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Etowah Water holding meeting to discuss Russell Creek Reservoir Thursday
Etowah Reservoir map
The proposed site of the Russell Creek reservoir, which will supply drinking water to Dawson County, is comprised of 137 acres off Etowah River and Seed Tick roads. - photo by Allie Dean

The Etowah Water and Sewer Authority will be holding a public meeting to discuss the Russell Creek Reservoir Thursday.

The project was greenlit for construction in July 2017 after obtaining a 404 permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a permit the authority has been working to gain since starting the project 13 years ago.

The authority, the county’s only water provider, is currently permitted to produce 5.5 million gallons a day from the Etowah River, but that amount will not be enough to sustain growth or see the county through a drought.

The authority is building the dam and reservoir based on a growth projection which estimates the Dawson County population at 126,000 in the year 2057.

The current population is around 24,000.

The reservoir will be located on 137 acres of land off Etowah River and Seed Tick roads and will cost about $40 million.

The authority had invested $10 million in the project so far, after being issued a $10 million loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority in 2014 and General Manager Brooke Anderson has said he hopes that GEFA can grant the authority an additional loan of $20 million.

Anderson provided an update on the reservoir project at a Dawson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon in the summer of 2018 and said the authority was working to select a design engineer for the reservoir, which will be capable of producing 17.3 million gallons per day.

Water to fill the 700 foot long, 700 foot wide and 110 foot deep earthen dam will be pumped from the Etowah River into the reservoir.

No homes will have to be moved, and trees located on the full pool will be timbered in the winter of 2019. Construction will start in 2020, and will be completed by 2023. Based on the schedule for filling the reservoir, it will be completely full in 2024.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. April 11 at the Etowah Water & Sewer Authority, at 1162 Hwy. 53 East.