied to your account. As a further point of information, ALL payments are posted to each account on the day it is received. No payments are held to the next working day before being posted to your account. As a convenience, we have at our office location night a deposit box at our front door at 625 Hwy 211 NE. Please do not put cash in the night deposit box.
For any further information or clarification, please call our office. With our present telephone system, we do not have an answering or message system. Each time your telephone call is answered, it will be a live person you are talking with.