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Lake Lanier Islands approves well project
New source expected to provided water to resort
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The Lake Lanier Development Authority board of directors Friday approved moving forward to buy an existing groundwater well in Flowery Branch to provide drinking water to Lake Lanier Islands.

Board members also approved an intergovernmental agreement with Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to buy the land, develop the well site and connect it to the Islands’ infrastructure. And they approved negotiating with the city of Buford to use its water reclamation facility to treat the drinking water.

The primary customer for the water would be the Lake Lanier Islands Resort, a 1,500-acre vacation destination.

Testing of the well, which was completed Oct. 28, showed the water quality was good and water withdrawal wouldn’t affect Flowery Branch’s wells.

“It’s a super well,”  said Bill McLemore, a retired state of Georgia geologist who is a consultant to the authority on the well project.

The maximum yield is nearly 860,000 gallons of water a day, above a typical well’s water production, McLemore said.

The state of Georgia is providing the funds for the project through Gov. Nathan Deal’s Water Supply Program, an initiative headed by GEFA aimed at developing new sources of water to meet future demands in the state.

In August, the authority was awarded more than $4.4 million in state money to rehabilitate the well.

GEFA will buy the land and complete the construction and then lease the facilities back to the development authority. The board agreed to try to fast-track the installation of a portion of the water line under Lanier Islands Parkway since it is currently under construction.

The authority will begin working to obtain a permit from Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, and the State Properties Commission has started the appraisal.