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Water & Sewer

Water & Sewer

The Water Department serves a population base of over 15,000 and continues to grow. Our continuing goal is to provide you with a safe and dependable supply of drinking water. We want you to understand the efforts we make to continually improve the water treatment process and protect our water resources. Our groundwater is drawn from four (4) wells within the Floridian Aquifer. We currently have in operation four (4) water plants and the transmission and distribution system has 92.9 miles of water mains with pipe sizes up to 12 inches in diameter. Our water treatment have a combined capacity of approximately 3.5+ Million Gallons Daily (MGD). We are pleased to report that our water is safe and meets or exceeds Federal and State requirements. We are also implementing our backflow program, mandated by the Environmental Protection Division (EPD), to further protect your water from off system contamination. Improvements are also being made to the existing water plants to further ensure the quality of our water.

The City of St. Marys is committed to water conservation through its water conservation plan adopted in 1995. Outdoor water use is governed in our City Ordinances, Chapter 98, Article IV, Division 2.

This restriction includes all residential, commercial, government, and institutional outdoor irrigation and other non-essential water uses, such as watering lawns & landscapes, washing cars at residential sites and hosing sidewalks. To find out more about State water restrictions and drought conditions, visit the Georgia Environmental Protection Division website

Broken/Leaking Water Meter or Water Mains
If water is leaking from your water meter or if the meter is broken, box or lid is damaged, or if you observe a broken main, water running from the ground or a paved surface, or a leaking fire hydrant, during normal business hours please call the Water Department at 882-4535 or Public
Works at 882-4415 and they will dispatch a crew to check and correct the problem. After hours please call Camden County 9-1-1 Center's non-emergency number at (912) 729-1442 and they will contact the on-call employee for you.

Broken Water Lines
The City of St. Marys maintains all water mains and services in the street right of way up to the water meter. If pipes are broken after the meter or inside the building, the pipe must be repaired by the property owner or a plumber hired by the property owner. If there is an mergency requiring the water to be turned off to stop damage, or if you need the water turned off to make a repair, please call the Water Department during normal business hours at 882-4535 or Public Works at 882-4415. After hours please call Camden County 9-1-1 Center's non-emergency number at (912) 729-1442 and they will contact the on-call employee for you.

Fire Hydrant Usage
The use of fire hydrants throughout the City is strictly prohibited to everyone except City personnel in carrying out their duties. Temporary hydrant meters are available for use for construction purposes only. Temporary meters can be obtained from the Water Department at 418 Osborne Street. At no time will it be permissible to fill a swimming pool with water from a fire hydrant. Anyone caught illegally using water from a fire hydrant will be charged to the fullest extent of the law.

Installations/Sewer Location
All water meters for new water service in the City of St. Marys must be purchased from the city. In residential subdivisions, the water and sewer service are installed by the developer before the subdivision is inspected by the city. On existing streets and in commercial areas where new water meters and sewer services are required, the builder must hire a contractor to install the needed services. The meter and sewer connection fee must be paid to the Building Department at the time the building or plumbing permit is obtained prior to installation. The order for installation of the meter or location of the sewer service is transferred to the Water and Sewer Department at Public Works on the same day, if possible. The Underground Protection Center is called to allow all other utility companies to mark their facilities. State law requires that 48 hours notice be given to UPC before any digging is done (please note that the 48 hours begins the next business day after such notice is given). As soon as possible after this period Water Department crews will install the meter and locate the sewer service.

Illegal Dumping into Storm Drains or Sanitary Sewer Lines
The dumping of gasoline, diesel fuel, oil or other such pollutant into ditches, storm drains, sanitary sewer lines, or waters of the State is strictly prohibited. Any person caught conducting such activities shall be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Wastewater Department
The City of St. Marys has in operation two wastewater treatment plants with a combined capacity of 1.5 Million Gallons Daily (MGD) which are currently operating at 85% capacity. Both plants are of the return activated sludge type with 90 to 98% efficiency. The plant located near Point Peter is a no-discharge/overland flow system. The plant located downtown. is a direct discharge system and the processed water from the plant discharges to the St. Marys River. Our collection system consists of 83.6 miles of pipe traveling through a series of gravity flow/forcemains, ranging in sizes from 4 inches to 24 inches in diameter. This currently requires 50 lift stations (pumping stations) to transport the household sewage to the two treatment plants.

In order to meet the needs of our growing population, the City of St. Marys plans to construct and operate a new 0.5 MGD Wastewater Treatment Plant (Scrubby Bluff). A general description of this important public works project follows. The Scrubby Bluff Wastewater Treatment Plant site is located approximately 1,500 feet east of I-95 and 4,000 feet south of St. Marys Road and encompasses approximately 35 acres. This project includes installation of two additional lift stations and approximately 19,000 feet of forcemain. The new 0.5 MGD Scrubby Bluff Wastewater Treatment Plant consists of influent pumping facilities, flow metering, influent screening, influent grit removal, sequencing batch reactor for biological oxidation, disinfection, post aeration, and effluent pumping. Biosolids handling processes will include aerobic digestion and dewatering. The site will be equipped with an office for staff, as well as a laboratory to run process control, in order to maximize efficiency. This will be manned in normal operations, eight (8) hours per day, Monday through Friday and call personnel will check the plant on weekends to ensure normal operations, just as we do with our other two wastewater plants. It has been and continues to be the goal of the City of St. Marys to build an environmentally friendly facility that the community can be proud of. This will be accomplished with minimal site clearing, state of the art equipment, and the commitment from engineering, EPD, and City staff all working for a common goal.

Sewer Blockages
Whenever you have a problem with sewer backing up call the City of St. Marys prior to calling a plumber to determine whether or not the problem is on the City's side. Weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. call Public Works at (912) 882-4415. After hours, weekends, and holidays call Camden County 9-1-1 Center's non-emergency number at (912) 729-1442.

Upon responding our call personnel will ask "if your whole house is backed up or just one area?" This will help us to determine if the blockage is outside the structure. If the problem appears to be in your house you will be instructed to call a plumber. If the problem appears to be between the house and point of connection (tap) our personnel will make a reasonable effort to locate the problem by the following steps.

  1. They will check the main line first to check for a blockage and clear it if it is blocked.
  2. If you can provide us with access to your line (a cleanout) we will snake the line for you to try and find the blockage. If the blockage is on your side (before property line) you will be informed to call a plumber. Should the blockage be on the city’s side our personnel will take steps to correct the problem.
  3. In the event you do not have a cleanout, we will not be able to enter the line to determine the location of the blockage. You will be instructed to call a plumber.

To better serve our customers we have taken the position to try and be more sensitive to your complaints and responsive in assisting to correct the problem within our limits.

Sewer Odor Problems

Sewer odors outside of a building may be an indication that the city sewer main is stopped up or broken. If sewer odors are noticed outside of a building, please call weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Public Works at (912) 882-4415. After hours, weekends, and holidays call Camden County 9-1-1 Center's non-emergency number at (912) 729-1442.