With many rainy days and nights in Georgia lately, Columbia County officials say they've had no problems in water supply or in enforcing the state water conservation plan so far this summer.
Sprinklers run in Jones Creek Village subdivision off Furys Ferry Road. Water restrictions are still in place in Columbia County.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"We actually did not have much action at all with the water system this summer because basically nobody has used any water,'' Columbia County Waterworks Director Billy Clayton said. "We had one week when it got really hot really fast and we jumped from 11 million gallons a day up to 26, 27 million a day ... but almost immediately it started raining again.''
Clayton said this year's rainy weather has been unprecedented for him.
"I've been here 30 years,'' he said. "This is the wettest summer I remember.''
Since June, the Augusta area has received nearly 4 inches above normal rainfall, according to the National Weather Service. For the year, the Augusta area is about 5 inches above normal rainfall.
Clayton said even if the area went without rain for the remainder of the summer, it wouldn't cause a problem for the county's water services.
Still, the state requires that its water conservation plan remain in tact. For Columbia County, the plan calls for residents and businesses at even addresses to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; those at odd addresses to water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays; and no watering on Mondays.
Clayton said that with added rain this summer, his department is now able to focus more on an upcoming project to add a sanitary sewer system that will go down Bettys Branch between Washington and Hardy McManus roads.
"That will allow us to gravity feed all the way to the treatment plant on Hardy McManus Road and to rid ourselves of a fairly large pumping station in there,'' Clayton said. "... It just makes for a much more reliable sewer system.''
Monthly rainfall for Augusta area:
January: Total - 2.39 inches; 2.11 inches below normal
February: Total - 5.29 inches; 1.14 inches above normal
March: Total - 5.83 inches; 1.22 inches above normal
April: Total - 2.92 inches; .02 inches below normal
May: Total - 4.28 inches; 1.21 inches above normal
June: Total - 7.44 inches; 3.25 inches above normal
July: Total - 5.09 inches; 1.02 inches above normal
August: Total (through Thursday) 1.15 inches; .27 below normal
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