Water supply district seeks funds for study

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Butler County Water Supply District is seeking funds to study the likeliest sources of water in the future for both the county and city of Greenville.

The study will cost an estimated $45,000, said water supply district chairman Steve Norman, but most of those costs will be offset by a federal EPA grant. The state will also share in the cost, he said.

The water supply district, made up of members from the Butler County Water Authority and the city’s Water Works and Sewer Board, agree this is the next logical step in finding usable groundwater.

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“Right now this is just in the planning stages,” said BCWA board member Tommie Hamilton.

Butler County pulls most of its groundwater from the Ripley aquifer.

Pending grant approval, hydrogeologists with the state will map the Ripley so that, going forward, Butler County officials have an understanding where water is likely to be found. Officials are concerned because water in the wells around Greenville have been dropping three or four feet per year.

Earlier this year, a test well dug near the Crenshaw County line yielded unusable salt water. The BCWSD was hoping to tap into the Tuscaloosa aquifer.

Norman said the study would also determine how much the proximity of each well around Greenville is having on the other. The city and county each draw from three wells around Greenville, creating what is referred to as a “cone of depression.”

Norman said the supply district could be looking at the creation of “well fields,” an area of land specifically designated for digging water wells.