Two projects are under way to help move water from the Tennessee River into North Georgia.
The Catoosa Utility District Authority is installing a new 12-inch ductile iron water main along Mack Smith Road in Fort Oglethorpe, since the smaller-diameter polyvinyl chloride water main there has leaked.
The water authority gets most of its supply from Yates Spring, but also purchases water from Tennessee American Water -- which gets its water from the Tennessee River.
"We kept having breaks and leaks, so we decided to take care of it," Catoosa Utility District Authority board Chairman Jerry Lee said. "We use ductile iron; we don't put PVC in the ground anymore."
"We will be able to get a little more water from Tennessee American ... when we get this in," he added.
The new water main will have the capacity to deliver 2.5 million gallons a day, Lee said, "if we need it."
Work started Sept. 13, he said, and should be done by late March. The water authority is supplying the parts and is paying $381,890 in labor to Mack Jones Enterprises Inc., of Flowery Branch, Ga., Lee said.
"He was the low bidder by $200,000," he said.
Pipe going under I-75
Meanwhile, Tennessee American is having a contractor bore underneath Interstate 75 on the south side of Ringgold Road to install a new water main.
"It's going to serve all of our customers on the east side of I-75," Operations Manager Kevin Rogers said.
Tennessee American has served customers in North Georgia for decades, he said, and the new water main will improve reliability and increase capacity.
"We're trying to stay ahead of the growth," Rogers said.
The project will cost more than $1 million, he said, which is a significant percentage of the roughly $14 million Tennessee American spends annually on infrastructure.
The contractor installing the water main for Tennessee American has the ability to drill down on one side of the interstate and have the drill pop up from the ground in a precise location on the other side.
"It's very accurate," Rogers said. "It's pretty fascinating technology, actually."
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6651.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.