Green Creek residents plead for public water service

Published 4:46 pm Wednesday, September 10, 2008

&dquo;We have a water problem. Our well is drying up,&dquo; said Tommy Wilson. &dquo;I&squo;d appreciate your running a line out there.&dquo;

Commissioners met Monday and heard from Blackwood Road residents, one of which said he drilled a 680 ft. deep well about a year ago that yielded five gallons per minute and now is down to two gallons per minute.

Another Blackwood Road resident said his well is 65 ft.deep and he and his wife schedule turns taking showers due to low water. The residents said after the meeting that it takes 12 hours to prime their wells after it runs out to get any water.

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&dquo;Water is really scarce right now,&dquo; said Kevin Wilson.

Commissioners said they couldn&squo;t imagine not having water at their homes and will do everything possible to get water to the residents in need. Commissioners also discussed&bsp; Monday the need for a water line plan to prioritize where water lines need to go throughout the county. Engineer Dave Odom answered questions from commissioners Monday night regarding when to form a water authority and asked Odom to come back in two weeks with sample water extension policies in an effort to help the county decide where to extend its lines.

Odom suggested that Polk wait six months or longer to form a water authority until the county has a water customer base and begins receiving revenues. Commissioners said they want the water authority to consist of citizens who would make the decisions regarding the county&squo;s water source.

Also on Monday commissioners approved agreements between the county and Inman-Campobello Water District (ICWD) and (BRWA). The new agreements extend the contract between the entities from 10 years to 15 years and adds 100,000 gallons per day to what Polk County can purchase from Broad River. The county can now purchase up to 600,000 gallons per day from BRWA from the line that connects through Green Creek from BRWA to ICWD.

Commissioner comments at the end of the meeting all centered around the county&squo;s need for water and their desire to do everything in their power to get water to residents as quickly as possible. Commissioner Harry Denton said the county could have purchased Lake Adger 20 years ago and if it had the county wouldn&squo;t be in the situation it is today.

During a recent Polk County Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing, Pat Solomon said of seven new wells drilled in the Green Creek area in 2008, four were replacements for dried wells and two of the four have yields less than three gallons per minute even though they are all deep wells.

Phil Florig also spoke about wells in the Green Creek area at the board of adjustment hearing and testified that he has one 700 feet deep well and one 500 feet deep well on his property and the maximum supply of water from his wells is about two gallons per minute.

Polk this year purchased Lake Adger for $1.6 million as its water source.

The county is meeting later this month with Henderson County in an effort to get Henderson County&squo;s support for Lake Adger Watershed III, which is in the works currently to be approved by the state in order for Polk to reclassify to use Lake Adger as its water source.