Water Authority Manager Jack Damron said the freshwater spring needs rehabilitation in order to cut down on the amount of water being lost at a rock/concrete enclosure and to protect the spring from floodwaters of the Euharlee Creek.
With the current condition of the enclosure, the authority is losing about one million gallons of water per day. The authority is permitted to draw four million gallons of water per day but withdraws only 1.8 to two million gallons per day.
The enclosure, built in the 1920s, is cracking, leaking and leaching water into the creek. Additionally, heavy rains will cause flooding since the wall height is about 18 feet below the 100-year flood plain.
When this occurs, the spring site and pumping station must be closed until the spring is purged and water turbidity regains levels.
The water authority has applied to the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) for a $1 million loan to cover costs of the conservation work.
Vickey Atkins, PCWA, has submitted a request for a loan guarantee from the Polk County Board of Commissioners. Her petition was approved on Feb. 12.
The project is being engineered and designed by R.J. Wood and Company, and coordinated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Georgia EPD.
Damron said the 10-month project is part of the water authority’s master plan. “It should go to bid in April or May,” he said.
PCWA’s master plan was approved in 2004 and updated in 2011, according to Damron.
This plan includes two other major projects – Aragon Wastewater Treatment Plant and Mulco Spring.
Rehab work at the Aragon Wastewater Treatment Plant has been completed at a cost of $955,500.
The rehab included replacement of mechanical equipment for the influent lift station, pumps, aeration basin aerators, secondary clarifier, return and waste sludge pumps and replacement of the existing lab, control and electrical building project.
Aragon’s wastewater facility was built in the 1960s and serves about 300 customers. No additional acreage was needed since the plant was not being expanded, only modified.
“We looked at capacity issues and determined that no real growth is anticipated in that coverage area,” Damron said. “Today, the plant has more than sufficient capacity to handle its current work.”
An existing facility is located at the Mulco site, which includes a pump, pump house and tank. A contract, totaling $52,373, has been let to Benny Hubbard Enterprises and work continues on this project.