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Rincon to ask state for more water, for now

POSTED: May 5, 2007 5:02 a.m.

Rincon officials are looking to the future as they work out plans to gain more water and use the water they have more efficiently.

Mayor Ken Lee, city planner LaMeisha Hunter and Councilman Lamar Crosby will meet today with Environmental Protection Division officials in Atlanta to discuss drilling for water from the Lower Floridan aquifer.

Rincon already has a well in place and originally submitted a permit application in 2005. The meeting today will hopefully shed light on what steps the city needs to take to resubmit that application in order to get EPD approval to start drilling.

Saltwater has intruded the Upper Floridan aquifer and the EPD has been trying to decrease the amount of drilling from it. In the short term, the city has asked for a temporary increase in the amount of water it can withdraw from the aquifer.

Yet, for the long term, Rincon officials see the Lower Floridan as a source for more groundwater.

In addition, the city council presented a new alternate water source (or purple pipe reuse water) ordinance at Monday night’s meeting.

According to Councilman Paul Wendelken, the city has been talking about reuse water for years, and the EPD has instructed the officials to implement the usage.

“That frees your groundwater permit,” explained Hunter.

The treated water would come from the wastewater treatment plant and be used for non-drinking purposes such as irrigation, decorative features, urban activities such as toilet flushes, car washes and industrial uses.

The ordinance presented some problems for the council. A few of the council members thought the ordinance didn’t go far enough in explaining how the reuse pipes would be implemented.

“We are looking at how purple pipes will be installed in future developments,” Hunter said.

Councilman Lamar Crosby tempered the doubts by stating he thought the ordinance was simply a starting point.

“I thought what we were trying to do is put a mark on the wall that said you’re required to do it, and that’s what this does,” he said.

The council made a motion to table the ordinance until they could work out the details of the water usage. A workshop has been scheduled for April 16 to further discuss the ordinance.

“This is a brand new baby for everyone,” Hunter noted.

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