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Etowah Water plans for northern expansion
Makes headway on reservoir plans
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The Etowah Water and Sewer Authority discussed the current status of its countywide service expansion plans during the authority's work meeting, July 8.

"As the county grows, so will the authority. Ultimately, at some point in the future, our goal is to have a countywide water distribution system that would serve everyone that wants to be served," said Etowah Water and Sewer Authority General Manager Brooke Anderson.

 "That's going to take time and planning to do and this is the next step of that. To look at the next reasonable area that we're not in and to do an evaluation of how we would get there," Anderson added.  "We do have a study that we're going to be starting in a couple months that's going to be a county-wide water and waste water master plan. Now, obviously, we're not going to have sewer in the north part of the county where the commission is conducting green conservation efforts. We're going to grow our system to reflect the county's land use map. We want to be in sync with that and not in conflict," said Anderson.  The authority's countywide study is looking out to the year 2050, according to Anderson.  Anderson also discussed the current state of the authority's proposed reservoir at Russell Creek.  "We are moving forward with it very well and hope to have our 404 permit in hand by the end of this calendar year," said Anderson, speaking of the required permit the authority must submit to begin construction on the reservoir.  "Once we have the permit to build the reservoir, we will begin to create detailed designs for construction which will take anywhere from 14 to 18 months. 2010 would probably be the earliest we could begin construction," said Anderson.  Anderson also said that recent state legislation designed to increase the pace of reservoir construction would help a great deal and would also help in funding the multi-million dollar water project.  "The state has an agency called the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, which is responsible for administering low interest loans and grants for water and sewer projects. GEFA has created an application process where they can evaluate proposed projects and basically score or rank them," said Anderson. "We're in the process of putting our application together. We feel like we've got a very strong one because our project is so far along compared to 90 percent of the other projects out there. We'll have our answer this fall," Anderson added.  E-mail Adam C. Stapleton at