Mountain water only

Published 10:11 pm Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Tryon looking into abandoning Lake Lanier as water source

TRYON—The Town of Tryon is taking a serious look into abandoning pulling water from Lake Lanier and relying solely on its mountain water source. 

Tryon Town Council met Tuesday and heard an update from street maintenance supervisor Jody Morse. The town had asked that employees look into the town’s water production to see if it could rely solely on its mountain water source. Tryon currently uses mostly water from Lake Lanier, with some use of the mountain water. 

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Morse said he talked with water plant operators and the town’s mountain water source gets 600-700 gallons per minute. 

The lake source gives the town 535,000 gallons per day. Morse said water operators said it is not possible that the town can only use the mountain source for a variety of reasons. 

Commissioner Bill Crowell said at 650 gallons per minute, which equates to 936,000 gallons per day, which is almost double what the lake source provides. 

Tryon Town Manager Zach Ollis said the town can pull that amount of water, but there is a difference between pulling in that amount and treating that amount. 

“This town, well in excess of 100 years, ran off the mountain lake,” said commissioner Crys Armbrust. 

Morse said he was told there is no way to do it, saying the town would have to redo the water line from the mountain all the way down. 

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said for 100 years Tryon was able to keep four mills and all the homes running and the town fixed the intake. 

Morse said the town started construction then ran into summer and probably have another 30 days remaining on the fix. Morse also said the lines on the mountain were first put in around 1919. 

“My real want, and I want it stated in an open public meeting, is to know how long it would take and at what cost would it take to completely stop use of the draw down of Lake Lanier,” Armbrust said. 

Crowell said that is what he wants too. 

Peoples said there could be some recovery costs in work that needs to be done by selling a phase 4 generator that the Lake Lanier source uses. 

Tryon was given the lake bed of Lake Lanier in the 1980s and has been treating and using the lake for its water source since. The town owns property at the lake, located in Greenville County, S.C., to house pumps, and also owns the dam at the lake. 

Ollis said he will get with water operators for more details on the mountain water source and update council at its September meeting.