June has been like August, but water supply no problem – yet



Oneonta Utilities water treatment plant on Calvert Prong near Rosa puts out more than 500,000 gallons of water a day during the summer. No major concerns are expected unless drought becomes much more severe and persistent than two unusually dry months so far.

Oneonta Utilities water treatment plant on Calvert Prong near Rosa puts out more than 500,000 gallons of water a day during the summer. No major concerns are expected unless drought becomes much more severe and persistent than two unusually dry months so far.

In a survey “precipitated” by two months of well-below-normal rainfall, managers of county water departments generally said that water supplies are holding steady so far.

The consensus was that could change if the moderate drought being experienced by most of the county worsens or is prolonged into the latter part of the summer . That’s when water systems, particularly those dependent on wells, occasionally falter.

Here’s a sample of comments from managers around the county.

Steve Pass, Cleveland: “We’re good for right now. Our situation in the past has been that we don’t get in trouble with our water supply gradually. When it happens, it tends to happen pretty quickly. So far, the wells are holding up fine, but it could become a problem if this dry weather continues.”

Dean Gilbert, Remlap/Pine Mountain: “We’re OK. Nobody’s said anything about any water restrictions yet. Of course we get our water from Birmingham and Oneonta. We don’t have wells to worry about.”

David McAlpin, Blountsville: “We’re holding out just fine. Everything’s normal with our water supply so far. Now if you ask me as a farmer, it’s a different story. When I go home, the hay fields are pretty rough from lack of rain, but as far as the public water supply, everything’s normal right now.”

Jeff Whited, Snead: “We’re not having any problem yet. I’ve noticed a little increase in what we’ve had to pump through the sewer, to keep it going. So far, we haven’t issued any usage warnings. If the dry weather keeps up, we might have a problem in another month or so. But, we’ve gotten no letters from the state asking for updates on water availability like they do sometimes when it’s dry everywhere. It’s gonna be bad by August, though, if this keeps up.”

Jeff Carter, Blount County Water Authority: “No, our water supply is not a concern for us now. We’ve just finished a project that allows us to get an additional million gallons a day, so we’re doing just fine. Hopefully, by the time we complete two more projects, we’ll be in good shape pretty soon for the next five to 10 years to come.”

Jerry Smith, Oneonta: “No sir. We’re not expecting any trouble with our water supply. It’s holding up pretty good so far. It has to get really, really dry – like that bad drought we had several years ago – for us to have any problem. I don’t see any major concerns, to be honest.”