Dale Co. Backup Water Systems

By: Erica Proffer
By: Erica Proffer

Even with the drought the Wiregrass is experiencing, the water supply in Dale County shouldn't be a problem. At least that's what county leaders are hoping. Dale County is looking to connect its supply with all the cities within the county, just as a backup.

Dale County says it's not going to a combined water system.

Rather, it hopes to establish a backup plan, making sure everyone in the county has enough water even if water levels go down.

One major contributor to this plan is Ozark Utilities.

Ozark Utility leaders say they don't worry about the city running short on water.

General Manager of Ozark Utilities Board Don Hallford said, "We felt like we had enough of water capability that we could supply water to other areas of Dale County."

Right now, Ozark uses about 3.4 million gallons of water a day. That's about half of its peak capacity. By November, Ozark will have eight deep wells, which will have the capacity to supply a town twice its size.

Because of that surplus, the Ozark Utilities board is looking to team with Dale County Water Authority to form a back-up water system.

Under the proposed system, any community that's connected and in need of extra water could buy it from within the county.

"Well, it's just good for Dale County to have this resource that we can all enjoy. Obviously we can sell," said Hallford.

As far as paying for the project, utility leaders say most of the pipe work is already installed and that should save money.

The plan is in its primary stages. Utility leaders say they aren't sure if it will be carried out. They will meet this Friday to discuss the possibility.

The cost of the backup plan hasn't been determined; each community would pay, based on its water consumption.

The idea for the project stemmed from coastal hurricane problems.

Dale County leaders say they want to be prepared, in case a natural disaster impacts them.


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