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Gainesville council approves spending $1.3 million to improve water lines
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Cleaner water could be coming to a spigot near you.

Gainesville’s Public Utilities Department will soon kick off another round of water line improvements — and a few extensions — that promise to make bathing in a tub of rusty water a thing of the past.

The City Council approved the utilities department’s proposed $1.3 million worth of improvements to water lines inside and out of the city limits Tuesday, affecting water system customers on 28 streets from Clermont to Flowery Branch.

With the approval, Chestnut Mountain-based Pride Utility Construction will replace about 30,000 linear feet of galvanized steel water lines that could be causing rusty water to run out of taps across the county.

The improvements include extending water lines on Lawson and Lake drives, making water service available to another 10 to 20 homes, said Mak Yari, engineering and planning chief for the utilities department. It lets city officials put fire hydrants on streets that did not have them before.

"You not only have improved the water quality, but you also have improved the service that you are providing," Yari said.

Over time, galvanized steel pipes rust and affect the water-carrying capacity of the pipe and rusty build up can get passed on to water customers, said Yari.

The department has not used galvanized pipe in more than 15 years, and has been working to replace the older pipes for about the same amount of time, he said.

The project will replace smaller steel pipes with the more durable PVC pipe, Yari said.

The water system replacement project approved Tuesday is part of a larger project to replace approximately 139 miles of galvanized water lines. At the completion of this particular batch of water line replacements, the department will have replaced 122 miles of the identified 139, Yari said.

Yari said he hopes to have the rest of the pipes replaced in the next three years.

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