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Permit allows for less water

Members of the Thomson-McDuffie County Water and Sewer Commission have received correspondence from a state agency telling them that a federal agency can only grant a withdrawal permit for 3.6 million gallons per day from Clarks Hill Lake as opposed to 4 million gallons per day that was originally anticipated.

The water that is withdrawn from the lake on the Lincolnton Highway in the Raysville Community is processed at Big Creek Water Treatment Plant, which recently was renovated.

Don Powers, city administrator for the City of Thomson, said he recently received a letter from an official with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources that informed him of such news.

He suggested that members of the Thomson-McDuffie County Water and Sewer Commission modify the permit, which was requested earlier this year.

Mr. Powers said that way it won't hold up the permit being granted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division.

Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry asked whether there was any "wiggle room."

In reply, McDuffie County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton said he didn't believe so, because the permits have to be issued based on the yield information provided to the Army Corps of Engineers.

"Based on the current yield information of 2.6 million gallons daily annual average, EPD could only reasonably permit withdrawal limits of 3.6 million gallons daily as a maximum 24-hour day limit and 3.1 million gallons daily as a monthly average day," according to a letter written by Ade Oke, coordinator with the Non-Farm Surface Water Unit of EPD.

"I think it's a good idea to go ahead and put our hands on the permit," Mr. Newton said.

Mr. Powers agreed, saying getting the permit granted is the first thing that needs doing and that the figures could be worked out later.

"I don't think we'll get any headwinds at all on that," Mr. Powers added.

George Lokey, chairman of the Thomson-McDuffie County Water and Sewer Commission, agreed that the permit needed to be obtained.

Mr. Powers will be contacting EPD officials about going with the new proposed figures rather than the other figures that would have delayed a permit for withdrawal of water from the lake being granted at this time.

Web posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010

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