Ringgold is on the verge of predominantly using well water for our city’s water needs. We’ve drilled a test well on Poplar Springs Road, and the early indications of water quality and sustainability all look very promising. There are 3 areas in particular in which this is a big deal for our city.
First of all, the amount of chemicals we have to put into the water will be significantly reduced. The water we currently treat from the creek at our water plant takes a very large amount of chemicals in order to make it potable. We are responsible and safe in treating that water, but with the amount of chemicals being so significantly reduced, there is much less room for error. The water in the well will need some chlorine, fluoride, and treatment to make it softer, but much less than we are currently using.
Secondly, the cost of utilizing well water is greatly reduced compared to what it takes to currently treat the creek water, however there will be initial costs involved in order to connect the well source to our current system. Laying the amount of pipe needed will be a fairly high cost, but that will pay for itself over the next few years. The money is already within our budget in the form of our SPLOST money. The 2014 SPLOST estimates say we will accumulate about 2.5 million dollars over the time we collect that tax, and that money is already earmarked just for this type of endeavor. The aquifer we’ve tapped into pumps over 500 gallons per minute, which more than accommodates the city’s current water usage. By also keeping our city’s water plant online at the creek, we will ultimately be in a position to sell water to surrounding areas, whereas we have had to buy water at times in the past.
One of the biggest benefits I am hoping for is improving the taste of our water. I’ve payed attention to various public water sources since I’ve been elected, and it seems that our city has about average taste when it comes to our water. Periodically, as I have been going door to door campaigning, people tell me they don’t like the taste of our city water. I’ve lived here all my life, and perhaps I can’t tell that it doesn’t taste good because I’ve become so accustomed to the taste. Improved quality and taste is something I think would be wonderful for our city.