DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Etowah Water and Sewer Authority (EWSA) held an information meeting to share plans with the community for the $40 million Russell Creek Reservoir, which is expected to reach buildout by 2023.
The Authority finally received a 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last July and EWSA Director Brooke Anderson was eager to talk about the 110-foot tall embankment dam and spillway system that will be located between Etowah River and Seed Tick roads.
Once completed, Anderson said, the reservoir which will be 700 feet long, 700 feet wide and 110 feet deep. It will cover 137 acres, hold 1.2 billion gallons of water and be capable of serving 126,000 people, which is the county’s projected population in 50 years.
Water to fill the reservoir will be drawn from the Etowah River, which is controlled by the Corps of Engineers.
There was no mistaking the excitement in Anderson’s voice when he looked ahead to the completion date. “That will be a jubilant day to say the least,” he said. “At that point in time, the main infrastructure, the reservoir, the pipeline, intake pump station and the treatment plant are in place. They’re built for a 50-year horizon. So, as we go forward, as the community grows, we can expand the water treatment plant. We’re not having to worry about where the water is coming from and how we’re going to secure the water.”
Golder, a global consulting, design and construction company, was selected to design and build the project.
The original plan called for construction of a second water intake pump to be installed in the river to pull water out through a 24-inch pipeline to fill the reservoir. “But the engineers came up with a much better, much more environmentally sensitive solution,” Anderson said.
“We already have one intake pump station that was built in 2009. The engineers have determined that we can modify that station and pump the water through a 30-inch pipeline to fill the reservoir. So that is a significant saving.”
Anderson said Golder will be constructing a new spillway for the dam that will be equipped with gates located at different levels that will help to protect aquatic species.
“Russell Creek flows out of the reservoir and during the summer, the water can get hot on the top and cold on the bottom,” he said. “Having the gates at different depths allows us to withdraw water at different temperatures and mix the water so the water we release from the reservoir into Russell Creek will match the temperature of the water in the river.”
The gates, Anderson added, will also help control the turbidity level. “When it has been raining, the top layer is going to be dirty due to runoff so we can then pull water in from a lower depth.”
Additional information meetings will be held in May and June but no dates have been set.
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