WEST POINT’S WATER WIN: City gets grant to replace water intake

Published 11:05 am Friday, March 15, 2024

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By Annie Bresee

The city of West Point has received a $6 million appropriation from the federal government moving its water intake upstream. The new intake will be further north on the Chattahoochee, largely avoiding the mud and sediment that has been deposited in the current intake from  Oseligee Creek.

“We get a tremendous amount of mud coming from Lafayette and their farm fields and solar farm, and everything clogs up Oseligee Creek. It just pumps massive amounts of mud down the river,” said Steve Tramell, mayor of West Point. “We’ve been sucking in muddy water for years and years and years at great expense to us to clean that dirt out of the water.”

The city was recently approved to increase its water intake from the Chattahoochee River from two million gallons a day to four, which the new intake will be capable of doing.

Tramell said the increase is in anticipation of population growth in West Point over the next decade.

The current water treatment plant is around 0.8 miles north of the E 10th St bridge, however, downstream from the Oseligee Creek.

The creek pulls mud and sediment into the Chattahoochee, forcing the treatment plant to spend money on cleaning the water for citizen use.

The new intake will be approximately 0.8 miles north of the current treatment plant, on city-owned land off of the Chattahoochee.

The new site is expected to not only increase the volume of the supply but also the reliability of water, according to the project proposal.

“You have to put a chemical in there. It is an anti-flocking chemical that attaches to the dirt, then you’ve got to pump that out. We won’t have to spend as much money on that agent to do that,” Tramell said. “We won’t have near the dirt, hopefully very, very little, if any at all, that is naturally in the water.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be building the new water intake for the city. Having the treatment north of the Oseligee will allow for the saving on costs of chemicals but also reduce the water needed to “backwash” the treated water, according to the appropriation application.

The objective is also to increase the water capacity, for which the city has been approved.

The water withdrawal capacity is expected to increase from 1.9 million gallons per day to 4 million gallons.

Tramell said the work of city manager, Ed Moon, in preparing the documentation for the funding and  U.S. Representative Drew Ferguson helped obtain the appropriation on behalf of West Point.

The new station will include a river intake structure and three pumps, two with a pumping capacity of four million gallons per day, with the last pump as a backup.