In the board’s December meeting the county entered into an Engineering Services Agreement with Arcadis U.S. Inc. for the preliminary design work totaling $1,526,465 for the planned Richland Creek reservoir.
Water System Director Michael Carter said the board has filed all of its paperwork and is awaiting a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before construction can begin.
Board Chairman David Austin said the board has justified the need for the reservoir and is ready to move forward.
“We are way ahead of the curve,” said Austin.
He expected to have the permits by the end of 2012, but now is hoping to have them early this year or by spring.
Austin plans to travel to Washington D.C., soon to meet with federal authorities to try to move the process along, said County Administrator Michael Jones.
The Georgia Water Coalition recently placed the project on its “Georgia’s Dirty Dozen” list.
The coalition — an advocacy group for Georgia water resources — characterizes the list as “2012’s worst offenses against Georgia’s water.”
According to a report from the coalition Paulding County has overestimated its future population and the water supply the county will need.
The report also states some wildlife could be negatively affected by water being diverted from the Etowah River to fill the reservoir. The coalition report states the county should emphasize fixing leaking pipes and use Lake Allatoona as a source, according to the report.
Austin said the report is the product of someone emphasizing the potential disadvantages instead of the benefits for Paulding’s future water needs, he said.
“This is one man’s opinion,” Austin said.
Carter added, “We [the county] have the job to provide water and that is what we are going to do.”
Paulding County currently purchases its drinking water from the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, which draws water from groundwater sources and Lake Allatoona. The county is building the reservoir because it needs a new water source, and has been in the works since April of 1999, Jones said.
Carter said the county is hoping to start pumping water into the reservoir by 2017. The project will supply 35 million gallons of water a day, have a surface area of about 300 acres, and hold about three and a half billion gallons of water, Carter said.