Dahlonega Hopes for Water Fix by Next Week

4 09 2008

By Stephen Gurr |

The Gainsville Times

Dahlonega city officials are now hoping to replace a broken filter that cut its water plant’s pumping capacity in half by next Tuesday or Wednesday.  Dahlonega City Manager Bill Lewis said the replacement schedule is “an optimistic target date,” though he added there could be uncertain variables in procuring the parts, which are coming from Idaho. Initially engineers thought it could be as long as a month before the filter could be replaced.

The collapse of the 32-year-old filter on Friday put the city’s water supply in a perilous situation, with the 1.5 million gallons per day capacity cut in half and at risk in the event of a major fire or large water main failure. In response, the city imposed a total outdoor watering ban.

Lewis said under the requirements of state law, the city must get permission for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to extend that watering ban beyond seven days, if necessary. Lewis drafted a letter to the EPD this morning seeking that authorization.

Lewis said the city is maintaining water pressure for its approximately 2,700 customers by doubling shifts at the plant to 24-hour operations.

“What people need to know is there is a potential for problems,” Lewis said. “Our concern is for fire protection and water for basic human needs.”

He said local industry Timken, a bearing plant on Torrington Road, is “on standby” should it need to reduce its water usage.

“Fortunately, we’re heading into a time when the demand for water is not as great.”

Read on here.

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