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Water odor prompts filter examination
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This year, the City of Dawsonville has been continuing with water improvement plans to update its water infrastructure. However, this has not come without a few inconveniences for residents of the city's more rural lines.

"We had an equipment failure at one of our wells," said Public Works Director Gary Barr. "It caused our water to become not as good as it ought to be over at the Pidgeon Creek subdivision, so we watched it and monitored it continuously since it was brought to our attention."

Barr said that his department immediately jumped on the issue as soon as it was discovered.

"We've got everything fixed and running like it should, but [this repair] did bring to our attention that the larger filters on our wells are being used up faster than we had anticipated," Barr said. "Every filter has a run time before it is used up. During the testing, we've found that the time isn't as long as advertised."

According to Barr, the filters should run on 10 hour cycles during the day. Instead, the filters were running for about six hours before shutting off.

The problem left the city's water with a foul odor, though officials say the water was at any point unsafe.

Citizens of the subdivision expressed their appreciation over the city's efforts, but wished that a faster solution than replacing all of the filters was possible.

"A year and a half ago, we came to get this problem recognized about the water and from that moment on, Gary [Barr] and Russ [Chambers] have done above and beyond. I let them know when the well gets bad ... and Gary and Russ respond right away to fix it," said Colleen Simrell, a business owner in downtown Dawsonville and a resident of Pigeon Creek. "I understand there is nothing we can do until we find the problem, but it was an issue for a year and a half and now it's failing across the board, this is something that should have been done already."

The city agreed during its Aug. 17 meeting to use funds from the enterprise account to replace all filter systems on the city's system in order to fix the failing problems. However, it was also decided to roll out these fixes over time in order to test the system first.

"We were originally approached by [Water and Sewer Associate Russ Chambers] about changing both filters and we decided to test one set to make sure they were what we wanted, but in the meantime, the other filters started failing," said Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan.

Barr said that it was due to the new nature of the filters that he was conservative with the city's money at first while testing the filters.

"It's new technology and I'm a little old-fashioned. I like to see something working before I spend money on it," he said. "We've seen it now working in Dahlonega, so I'm confident it works."

Councilman Jason Power said that the new system is a city priority project.

"We talk about prioritizing funds all the time. It seems to me that the city's water supply is top of the list for funds to be used," he said.