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City Water Restrictions
With no rain in sight and temperatures
forecast for the low 90s, the city of Commerce plans to continue
its water restrictions.
Imposed two weeks ago, the restrictions prohibit outside water
use from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.
"We're maintaining the levels in our water tanks for good
supply," said City Manager Clarence Bryant.
The city water plant is operating at capacity, pumping an average
of 2.2 million gallons a day and operating 24 hours a day.
Meanwhile, Bryant reports that the water level at the city's
reservoir on the Grove River has fallen.
"Two weeks ago, it was full. It's almost below the spillway
now. There's nothing much coming in on the upper side, I guess,"
The restrictions have worked very well so far. They were set
in place because levels in the tanks were getting so low that
the water system would have been unable to service a major fire.
"The public has been very receptive. They have cooperated
graciously with us and we appreciate that," the city manager
said. "We don't want to empty a tank and then have to try
to refill it. We can't increase the flow into town. If we let
the tanks get too far down, there's not enough time to refill
them with demand pulling water out at the same time."
Meanwhile, the city will open bids at 2 p.m. Sept. 2 on construction
that will more than double the plant's capacity.
"We'll have some excess water to sell," he predicted.
Jackson County May Review Water Rates
JEFFERSON -- The Jackson County Water
and Sewerage Authority is selling a lot of water these days,
but it's losing money in the process. That could change when
the authority holds its regular August meeting Thursday night
The problem is that the county system is selling more water than
ever at a time when it must purchase the most expensive water.
Superintendent Paul Mims reported that Wayne Poultry Company
began buying about 300,000 gallons daily from the county system
about two weeks ago about the same time Commerce reduced
by nearly 40 percent the amount of water it will sell each day
to the county system.
Commerce, facing a demand higher than its ability to produce,
instituted restrictions on the outdoor use of water and cut Jackson
County's daily purchase from 500,000 gallons per day to 350,000
The city water has been the primary source for Jackson County
customers, and will be until the Bear Creek Reservoir is completed
sometime in 2001. The water authority's backup water supplier
is Athens-Clarke County, but its contract with Athens-Clarke
institutes heavy penalties if the county purchases more than
That increase in the cost means Jackson County isn't making anything
selling water from Athens-Clarke to its local customers.
"Actually, it costs us a little bit," said Mims. On
Monday, the authority purchased more than 400,000 gallons from
The Jackson County system called on its users to cut back voluntarily
on outdoor use of water.
"Thursday night it will probably get a little stronger,"
said Mims, who indicated that it was possible that the authority
would develop a rate structure that would be dictated by what
the county pays for water.