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Habersham sewage pump shed catches fire near Lake Lanier
Water treatment facility serves 400 residents east of Cumming
3WEB fire
Around 3 p.m. April 6, firefighters responded to calls about flames coming from the sheds roof, which is located just off Buford Dam Road on Wood Valley Court. - photo by Jim Dean (previous profile)

EAST FORSYTH – A small shed holding the main sewage pump for the Habersham Wastewater Treatment Facility, a private facility near Lake Lanier in east Forsyth, caught fire Thursday afternoon, rendering the plant temporarily out of service.

Around 3 p.m. April 6, firefighters responded to calls about flames coming from the shed’s roof, which is located just off Buford Dam Road on Wood Valley Court.

While the fire was contained relatively quickly, Cumming-based Sawnee EMC cut off power to the facility, which pumps treated wastewater into Lanier.

It serves approximately 400 residents who live in the Habersham subdivision.

The future of the plant has hung in limbo for some time, with talks of a potential City of Cumming takeover between a local homeowners group, the Habersham Action Committee, and city officials.

Mayor H. Ford Gravitt previously called the situation a “complicated mess.”

Glenn Berny, a homeowner and member of the committee, said Thursday it is unclear what the next steps will be, though the committee has been in communication with the city in recent weeks.

“We’re doing our best to negotiate with the city’s attorney, but the main thing [immediately] is to get a bypass operation for the pump,” Berny said. “That’s our main pump, and it has been spared but it was a lot of electrical and obviously the roof that was damaged.

“I’m confident we’ll either get back in operation or find a bypass.”