Harlem's quest for water might mean purchasing it from McDuffie County.
City officials are negotiating with neighboring county officials on tying in to their water system in an effort to decrease Harlem's dependence on Columbia County for water, Mayor Scott Dean recently said.
"Engineers are working out the details on how much they might charge," he said.
Recently, city leaders spent about $8,000 to explore groundwater sites inside city limits.
Another option for the city to increase its water output is refitting an existing well, called the Godwin well.
The Godwin well was last known to produce between 140 to 160 gallons of water per minute, but comes with water quality issues, said Harlem City Engineer John McClellan, of G. Ben Turpinseed Engineers Inc.
It would cost city taxpayers between $10,000 to $20,000 to test the viability of the Godwin well, McClellan said.
"We're still looking at the Godwin well and we're still evaluating if it's worth the expense of refitting it," Dean said.
Buying water from McDuffie County might be the city's best option, he said.
The Harlem City Council will discuss the issue further, but has no immediate plans to strike a deal with McDuffie County, Dean said.
"We don't have a water emergency," he said. "We're just looking out for the future."
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