WINDER - Experts with Jordan, Jones and Goulding, a Norcross-based consulting firm, will spend the next six to nine months compiling a master water plan study for Barrow County.
The Board of Commissioners approved $85,000 in funding for the study that will map out future water use and possibly identify alternative water sources for the county.
Water Authority Chairman Stan Coley said the idea to create a master plan has been in the works for some time now.
"The drought did not bring this about, although it certainly affected my thinking," Coley said. "But with Bear Creek Reservoir and Barrow's growth, we have to be futuristic in our thinking."
Kevin Williams, reservoir manager, announced Friday that without significant rainfall the reservoir will be down to its final 25 percent by Dec. 28.
"While the reservoir won't be empty, the remaining water will be hard to treat because the iron and manganese concentrations will be high," Williams said. "There'll be no health issue, but the water will taste and smell bad. The water situation is a major concern."
Barrow, Clarke, Jackson and Oconee counties rely on the Bear Creek Reservoir for water.
Septic tank in path of Barrow Park Drive
Barrow County will spend an additional $28,000 in labor costs to move a septic tank out of the way of the new jail road and run a sewer pipeline to the animal control shelter.
"The septic tank is right in the middle of the new road we are building," said Michael Fischer, Barrow County's deputy administrator.
The money will come from the 1-cent sales tax sewer fund, Fischer said.