Lula is working to adapt a well off of Ga. 365 for public use in anticipation of growth in the area.
The well is located next to the Ace Hardware on Cornelia Highway, near the turn on to Athens Street to get to downtown Lula. City Manager Dennis Bergin said discussions with Ace Hardware began in September. The hardware store needed to increase the capacity of the well, and the city wants to bring water service to the area to prepare for business and residential growth.
While the city has not officially acquired the well yet, Bergin said about $30,000 has been spent on tests for the well, which determined that iron and manganese levels were slightly too high.
The well will need to be adapted for the city’s needs. It currently has a PVC casing, which will need to be replaced with steel, and at a meeting Thursday, officials said they wanted to install 180 feet of casing in the well to compensate for a fracture and lower treatment costs.
The estimated cost for the project is about $100,939, which would include construction of the well, a 200 gallon-per-minute pump, a backup well and testing. Bergin said about $400,000 also would be needed to extend the city’s water lines to reach the well. It would be Lula’s fifth well.
Lula plans to apply for funding through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, Bergin said.
The city is working with geologist Bob Atkins of A&S Environmental Services, Robert Simmons of Rindt-McDuff Associates, and Barry Davidson of Davidson Well Drilling on the project, which would take about eight months to complete once construction starts.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division will review the well when it is done to approve it as a municipal water source.
The area is projected to see growth in coming years, and Bergin said he has been contacted by several developers hoping to build subdivisions nearby. But utilities need to come before development, he said.
“The more people you bring on to that line, our needs are going to increase,” Bergin said. “…We’re always going to be good stewards, but at the same time because of the estimated growth up here over the next 10 years, this is probably an excellent move on our part.”
The new Lanier Technical College campus and the site of the incoming inland port are both on Cornelia Highway near Lula, and both developments are expected to spur further growth in the area. Lula also plans to add about 12,000 feet to the city’s sewer line along the highway.