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October 17, 2019

MAC Tours City of Atlanta Water Supply Program

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Earlier this week, a small group of leaders and MAC staff got a inside look at the City of Atlanta's Water Supply Program. The program includes the conversion of the old Bellwood Quarry into the new Westside Reservoir and boring a 5 mile tunnel from the quarry to the Chattahoochee River. The tunnel connects the quarry, the river and the Hemphill and the R.M. Clayton Water Treatment Plants.

Photo from Department of Watershed Management of the new Bellwood Quarry pump station

The City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management serves 1.2 million customers and currently only has an emergency supply for 3 days. Loss of water service for the City would have at least a $100 millon economic impact per day. The Water Supply Program, which began in 2015, will create a new reservoir to hold 2.4 billion gallons of usable water. Depending on conservation measures, this supply can last 30 to 90 days, a far cry from the current 3 day reserve. 

The water infrastructure in the City of Atlanta has aged dramatically, with the oldest water transmission mains being from the early 1890s. New pipeline transmission mains could be put in, but would not have the longevity of this new tunnel which will last at least 100 years to come. 

The reservoir will be the anchor for the new Westside Park, which will be the City's largest park at 280 acres. 

Click here to learn more about the City of Atlanta's Water Supply Program. 

Read about the previous tour of the Bellwood Quarry Tunnel here.

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