FAQ

  1. What does GMD do?
  2. What is dye testing and why is it conducted?
  3. What is this smoke I see in my yard?
  4. How do I know that the people in my yard work for GMD?
  5. Why do I pay Metro taxes for sewer service that I have never and probably will never receive?
  6. I want GMD sewer service, but most of my neighbors do not because they have individual septic tanks. What can I do?
  7. Can my bill be adjusted for a water leak?
  8. Why are wastewater treatment facilities needed?
  9. After the water is recovered where does it go?
  10. What chemicals are used to treat wastewater?
  11. Is sewer available in my area?
  12. How much wastewater can GMD treat per day?
  13. How do I get my FREE grease fat trapper and refill bags?
  14. What happens after you wash the dishes, take a shower, or flush the toilet?
  15. How is GMD governed?
  16. How much wastewater does GMD treat?
  17. How long does treatment take?
  18. Why does my sewer cost more than my water?


1. What does GMD do?
GMD provides wastewater services that protect the public health and environment while supporting regional growth. GMD oversees collecting and treating wastewater, and owns and operates two wastewater treatment plants: the Wilson Creek and West Alexander Wastewater Treatment Facilities. We also own 350 miles of sewers, which take wastewater to the plants. We are responsible for removing contaminants in water that is discharged from houses, industries and commercial businesses.

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2. What is dye testing and why is it conducted?
Dye testing is a method used to locate a defect within the sewer system that may be a source for rain water and ground water to enter the sanitary sewer system. Dye testing is also used to determine where an individual service line is connected to the sewer system. The dye is non-toxic, and safe for humans, plants and animals. It will clean up easily with water.

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3. What is this smoke I see in my yard?
Smoke testing is a process of blowing smoke through the sewer lines. It is used to locate and identify defects that permit rain water and/or groundwater to enter the sewer system thereby overloading the sewer lines and wastewater treatment plants. The smoke is specially manufactured for testing and is not harmful to humans, pets or plants and will dissipate within a few minutes with proper ventilation.

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4. How do I know that the people in my yard work for GMD?
You can identify a GMD employee by their uniform with their name and the GMD logo on it, ID badge and work vehicle. If you are still uncertain, you may verify the name by calling us at 864-943-8000.

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5. Why do I pay Metro taxes for sewer service that I have never and probably will never receive?
Paying for sewer service is much like paying school taxes when you do not have children in school. If you live within Metro district boundaries then you will pay Metro taxes. Having proper sewer infrastructure and capacity is what attracts people, business and industry to Greenwood. Without it, Greenwood could not attract jobs or growth to our area. Sewer services are a basic human requirement for protecting public health.

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6. I want GMD sewer service, but most of my neighbors do not because they have individual septic tanks. What can I do?
If you live in an area where GMD sewer service is close by, a survey can be conducted to determine how many people in your neighborhood are interested in connecting to GMD sewer. Once all information has been gathered, a representative from your neighborhood would approach the GMD Commission and ask for approval to connect. Applicable fees would be discussed throughout the survey and approval process. For additional information, contact our Engineering Department at 864-942-3901.

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7. Can my bill be adjusted for a water leak?
In certain instances and with proper documentation, your bill can be adjusted for a leak. Please call our Finance Department at 864-943-8002 for assistance.

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8. Why are wastewater treatment facilities needed?
Although approximately 2/3 of the earth's surface is covered with water, only about 1% is usable by humans, thus making water a precious resource. Your wastewater treatment facility recovers the water from the waste stream and returns it to the environment.

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9. After the water is recovered where does it go?
After treatment the water is discharge into a stream. As the name implies, the Wilson Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility discharges into Wilson Creek which is in the Saluda River drainage basin. West Alexander Wastewater Treatment Facility discharges into Hard labor Creek which is part of the Savannah River drainage basin.

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10. What chemicals are used to treat wastewater?
GMD uses no chemical treatment at either of its facilities. Treatment for organic pollutants are performed biologically, much the same as naturally occurs in a lake or stream. The wastewater treatment facility harnesses these natural processes in a controlled, accelerated environment to remove these organic pollutants. In years past chlorine was used to disinfect wastewater; however with growing public concern over chlorine use, GMD installed ultra-violet disinfection processes at both facilities. This process uses ultra-violet light rather than chemical reaction to eliminate disease causing organisms in the reclaimed water.

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11. Is sewer available in my area?
Our staff will be glad to assist in determining if sewer is available at a specific location. Please contact us at 864-942-3909 for additional assistance.

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12. How much wastewater can GMD treat per day?
GMD is permitted to treat 14.2 million gallons of wastewater per day.

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13. How do I get my FREE grease fat trapper and refill bags?

Stop by our office at 110 Metro Drive to get a grease collector and refill bags free of charge. Grease is the enemy to any sewer system. If each GMD customer puts just 1 tablespoon of grease in this container each week, that adds up to 55 gallons of grease NOT in our sewer system. You can make a difference!

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14. What happens after you wash the dishes, take a shower, or flush the toilet?
The wastewater goes through the pipes in your house or business, then flows into a sewer service lateral and drains into the District collection pipes (typically located in the street or an easement). It travels from the District trunk line pipes to the treatment plant to be cleaned before being discharged back into the environment.

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15. How is GMD governed?
A six member Commission serves as the Governing Board for the sewer district.

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16. How much wastewater does GMD treat?
Every day, GMD’s treatment plants process approximately 8 million gallons of wastewater from over 14,000 customers.

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17. How long does treatment take?
On average, a drop of wastewater will spend about 15 hours traveling through the plant while undergoing treatment.

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18. Why does my sewer cost more than my water?
Wastewater treatment is a much more complicated process because the treatment must clean the water thoroughly so that it is safe for integration back into the environment. The major reasons lie in the differences between the cost of installing the pipe systems, and the biological and chemical treatment processes for treating wastewater. Over the last couple of decades, treatment has evolved to include sophisticated biological systems for removing organic materials, complicated filters, and modern disinfection methods. The advanced systems are costly to build and operate, increasing the overall cost of wastewater treatment.

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