Gwinnett County Stormwater Authority Recommends Changes to Stormwater Pipe Standards: Council Voices Concerns

Gwinnett Stormwater Letter jpeg pg 1

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What is old is new again in Gwinnett County, as the Council for Quality Growth finds itself yet again addressing the stormwater pipe standards, only a decade after addressing the first of major changes, the fourth time since 2001. In 2006, the Council spent extensive time and effort helping reach a compromise between development interests, pipe manufacturers and county staff that appeared to be working for the last seven years.

Council President & CEO Michael Paris spoke last Friday before members of the Gwinnett Stormwater Authority and encouraged them to help keep Gwinnett County economically competitive when it comes to development codes and regulations by keeping the 2006 standards in place.  The Authority, however, unanimously voted to recommend the proposed changes.  The final decision on the changes rests in the hands of Water Resources Director Ron Seibenhener, who can choose to implement all, some or none of the changes recommended by the Authority.

The Stormwater Management Division of the Department of Water Resources recommended changes that would limit the use of aluminized pipe in many common right-of-way applications, and will increase restrictions on HDPE Pipe as well.

The above letter was sent to Director Ron Seibenhener to outline the Council’s concerns regarding the proposed changes.

The proposed changes can be viewed HERE.

To view a comparison of the current standards vs. recommended changes click HERE.

A brief history of the pipe negotiations in Gwinnett County:

  • In 2001, the industry with Gwinnett County addressed the limited service life problem being obtained from Galvanized Corrugated Steel Pipe (GCSP); therefore the GCSP was no longer allowed to be used and Aluminized Corrugated Steel Pipe (ACSP) became the only allowable product with a minimum 16 gauge thickness.
  • In 2006, extensive negotiations led to a workable and agreeable solution, the county asked the industry to provide a product that offered a 100 year service life and the industry agreed by moving from an aluminized 16 gauge Type 2 to a minimum 14 gauge Type 2 aluminized pipe along with stricter bedding standards.
  • In 2011, the issue resurfaced again and after educating officials on the issues that were prevalent still, from the previously addressed galvanized piping, the county let the 2006 piping standards remain in place.

The Council recognizes the need for Gwinnett County and all local governments to carefully consider the long term cost implications of assets which it accepts as part of its infrastructure and we appreciate the opportunity to continue to provide input to achieve a solution that works for all parties.