Lawrenceville, Georgia, had a serious problem: lack of sewer infrastructure. The lack of infrastructure was a major obstacle for growth in southern Gwinnett County, so the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources called on Gresham Smith to design a new pump station to push 25 million gallons of wastewater to the newly constructed reclamation center 34 miles away. Not only was the station the first of its kind in the county, but our project team was also challenged by an aggressive schedule, extreme site constraints and the expectations of local residents. In the end, our design for the Lower Big Haynes Pump Station provides much needed infrastructure for Gwinnett County residents.


Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources


Lawrenceville, GA

Project Type







pump station


storage tank


months ahead of schedule

Tested by a Tight Timeline

Tested by a Tight Timeline

The Lawrenceville community had no sewer service, which halted growth in the area. It’s not that people didn’t want to move to the area, but due to a freeze on building permits they truly couldn’t until infrastructure was built. The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources wanted the station operational as soon as possible, and under an expedited timeline we finished the design and construction six months ahead of schedule.

Addressing Site Constraints

Addressing Site Constraints

The site for the new pump station was surrounded by creeks on two sides, a cemetery and a highway. Our team didn’t have a lot of land to use, but we worked with what we had and made the structure and large storage tank fit on the site.

An Efficient Design Becomes the New Standard

An Efficient Design Becomes the New Standard

The pump station’s straightforward layout was designed with maintenance in mind. Workers have easy access to the pumping system, as well as equipment, valves, piping and electrical controls. Even access roads to and from the site and the entrances and exits to the facility are intentionally placed. The layout worked so well that Gwinnett County now uses the Lower Big Haynes Creek layout as the model layout for all of their new facilities.

Thanks to the pump station’s efficient design, Gwinnett County was able to decommission one of its smaller stations upstream. By reducing the number of stations in operation, the county has seen energy and maintenance cost savings.

Creatively Camouflaging the Storage Tank

Creatively Camouflaging the Storage Tank

Our client chose to paint a mural on the tank as a way to make the structure more appealing for residents in the area. Two brothers from a national company hand-painted the work of art. From a distance, the pump station blends in perfectly with the surrounding trees.

Keeping the Wells Dry

Keeping the Wells Dry

Turns out sometimes dry wells are a good thing. After the initial pump station design, we were asked to design a canopy to go over the below-grade pump station wet and dry-wells. Once complete, the canopy will help reduce water infiltration into the wet-wells, reduce corrosion of the dry-wells and shelters the maintenance staff from nasty weather.