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City Council addresses future water needs

By Jinifer Rae

Freelance Writer

As Mountain City continues growing with increased businesses and population, an obvious growing pain would be the need for more local resources.

One of these concerns was mentioned briefly at the August City Council meeting. During the meeting, the need for an additional supply source of water was mentioned.

Currently, Mountain City obtains water from three local springs, Lowe’s Spring, Rambo Spring, and Silver Lake. These three sites have served the residents well for several years, but an additional supplemental source is required to obtain water.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website, “Large cities and towns usually get their water from surface water supplies or a mix of surface and groundwater supplies.”

The CDC reports that the majority of American cities obtain water from three sources, surface water, groundwater, or recycled.

City Council Alderman Lawrence Keeble assures residents that there is currently no water shortage for Mountain City’s current residents.

“We are looking to the future,” Keeble said. “With the population’s current growth, there will be a need, and we are looking at wells to fill future water needs.”

The discussion of a well was mentioned at the council meeting with possibly accessing an aquifer near Ralph Stout Park.

The online Environmental Protection
Agency’s interactive Sole Source Aquifer Map confirms there is indeed an aquifer in Mountain City. However, deciding what locality will be dug requires far more than just accessing a site.

Aquifers are a precious commodity, and while a well can be drilled, the recharge rate must be considered first. The recharge rate refers to how fast the aquifer can refill after collecting rainwater. This may seem simple enough, but if drained too quickly, the aquifer could dry out faster than desired, resulting in less water available for usage. To help protect Mountain City’s precious resources, City Council approved a survey company to evaluate where water could be accessed.

Jordan said the company “will be doing an extensive survey of the area for the best place for a well.”

The cost of the approved survey is $166,000. Monies needed to pay for the survey will be acquired from the Town of Mountain City’s Water fund.

The timeframe remains elusive as to when the survey will be completed. Once completed, the real work will
begin, starting the construction.

As more information becomes available, The Tomahawk will be available to keep readers current on local news. For more details, visit www.usgs.gov.